This week we talk to Yvonne Fein about ‘Time Lies’ which appears in Time, the latest Microlit anthology edited by Cassandra Atherton and published in 2018 by Spineless Wonders. In this interview, Yvonne talks about her approach to writing microlit, what she is reading right now and her favourite time of year for putting pen to paper.
I’ve always been fascinated with time travel, which is why I wrote about time in terms of its mystery. Even Albert Einstein was intrigued by it, so I suppose I’m in good company. But the lines between past, present and future have blurred in the very best of fiction: Merlin lives backwards in time; texts from antiquity play with the idea of reviving the dead and don’t we all wish sometimes that we could turn back the clock?
- When it comes to microlit, do you generally start wide and then cut down or do you always plan to write a particular piece as microlit?
I generally try and pursue an idea until I’ve written it out. But because I know it’s microlit from the start, I find myself paring down the prose as I go. Only at the end — after about four or so attempts at slash and burn — do I achieve the prescribed word count.
- How do you balance reading time with writing time? And tell us about the book/s you are reading at the moment.
Mostly I read at night and write during the day. I’m currently reading Joseph and His Brothers by Thomas Mann. It’s an agonising 1,500 pages but I always promised myself I’d read it one day and that day finally came. Also reading A History of the Crusades by Steven Runciman as research. Makes Mann look like a walk in the park
- What is your favourite season? Do you prefer to write in winter or summer and why?
Favourite seasons probably spring and autumn but it doesn’t really make much difference. I just write, all year round.
YVONNE FEIN is a writer, playwright and editor and has been a lecturer at Australian Jewish Museum. Her novels include April Fool, Torn Messiah and Rachel Racing Time. She has won awards in Gotham Screenplay and Rhode Island Film Festivals.