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

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!