Interview With Freeze Frame Fiction
Author: Dino Laserbeam
What drew you to flash fiction specifically? Why flash fiction?
I’ve always written flash. I think part of that is because I don’t plan my writing ahead of time. I write in bursts of creative nonsense. Over time, those bursts have developed from junior high ramblings, to what I hope are significantly more developed stories.
And flash fiction is addicting—once you start reading and writing it, it can be very difficult to stop. There’s an art to it that’s unique. Trying to fit a complete story into so few words can be just as hard as writing a novel, in a different way. There’s a subtlety that can be deceiving when done well. You think you just read something simple, but the more you think about it, the more complex it really is. And when a story is strong emotionally, all that feeling gets condensed so it basically smacks you in the face while you’re reading. In a good way, of course.
There aren’t many magazines whose sole focus is flash. I wanted to provide a venue for that, independent of genre. It was also important to me to pay authors for their work, and provide personal feedback on every piece we reject. Those few things essentially make up freeze frame’s underlying mission.
What do you look for in a publishable piece of writing?
This is a very difficult question to answer, because often it’s a feeling rather than something concrete. The simple answer is a good, well-told, complete story in 1000 words or less. Beyond that, we’re really looking for something to connect to, whether that’s a well-defined character or a memorable plot. We want the stories we publish to stick with readers, long after they’ve walked away.
What is the most challenging part about being an editor? I’ve noticed that you have readers from a multitude of countries. Does having readers from different parts of the world affect the type of work selected?
I tried very hard to make sure we had a varied group of people reading submissions—men and women, different age groups (from 16 to 60-something), different nationalities and locations, etc. I want the pieces we accept to appeal to a wide audience, not a niche.
I’m not sure what the most challenging thing about being an editor is. A big part of the job for freeze frame fiction is making sure the volumes work, cohesively. Since we specifically look for pieces in every genre, I have to make sure everything fits. It’s sort of like making a mix-tape.
Mostly, it’s extremely time-consuming, but I enjoy it. I get to read tons of fiction, I get to interact with interesting and talented people, and I get to work with people to put together a publication I’m definitely proud of.
In what ways do you see freeze frame fiction evolving?
When freeze frame started, it was just an undeveloped idea in my head. From there, it built from an email account and a website, to four staff readers, to a team of twenty volunteers. In the past two and a half months, we’ve gotten over 430 submissions, just for volume iv. It seems to be evolving every day.
Also, we’ve added new side projects along the way—semi-annual themed volumes, the annual print anthology, and Maniacal Anthology. It’s definitely grown and far exceeded my expectations.
What is the next exciting thing happening at freeze frame fiction?
There are two things I’m most excited about right now:
1. Maniacal Anthology. This is a sort of pet project for me. It’s going to be a print anthology with themes of funny horror, twisted humor, and generally just dark, clever things that make me think and laugh. In kind of a messed up way. It’ll be very odd; most people will either love it or hate it, I’m sure. But I’m very excited about it.
2. Our year one print anthology. I’m currently working on compiling all the pieces we’ve published so far—including illustrations—into a print volume. It’s going to be available in color and black and white, and it’s going to look awesome. I honestly can’t wait to have a copy in my hands.