Issue 038 Author Interview: Alexandra Grunberg and “Blue Lips and Frozen Lashes”

Back again for another Issue 038 author interview, are we? Great! Let’s chat with Alexandra Grunberg about her flash piece “Blue Lips and Frozen Lashes.”

LSQ: I’m always amazed by flash fiction. How the heck do you fit a whole story into 1000 words or less? What’s your secret?

Alexandra: The secret is… Practice! I’ve probably written over fifty pieces of flash fiction, of wildly varying quality, and each time I write one, it feels more and more natural. At this point, I find writing flash fiction easier than writing a traditional short story. I work well with a specific frame that helps me visualize the complete arc. I also really enjoy writing flash fiction, especially when I’m working on a longer piece simultaneously, because in one writing session I can get that satisfaction of a completed work compared to the days or months or years it takes to write longer works of fiction.

LSQ: Beitris turns out to be more than just an altruistic hiker in the end. Do you plan to write more about her? Where did the inspiration for this character come from?

Alexandra: At the moment, this is the only story I have planned for Beitris. My flash worlds and characters tend to exist in their small bubble because they belong in their bubble. I got the idea for Beitris the same place I get the ideas for most of my short fiction: Pierre Dubois’ “The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries.” I try to write every day, and if I don’t have an idea in mind, I just turn to the next chapter in his book and use it as inspiration. I’ve written about aliens in space inspired by selkies and nightmare monsters inspired by faerie trees. This story was a more direct kind of inspiration based on the chapter, “Blue Ladies, Ice Virgins, and Mountain Faeries.”

LSQ: Are you working on anything else at the moment? If so, can you tell us a bit about your other projects?

Alexandra: I tend to always be working on multiple projects at once. Besides continuing to write short fiction, I am working on a horror/thriller screenplay with the film company Magic Dog Productions. This is one of many projects I’ve written with Magic Dog, and our horror film “Bugs: A Trilogy” is available for free on Amazon Prime. I am also pursuing my DFA in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where I am working on a post-apocalyptic novel adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.