Matthew Toffolo: What is your short story about?
Ai Jiang: The story is about a man who has lost his younger sister when leaving earth on a spaceship to a new world. The context of the story is that the narrator and his family must escape as a result of the destruction of the world, however, the narrator loses his sister in their escape due to a spaceship crash. What he recalls is a world that his sister dreamt of living in because of the pain that losing their home caused her. The narrator is desperately trying to recall memories of his sister through reimagining this world.
2. What genres would you say this story is in?
This story is in the science fiction genre.
3. How would you describe this story in two words?
4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?
I think I’ve rewatched the apocalyptic movie entitled “Train to Busan” about four to five times. It’s truly an amazing movie and the best out of all the zombie movies I’ve watched so far!
5. What is your favourite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)
My favourite song has to be “Lovely” by Billie Eilish and Khalid.
6. Do you have an all-time favourite novel?
I would have to say Flowers for Algernon. I think it’s a very moving story about intelligence and the way it affects how we experience and perceive the world as well as those around us.
7. What motivated you to write this story?
This story was actually inspired by a prompt on Reedsy’s weekly contests which I’ve just began to take part of.
8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?
I’d want to have dinner with Shakespeare. I think it would be very interesting to hear about his thought processes and the way he comes up with ideas for his plays and sonnets.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I’m a competitive badminton player and compete at both a provincial and national level. I think it’s very important to have multiple interests in life but I think sometimes it does take some writing time away from me too!
10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?
I want to become a better-known writer and the best way to do that is to share my work wherever I can and gain more exposure.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
I think one of the most important things is to overcome the fear that your writing is not good or that others may not like it. Every story is worth writing, as long as you write, you will improve regardless of the quality in the end. And with every piece you complete, you’ll be able to gain confidence.
Watch the Short Story Reading: