• Urhi

Q&A: BENEATH THE NEEDLE WITH EMILY DORFFER

Updated: Sep 1

Today we talk to Emily Dorffer, a technical editor with an adoration of baking -- leading us directly to Unhealthy Coping Mechanism, Emily's Flash Fiction contribution for The Needle Drops... Volume One. Developed as both a short story and novella over the course of the pandemic, we talk about just this, learn more about Emily's profession and past works, and there's also mention of chocolate snickerdoodles to highlight but a few...


You can read a selection of Emily's fiction on her Wattpad @sandydragon1

Emily Dorffer is a technical editor who has quite a sweet tooth. When she isn’t busy writing, she can often be found with her hands covered in flour and her mouth covered in chocolate. Over the course of the pandemic, she has found herself turning to the warmth of the oven for comfort more often than she used to, although she likes to think she’s better at coping with her stress than Harriet is.

Emily’s short stories and poems have been featured in a variety of markets, including Daily Science Fiction, Short Édition, and Breath & Shadow.


So, Emily - Unhealthy Coping Mechanism works fantastically as an enthralling, relatable flash fiction piece that feels particularly relevant in this pandemic era. With a novel-length version available over on Wattpad, can we ask the origins of the story, and what it means to you?


In the early months of the pandemic, I was dealing with a lot of stress. I’d just started a demanding new job, and with the entire world dealing with something that had previously belonged only in the realms of history and apocalyptic fiction, I didn’t feel comfortable venting my stress to anyone at first, at least not directly. Like Harriet, I sought solace by channelling my emotions into creative work. Putting all that pent up frustration on the page was very cathartic for me.


For the novel-length version of Unhealthy Coping Mechanism, I was basically writing a cautionary tale for myself. I know how easy it can be to self-isolate and run from negative emotions instead of reaching out to people and trying to process feelings in a healthy way. Harriet’s story is all the more relatable in the novel-length version because there are a lot more characters than her husband and son at play, and their different struggles and coping mechanisms have a lot more space to influence each other. That sense of interconnectedness was far easier to explore in depth in the novel-length version, so I’m looking forward to hearing what reader’s think of it!