Your cart is empty. Go to Shop

Flash Fiction Flashback: “Hairbrush, Socks, Pencils, Orange” Kate Heartfield

Today, we’re catching up with Kate Heartfield, author of Hairbrush, Socks, Pencils, Orange, which was published in Issue #15 in December 2014.

FFO: What’s your favorite line from your Flash Fiction Online story, and why do you think it works particularly well?

KH: Strangely enough, my favorite line from my story “Hairbrush, Socks, Pencils, Orange” is shorter than the title. It’s a bit of dialogue: “Some men do.”

There’s so much big terrible world in those few simple words, an answer to a child asking about her father staying out all night. As a mom myself, I’m familiar with the ways we (try to) find to be honest with our kids without overburdening them.

FFO: If you could have dinner with another Flash Fiction Online author, who would it be and why?

KH: When I started looking at the list of authors so I could make my choice, I was struck by how many writers have become friends – or acquaintances I’d love to be friends – over the last decade or so. Honestly, what I’d love best right now would be a big convention where we’d all get together in some hotel restaurant. One day!

FFO: Yes! We would love that, too!

FFO: Do you have any time management tips you’d like to share with other writers?

KH: It’s tough these days (well, I guess it’s always tough.) When I’m really struggling to make time or find the energy, I’ll sometimes make a deal with myself to write some ridiculously small amount: usually three sentences. It’s pretty hard to argue that I can’t write three sentences. So then I do, and then I’ll usually get a few more, too.

FFO: What can you tell us about your current writing work-in-progress?

KH: I’ve just gone through copy edits on The Embroidered Book, which is a big historical fantasy coming in early 2022 from Harper Voyager. It’s the story of Marie Antoinette, queen of France, and her sister Maria Carolina, queen of Naples – if they had been rival magicians.

FFO: We can’t wait to get our hands on it!

© Kate Heartfield

Meet the Author

Kate Heartfield

Kate Heartfield is the author of The Embroidered Book, a historical fantasy novel out in February 2022. Her debut novel won Canada’s Aurora Award, and her novellas, stories and games have been shortlisted for the Nebula, Locus, Crawford, Sunburst and Aurora awards. A former journalist, Kate lives near Ottawa, Canada.

Become a Patron! Check our our NEW Patron rewards!


Receives weekly links to new stories, exclusive behind-the-scenes content and interviews with the authors, and our undying love.


Receives a free monthly download of our current issue, access to Ask Me Anything chats with the FFO staff, submission statistics, plus benefits from lower levels


Gain access to our monthly Mini-Critique sessions, the FFO Editorial Team slushpile wishlist , plus benefits from lower levels


A chance to have your work discussed by the FFO editorial team, receive 365 Writing Prompts and our latest anthology, plus benefits from lower levels


Receive a monthly mini-critique from the FFO editorial team and request custom writing videos, plus benefits from lower levels


Receive one flash fiction critique per month, mini-critique sessions, an opportunity to “sponsor-a-story,” plus all the benefits of lower levels!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support Flash Fiction Online

Flash Fiction Online is a free online magazine that pays professional rates. So how do we make that happen? It’s due to the generosity of readers like you.

Here are some ways you can help:

Become a Patron.

Sign up to become a monthly donor and gain access to exclusive Patron rewards like manuscript critiques, insider submission statistics, the Editors’ Wishlist, free downloads of our current issue, and Ask Me Anything chats with the FFO staff. Read more…

Subscribe to FFO.

Never miss an issue! E-reader formats delivered to your inbox. Available from

Buy our issues & anthologies.

Each of our issues and anthologies are available in convenient e-reader formats (epub/mobi/pdf). Available from the Flash Fiction Online Store and WeightlessBooks.


Consider a one-time gift that fits your budget.

Advertise with us.

Have a product, service, or website our readers might enjoy? Ad space available on the website and in our e-reader issues. Sponsored posts opportunities are also available. Learn more…

Spread the word.

Love one of our stories or articles? Share it with a friend!

%d bloggers like this: