Interviewed by Rachel Wild

Read James Ross’ fiction piece, A Moment in Time

Rachel: What draws you to the short story form?

James: I usually write long fiction, though I find short stories are often a better vehicle for exploring a single idea from inception to completion.

Your story interweaves the lives of two men, one of whom has died. What was the starting point for its creation?

We’re all familiar with the idea that your life flashes before your eyes in the moments before your death, and thankfully I’ve never come close to experiencing that. I’ve found there is a similar experience, however, upon learning about the death of a close friend. Your thoughts immediately turn to your memories together and your relationship appears as a single moment, all of the experiences and memories wrapped up into a single instant. A Moment in Time is an effort to capture that sensation. 

Friendship between men can be fraught with unspoken thoughts and moments lost, as your story illustrates. Why do you think this is?

Great question; if I knew, I’d undoubtedly have better relationships with my close male friends! In A Moment in Time, the friendship is very real and precious to both men. It is, however, a very different kind of friendship to each of them. It is this difference that neither has been able to reconcile.  

Which short story writers do you admire, and why.

I have a taste for short fiction that begins mundane, and then shifts towards the surreal and unexplained. Ben Loory fits this bill wonderfully, as do Limmy’s short fiction collections That’s Your Lot and Daft Wee Stories.  

More recently, I thought January’s edition of Fantasy & Science Fiction was a belter, especially Full Worm Moon by Paul Lorello and Prison Colony Optimization by Auston Habershaw.

What are you working on at the moment?

Something entirely different; a pulpy dieselpunk high fantasy series I intend to release this year. If that sounds interesting, follow me at @jamesrossuk and www.whimsicalbusiness.com for updates!