Charlotte Byrne drew inspiration for her flash fiction, Monday Morning, from a childhood memory. Begun when she was a girl, her mum and she “uphold a somewhat bizarre family tradition of singing ‘dustbin man, dustbin man’ to the dog when the bin men drive past.” She has no memory of the origin of her “somewhat bizarre family tradition,” but reflecting on this unconventional practice got her wondering about the dustbin man (N.B. garbage men to anyone outside the United Kingdom) and “if they did sometimes find treasures amongst other people’s rubbish.”
Her story is about human relationships, and the excitement and hope people feel in an otherwise mundane day – those moments are “all around us, but sometimes we need to look for them.”
When Charlotte’s not thinking about dustbin men and the treasures they recover, she’s figuring out how to overcome her greatest challenge — “turning up at the page, even when not in the mood, or when work or life gets in the way— there’s nothing like overtime or a family crisis to rip the motivation out of you.”
She shares her strategy to move her writing projects forward: 1) set reasonable deadlines, 2) break the project down into manageable parts — for example, a goal to complete a daily word count and 3) chocolate rewards -- “a good way of overcoming writing obstacles!”
Her advice comes honestly, she works hard and has several writing credits to her name. Her publications include a short story, Soldiers All, in Tales of the World, and several flash pieces— Sardines and Not Tonight in Purple Lights published by Fincham Press which she credits with providing her “publishing, editing, and life experience, they really helped me realise what a powerful form flash fiction can be.” One short story, Conjuring the Man, will be included in the upcoming horror anthology, First Came Fear, by New Lit Salon Press.
Charlotte recently completed a YA comic folk fantasy novel entitled, Folked Up. She describes the ideal reader of this works as someone who likes “dimension-hopping musicians, witches, cross-dressing swordswomen, spirits of nature, or power-crazed sorcerers…”
She enjoys working on a variety of projects simultaneously. She has two short stories in the works one about an Egyptian mummy and another about a quilt of human skin. She’s also working on a novel about a Catalan woman searching for her fiancé in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Looking further into the future, she plans to write a novel about a travelling fair in 1950s England, and a children’s book with the working title, Rocket Nan!
Her love of writing goes beyond the finished story and keeps her motivated to write more. In her own words (and likely in the hearts of many writers) she says, “Every time my work is published I get a wonderful feeling – that somebody enjoys my work enough to share it with other readers is the greatest accomplishment I could ever hope to achieve!”
If you’d like to read more of Charlotte’s flash fiction, Monday Morning, check out the anthology here: bit.ly/READFLASH.
Follow Charlotte on Twitter at @charladybyrne to stay in touch.
Anchala Studios, LLC is a micro press based in Chapel Hill, NC which selects projects appealing to broad audiences and which enrich the community. The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory is its first publication.