Twelve Days of Giving Reason Seven: NANO Was My First Publication – Kendra Fortmeyer

NANO Fiction: So NANO Fiction was your first publication. What issue were you featured in?

Kendra Fortmeyer: My first story ever published was featured in NANO Fiction issue 6.1.

NF: Were you familiar with flash fiction before reading NANO? How did you first get interested in flash as a form?

KF: I was introduced to flash fiction by my undergraduate mentor, Thisbe Nissen. I’d never even heard of the term “flash fiction” before I met her, and suddenly she was bringing in all of these amazing stories on postcards and the backs of old photographs. I’d always thought of stories under 200 words as unfinished scraps. Discovering complete narratives in these tiny spaces was like discovering a deliciously impossible treasure. I still regard great flash with a kind of awe.

NF: What’s one word that describes what it’s like getting published in NANO?

KF: I’d like to say “pithy”–but honestly, the best word is “meticulous.” In a story of 300 words (or fewer), there’s immense pressure on each word to be right. A NANO Fiction associate editor, Eric Todd, worked extensively with me to test the strength of each sentence before committing it to the finished piece. As this was my first publication, I assumed this was standard procedure, and was taken aback when my next piece (published in PANK) didn’t receive the same treatment.

NF: How has your writing changed since your publication in NANO Fiction?

KF: My story in NANO was about a man who finds a school of fish living in his toilet, and I’m still infatuated with that borderline between magic and the weird. Lately, I’ve been working on novels. It feels like the opposite of flash in many ways, but they share a surprising number of elements.

NF: What can we expect next from Kendra Fortmeyer?

KF: My first novel, a pseudo-hipster magical realist book for young adults, found representation with the amazing Molly Ker Hawn of the Bent Agency and is seeking a home. I’m currently at work on a second novel, and have recently had pieces come out in Forge, Juked and Smoking Glue Gun, with another forthcoming in apt.


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