Amanda thank you so much for letting us use your story in our fall issue, honestly it just wouldn't have been what we want an issue to be without having 'The Time Has Come' a part of it. Apologies again for the 'oops' we had along the way but what I want to know now is how did you go about developing this piece of flash? I mean, did you start out from the beginning knowing that RuPaul's Drag Race was going to be the focus of your story?
Actually, yes. I knew I wanted to incorporate media and popular culture into this piece. Specifically, I knew I wanted to use, “The Time Has Come,” as my title because not only does RuPaul say this prior to ever lip sync, but it also applies to the inner struggle the protagonist is facing. In my flash fiction, I tend to start my pieces with off-hand humor, followed by illustrating a plausible human experience. I want my characters to be relatable and three-dimensional, which in turn allows readers to connect through uncensored emotion and genuine conflict.
Funny you incorporate media and popular culture, guess that came through very clear to our art department here seeing how they blended your story with the hyper-real work of Ling Lui & Tianyi Zhang. But beyond the visuals we added, can you talk a little bit about the dialogue throughout this piece?
What’s funny is that one of elements of craft I struggled with most during graduate school was writing natural dialogue. When writing this story, I truly felt like this was the first time I accomplished portraying internal and external dialogue that sounded real. In an age highly influenced by media and technology, I thought it made perfect sense to convey dialogue through these mediums. I also thought it would add an extra layer when developing the protagonist; a character caught between two worlds.
Well said and I'm happy you brought up graduate school. NUNUM has a focus on helping writing who are just beginning their career through our MFA dispatch program and our resources section but I wonder, what advice would you give someone who is just starting to send their work out to journals?
Don’t allow rejections to make you feel unwanted or discouraged. Always remember that your story matters. That all stories matter! Sharing our stories allows us to connect with one another through shared experiences. Keep writing and keep submitting. Your voice will eventually be heard when it is meant to be.
Amanda Conner graduated with her MA in Creative Writing from Missouri State University in 2015. She is currently studying for her second master’s degree in Rhetoric and Composition. She has been previously published in Crab Fat Magazine, and serves at the Classroom Ambassador for Carve Magazine.