Ian Murphy is the winner of Eliza Gale’s Elizashead flash fiction contest and it’s $100 prize. Here is a link to his story, “Amerigo Day”:
Q: What inspired you to write this story?
A: When I was a kid I was taught that Columbus discovered America. But since there was clearly another country on the map called Columbia, it always confused the hell out of me. I guess I just wrote an answer to 4th grade me.
Q: What made you want to become a writer?
A: I can’t act or direct, and I was told I have a good face for radio. Writing seemed to be the only option left.
Q: Who are some of your influences?
A: As far as writers go, Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, Woody Allen and Stephen King. Also my folks. My Dad read me all of Tolkien’s works as a kid and my Mom would always buy me one of those Little Golden Books when I went with her to the grocery store. Without those experiences I would have never sat down and been able to write. I endlessly thank them for that.
Q: What made you want to enter this contest?
A: It was the only honest representation of what this particular contest was about in all of the contest apps I read. Most of these things are bullshit. This one was not. Those opportunities are few and far between.
Q: What is your ultimate goal as a writer?
A: To write one really good movie and like 3, maybe 4 bad ones, then go around the country to various universities as a guest speaker charging a lot of money to smile like a game show host and lie to undergrads by telling them that “they can do it too!”
Q: Who do you think is the most overrated writer in history?
A: How dare you! Anyone who has the courage to put words to paper is never overrated…
Just kidding. It’s Stephanie Meyer. Hands down. VAMPIRES DO NOT SPARKLE GOD DAMMIT!
Q: What are your favorite things to write about?
A: How messed up people/history/everything really is, anything that irritates people I don’t agree with, and Zombies.
Q: What kind of work do you do and how does it influence your writing?
A: I am a Bartender and every single day I get someone across the from me who tells me at least one story that would make Hunter S. Thompson take notice. I work in a very classy place (think Roadhouse minus Pat Swayze, R.I.P.).
Q:: What sort of classes or training have you had?
A: I went to college, had some internships, and spent a month pretending to be a pirate on a cardboard cutout of the Queen Anne’s Revenge at the Andalusia City Library. Only two of those were real “training” though.
Q: What will you do with your prize money?
A: I’m going to invest half of it in a high yield mutual fund and th— sorry–… I couldn’t type that with a straight face. I’ll probably spend it on nothing that is fit for print. Seriously. Thank you though!
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)