Tuesday, May 8, 2012

MICRO FICTION! Interview with Randall R. Peterson

Today I get the chance to introduce readers to a new author and to a new writing style.  I "met" Randy via Twitter and I look forward to joining him for a pint someday (he says he's buying!).

Here we go...

1.    The genre “Micro Fiction” is rather new – you won’t see the term “Micro Fiction” in literary theory textbooks from 1926.  Tell me what “Micro Fiction” means to you.

My type of Micro Fiction uses a word not as just a part of a sentence, but as an idea, and I link the images together to form a story.  Allow time for an image to form before reading the next word. 

...party, drunk, fall, lamp, break, Jill, mad, sorry, hug, kiss, bedroom, husband, gun, window, jump, dog, bite, run, naked, clothesline, steal, home, phone, Jill … 

I never take Micro Fiction too seriously, it’s more like a comic strip for writers, a new-born baby. Someday a writer with more skill than mine will turn it into something more.

2.    You have a number of short stories linked to your site.  If a reader could only read ONE of your stories, which would you suggest?

“SCARECROWS: The Making” is my most popular short story. It is the first part of 10 (including The Daughters of Melania) about a witch, Melania Descombey, who creates scarecrows. 

One group, the Mommet, become almost human, while another faction, The Hodmedod, turn into monsters. 

The stories are set in a small American town called Cloverdale during WW2, and are the basis for a novel I’m putting together to be published in December.

3.   Referring to the story you mentioned in #2 above, if it were to be made into a short film, who would you cast in the lead roles?

Sophia Loren as Melania Descombey because she is old enough to play the ancient Italian Gypsy Witch. Aussie actor Conan Stevens as the Hodmedod called the Chinaman because he’s large enough. Anne Hathaway’s sweet image would be great in the part of Melania’s granddaughter Margie. Paul Walker would fit the role of  Margie’s Mommet lover Brian because of his intense blue eyes.

4.       You have such a wide array of stories!  It may seem like a banal question, but where do you get your inspiration?

I’ve always had an extremely vivid imagination. My father once told me if I could learn to write, I could conquer the literary world. It’s a lot harder than I thought, but I still intend to find out.

5.    Have you dabbled in, or would you like to dabble in other genres or writing styles?  Poetry? Novels? Plays?  Whatever?

In the early 1970’s I wrote and produced a series of animated drug culture films on super 8 film. They were very amateurish and I used friends to dub in voice tracks and I ripped off some of the greatest rock songs of the time for the soundtrack. 

On some of the scenes if you turn the volume up very loud you can hear a party raging in the background, while we lip synched to the edited film in a spare bedroom. Some of these early cartoons “The Coming of Hob” “Spaced Out” & others are buried in the video section of my Facebook pages and are there for anyone to check out. So yes, I would love to write for film or plays.

6.     You are very active in social media (it’s how we met after all).  Obviously social media is a great way to reach readers.  Would writing be as satisfying to you if you didn’t have the social media mechanisms by which you’re able to reach so many readers?

Writing is its own reward, you don’t have to have a million readers to be a success, a handful of people who like to read your stories will do … but you do need that handful.

7.       Who are some of the authors who have influenced you, who you emulate?

People think I’m joking when I say that I’m the World’s Greatest Reader, but I’m serious. We have a library in our home with about 1500 hardcover books on shelves and boxes of others we don’t have room for. I’ve read them all.

If reading could be classified as an addiction I would be in treatment. I read everything from John Steinbeck to Louis L’amour, Robert McCammon to Sue Grafton and Shakespeare & Mad Magazine... sometimes on the same night...

I read an obituary about a 94 year old woman, Viola Rawls Erickson, someone I didn’t know while at work and it said “…she filled a lifelong dream by having a book published” something about her picture fascinated me. I found her work, an obscure  novel called “THE ONES WE LOVE” a used copy, for sale on Amazon. I bought it and found it to be one of the greatest books I have ever read. 

It was after reading this book that “magic” happened in my life. I became a prolific writer and two years later I’ve written over 100 short stories and 3 novels. I really do believe that there is magic in everything.

8.       What is hardest for you to come up with: dialogue, setting or plot?

I don’t really have trouble with any aspect of writing. I can write anywhere at any time. When I begin something new, I type as fast and as furious as I can and usually do 500 words in about 20 minutes. Most of my stories are written in 15 minute breaks while working in a factory. 

If I fell off a twenty story building and had my laptop I could have a short story finished by the time I hit the street … of course with a bad ending. 

I don’t really edit at all, other than to run a spelling check. I would rather be writing than going over something that’s already been cooked. I lose interest in my stories shortly after I’ve scribbled them out. My hordes of enemies will laugh and say I suck … I say to hell with them. I’m doing what I love.

9.       What was the BEST writing advice you ever got?  What was the WORST?

I think the worst advice I ever got was in the form of an outline as to how stories should be written. It came from a critique group. (I belong to two writers groups.) I don’t think you can write a good story by filling in the blanks … at least I can’t.  It comes out like generic cat food … dry & bland no matter how many flowery words you pour over it. The best advice came from someone’s blog that I found on twitter, she said “The only rule in fiction is imagination” I love that, I wish I could remember who said it.

10.   What has been your most satisfying OR strangest feedback from or interaction with a reader?

Shortly after I began posting short stories on my blog site, I received a horrible, vicious E-Mail from another writer. He said I had no talent what-so-ever, that I couldn’t spell, and that I didn’t know what a paragraph was. He cursed like a sailor stood-up in a cat house. He probably thought I’d give up. 

He didn’t realize I have rhino skin. I took his letter to my writers group and read it out-loud. I said that what hurt the most was - that IT WAS ALL TRUE! We all laughed so hard I thought we were going to pee our pants. I started tweeting about some of the things he said about my work on Twitter and I gained a lot of really great friends.

11.   What else would you like readers to know about you and your works?

I’ve always had the ability for focus on one thing at a time, and block the world out. I’m the world’s best example of here and now. There is no past and no future. I live for the moment. The only thing better than falling in love, is doing it again and again and again. My short story site is http://randallrpeterson.blogspot.com The stories are FREE and - no you can’t have a refund.

Hey folks, do indeed check out his blog - there are some great stories there!   You can also follow Randy on Twitter @ItsOnlyMeAndYou and be sure to keep an eye out for his novel publication in December!


  1. Enjoyable interview, with a fascinating subject. I'm a big fan of Randall's and it's interesting to have an insight into how he manages to produce the quality and quantity of short stories already published on line. The scarecrow series happens to be my favourite too.


  2. Randall's short stories came to my attention on twitter. Once I clicked the link to his blog I was hooked and remain one of his fans.

    The best part of him on twitter is, he doesn't shamelessly promote his stories, he just lets you know he's there to blow your mind if you need it to be blown.

    The part of his persona I like the best is, he respects and other writers and that takes a chunk off his weirdness and makes him lovable. However, he makes me curious and I would love to be a fly on the wall of his frontal lobe but I doubt there's any room there what with all those demons, and murdering creepies stalking him. They must live there and suck his brain cells for survival, then spit them back out on paper. I hate to love his stories. ;-)

  3. This is one of the most enjoyable and interesting interview I have ever read!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  4. Randall, you're an inspiration! Thank you!!