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Congratulations on your win in the 2016 Short Shorts Flash Fiction Competition! Your short story “Death, Oh Death” was easily the favorite among the HWP staff.  Can you share with us your experience in writing this story and how it evolved?

  1. Blue Grass legend Ralph Stanley sings a song called "Death, Oh, Death" and I was in a melancholy mood when the story line came to me. I have two daughters and the worst thing I could imagine was the loss of a daughter. I tried to couch it in language which expressed all the contradictory emotions and regrets.

What other forms and genres do you enjoy writing?

  1. I write most Southern Literary fiction but also some Southern Humor and some horror. I have been lucky enough to win prizes in all those categories. 

Where do you find your ideas and inspiration?

  1. My ideas and inspiration come swarming out of my history from growing up in  a story telling family and my love for reading. As with most writers, everyone one I meet is grist for the mill. Kentucky swarms my brain with its strange beauty and its vast array of wonderful and bizarre characters.

How long have you been writing?

  1. I have been writing since the age of twelve when I published my first effort called "My Life as a Corn Flake" in the local paper. It was after that when pretty girls started sitting beside me on the bus, and I decided this a good gig.

What is your writing day like?

  1. I mostly write two -three pages a day from 8:00-10:00 each evening.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing?

  1. My greatest writing influences have been very diverse- Faulkner, Joyce Carol Oates, Dickens, Twain and Larry McMurtry.

What are you reading right now?

  1. Right now I am reading Another Brooklyn  and Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky.

Where can we find other works from Jim Gish? 

  1. I have published in various literary magazines over the last 25  years- including Eclectica, Rain Crow, Phoebe, The Litchfield Review, Sound and River Review, among others.

What’s next? Do you have any writing projects on the horizon?

  1. I am presently finishing a Kentucky novel entitled At the Edge of Hymns and I wrote a novel of which I am very proud called Old Blue Moon. My problem is that I am a pretty good writer, but I do not know much about connections and promoting myself. My daughter is helping me put together a blog and a writer page. I have written a horror novel entitled Snake Prayers and am putting together an anthology which I will probably self publish entitled Far From a Fair Country.

Jim Gish is a teacher, writer and counselor. His writing influences include Faulkner and Eudora Welty, among others.


Penny Fiction

Flash Fiction Writing Competition 2016: