Interview with Stuart Page

Published 2019-07-15.
Describe your desk
Absolute trash pile.

The place where organisation comes to die.

"Stuart, there's three dirty cups on your desk now. Jeez!"

When the world ends and alien archaeologists excavate the ruins of this planet, they will find my desk atop a mountain of ash, and think it an alter, a place of worship. They will think that humans prayed to clutter and lived by mess. They will tell horrible tales about us to their children.

You've probably seen worse. Probably seen better, too.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote - that I really took seriously - was probably this crappy fantasy epic that I took on for nanowrimo when I was seventeen. It was all swords and fireballs and melodrama. Wait. Was it the crappy horror/gay romance that I wrote in secret, late at night, around the same time? Was that the first one? Oh, man. I think it was. That one was really bad. Really funny, but really, really bad. It had a ghost, and an axe murderer, and a compulsive boy left alone by his parents in a big house, and his friend who came to stay who was in love with him.

I quit both of the above stories due to plot holes that I didn't know how to fill. I wonder how they would turn out, though, if I tried to write them now?
What is your writing process?
My writing process has changed a lot in the eight or nine years that I've been writing. I used to go at it totally blind, one word after another. When I had finished a chapter, I'd then go back and edit until it was good, before starting on the next chapter. This process is really tiring and, for anything longer than a short story, is sure to result in plot holes every which way whenever I do it.

The process I've taken to recently, and which I'm really strict with myself on (to positive results,) is to take a pen and some paper and, starting from whatever faint idea I have, outline the entire plot, very briefly, by a bullet list. Step by step. Then I will go into the first draft, having at least an idea of where I'm going and what I need to accomplish. Having the outline takes a lot of the pressure off.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not really. But I remember a story I used to read when I was pretty young. There was this girl in it who used to wear socks to sleep, even though her parents told her not to. I was like, "Wow, so cool." I started doing the same thing 'cause I wanted to be bad, like her. But then my feet would get too warm, and I'd just pull my socks off in the night, anyway, so I didn't keep it up for very long.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm currently organising a collection of flash fiction pieces. Each story is ninety nine words long, and there will be twenty five of them.

When I returned home after teaching for a year in Japan, I wanted to take some time out of work to produce some more fiction and sharpen my skills. During this time, I somehow got into the habit of writing multiple ninety nine word stories every single morning, before moving onto bigger projects in the afternoon. Most of these flash pieces I would delete. Some of them I would submit online to publications and writing sites. Others I would keep to myself. I did this for about three or four months and ended up with a lot of material.

That was about a year and a half ago. I re-discovered the stories recently and thought, hey, there are more good ones here than I thought there were. I ought to make something out of them.

So here we are.

The collection explores lots of different themes, like sexuality, self-worth, the end of the world, and much more. Stay tuned! I'm sure you'll really like it.
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Books by This Author

Sunrise on Birdcage Walk, and Other Flash Fiction Stories
Price: Free! Words: 2,760. Language: British English. Published: January 15, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction, Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Sunrise on Birdcage Walk, and Other Flash Fiction Stories is a short collection made up of 25 multi-genre pieces, all at 99 words each. These bite sized experiences are perfect for when you crave the feeling of being swept up into another world, but you just don't have the time to invest in bigger works.
Ms. Wilder's Package
Price: Free! Words: 2,740. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
A man, grounded by a muscular injury that he can't seem to recover from, has given up on returning to the life that he once lived. But then a postal worker stops by his house one morning and gives him a neighbour's package to care of, triggering events that will change him forever and prompting the question: what does it take to truly begin healing?