BackStory: Four Questions with Karen Walker


BackStory: Four Questions with Karen Walker
Author of The 1796 Spinning Wheel List

What inspired you to write ‘The 1796 Spinning Wheel List’?

Looking for my ancestors in The 1796 Spinning Wheel (also known as The Irish Flax Growers) List. This archive preserves the names and locations of over 50,000 small farmers who received equipment as a government incentive to grow flax. I began thinking about the effect of spinning wheels on lives.

Who are your favourite historical fiction writers (flash or otherwise) and why?

Barbara Diggs. Her FlashBack Fiction Granddaddy at War is so compelling. It inspired me to try writing historical fiction about genealogy.

Were there any interesting facts, details, or turns of phrase that didn’t quite make the final piece?

I considered having the disgruntled brothers in the first vignette become more hostile to the fortunate brother, but decided that was too Cain and Abel.

What is your favourite part of the writing process? Your least favourite?

I enjoy editing more than early drafting and brainstorming because I like to fiddle.

Karen writes short fiction and prose poetry in a basement. Her work is in or forthcoming in Ghost City Press, Scapegoat Review, Reflex Fiction, Bullshit Lit, Briefly Zine, The Ekphrastic Review, Five Minute Lit, Versification, Paragraph Planet, and others. She/her. @MeKawalker883

Photograph of flax by Nennieinszwiedrei via pixabay.