Smoking With Astrid Schott

Read the Story August 15, 2004

How do you combine working in science/medicine and writing? Do they complement each other?

I have to write very late at night, as I work all day and have a family.I love both my job and writing and yes, they do complement each other. But at the same time I feel I could do better in either one of these if I would concentrate on just one discipline.

Traveling between two continents, experiencing the change in cultures and language, how does that affect your creative process?

I feel displaced most of the time, which increased the freedom of my thoughts and my attention towards my surroundings. Writing in English automatically changed my style. Last I experience a lot of jet lag—the sleepless nights can be very creative.

What do you find yourself writing about over and over?

Transitions and people trapped in their own world. Illness.

Flash fiction is often difficult to define. How would you explain it to somebody who has never read it, and what draws you to it?

Flash fiction to fiction is like Flash Gordon to Gordon. Faster and stronger. I find that very attractive. (If you read this, Flash Gordon, you can ask Dave Clapper for my telephone number.)

Which excites you more, writing a good story or reading one?

Reading is more exciting, writing is more satisfying for me.

About the Author:

Astrid Schott is a 42 year old MD and writer from Berlin, Germany, stranded in NJ to work as a cancer scientist for a pharmaceutical company. She writes short stories, poems and flash fiction. She lives with her husband and 2 children in Wayne, NJ. This year she started writing in English.

About the Artist:

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison's work here.