Thursday, June 20, 2019

SMFS Member Publication News: Sylvia Warsh


SMFS list member Sylvia Warsh reports that her short story, “The Comeback” appears in the premier issue of Vautrin. Edited and published by Todd Robins, the issue is only available in print at Watermark Books.

Synopsis:

Vautrin - Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 2019
SKU: 94224022

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: Todd Robins
It’s widely believed that Balzac’s literary activities wound down when he died in the 19thcentury, but his ghost visited Todd Robins’s College Hill lair one morning in the fall of 2018.  Balzac's message was clear: (A) found a literary magazine, and (B) name it after his criminal mastermind character, Vautrin.  The great Frenchman then prevailed upon an intriguing mix of writers to contribute to the inaugural issue.  Robins typed the submissions on his Smith Corona Silent from the 50s, resulting in Volume 1, Issue 1 of Wichita’s new print-only literary magazine.  Le voila !
Among the highlights:
·         Fiction from native Wichitan Scott Phillips, titled Labio-Dental Fricative and featuring the return of the wily rogue Bill Ogden of Cottonwood and Hop Alley fame.
·         Poetry from the great Albert Goldbarth, sublimely cast in the Vautrin-esque trickster sweet spot.
·         Mystery fiction from award-winning Canadian writer Sylvia Maultash Warsh.
·         Raucous mafioso crime fiction from New Jersey writer Thomas Pluck, author of the forthcoming novel Riff Raff.
·         An essay about Juan Gabriel Vasquez’s novel The Shape of the Ruins, by former Watermarker, Susan Gusho.
·         An essay about literary movements by former Watermarker Jason Quinn Malott, author of The Evolution of Shadows.
·         Fictional intrigue from the pseudonymous Kerry Page.
·         Debut poetry from the extraordinary Suzannah Guthrie.
·         An astrology-infused crime story from a 1920 issue of The Black Mask (released to the public domain).
·         Essayist Paul Dee Fecteau ponders the Tarot as applicable to the Coen brother’s film The Big Lebowski.
·         An essay about Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle: Book Six, by Chicagoan Andrew Larson.
·         Poetry from Marysville's Scott Richard that sneaks up on us, a la Ezra Pound.   
·         Trump Tower: The First Omen, by Carlos Herrera, in which the political consultant Nigel Strode ponders the reelection run of the GOP's finest.
·         Cover art by former Watermarker, Beth Golay


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Something Is Going To Happen: “The Man With The Action-Packed Expense Account” (by Richard Helms)

Something Is Going To Happen: “The Man With The Action-Packed Expense Account” (by Richard Helms)

SMFS Members Published In Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine: July/August 2019


Several SMFS members are published in the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine:July/August 2019 issue. The issue is available from Dell Magazines as well as at Amazon and other vendors. The SMFS members published in this issue are:

Dale A. Dermatis with “Pirate Pete’s.”

R. T. Lawton with “The Horse.”

Paul D. Marks with “Past Is Prologue.”

William Burton McCormick with “The Three Camillas.”

B.K. Stevens with “The Tourist.”

Dave Zeltserman with “Lulu and Heartbreaker.”



Tuesday, June 18, 2019

SMFS Members Published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine: July/August 2019


Several SMFS members are published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine: July/August 2019 issue. The issue is available from Dell Magazines as well as at Amazon and other vendors. The SMFS members published in this issue are:

Michael Bracken with “Oystermen.”

Rick Helms with “The Cripplegate Apprehension.”

Chris Holm with “Murderers’ Row.”

V.S. Kemanis with “”Dzintra’s Tale.”

Tara Laskowski with “The Long-Term Tenant. “ (Black Mask)

Twist Phelan with “Rude Awakening.”

Victoria Weisfeld with “New Energy.”


TABLE OF CONTENTS
July/August 2019
FICTION
New Energy BY VICKI WEISFELD
The Cripplegate Apprehension BY RICHARD HELMS
Left for Dead BY S.J. ROZAN
Heat BY TREY DOWELL
Oystermen BY MICHAEL BRACKEN
The Day of the Jackal BY MARILYN TODD
Dzintra’s Tale BY V.S. KEMANIS
Crossing Bridges BY AOIFE CLIFFORD
There Are Just Some Things a Rat Won’t Do BY PETER TURNBULL
Murderers’ Row BY CHRIS HOLM
Her Sister’s Secrets BY BRENDAN DUBOIS
Rude Awakening BY TWIST PHELAN
Do Not Disturb BY STEVE HOCKENSMITH
The Mysterious Affair at Osiris House BY R.T. RAICHEV
PASSPORT TO CRIME
A Smart Dummy in the Tent BY TAKEMARU ABIKO
BLACK MASK
The Long-Term Tenant BY TARA LASKOWSKI
DEPARTMENT OF FIRST STORIES
Tingo BY TONY FISHER
Rionach, My Queen BY JAMES HADLEY GRIFFIN
REVIEWS
Blog Bytes BY KRISTOPHER ZGORSKI
The Jury Box BY JON L. BREEN
Stranger Than Fiction BY DEAN JOBB: PREVIEW


Little Big Crimes Review: Ladies Day at the Olympia Car Wash by Andrew Nett...

Little Big Crimes: Ladies Day at the Olympia Car Wash, by Andrew Nett...: "Ladies Day at the Olympia Car Wash," by Andrew Nette, in A Time For Violence, edited by Andy Rausch and Chris Roy, Close to th...

SMFS Members Published in The Best Laid Plans: 21 stories of mystery and suspense


A number of SMFS list members have stories the anthology, The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories Of Mystery & Suspense published today by Superior Shores Press. Edited by SMFS list member Judy Penz Sheluk, the anthology is available in print and digital formats from Amazon and ither vendors. The SMFS list members in this anthology are:

Tom Barlow with “Heirloom.”

Peter DiChellis with “Callingdon Mountain.”

Lesley A. Diehl with “Lunch Break.”

C.C. Guthrie with “A Sure Thing.”

V. S. Kemanis with “Sucker Punch.”

Lisa Lieberman with ““Better Dead Then Redhead.”

LD Masterson with “Deadly Dinner.”

Edith Maxwell with “The Stonecutter.”

Rosemary McCracken with in “The Sweetheart Scamster.”

Lisa De Nikolits with “Fire Drill.”

KM Rockwood with “Frozen Daiquiris.”  

Peggy Rothschild with “The Cookie Crumbles.”

Judy Penz Sheluk  with “Plan D.”

Vicki Weisfeld with “Who They Are Now.”

Amazon Synopsis:

Whether it's a subway station in Norway, ski resort in Vermont, McMansion in the suburbs, or trendy art gallery in Toronto, the 21 authors represented in this superb collection of mystery and suspense interpret the overarching theme of the best-laid plans in their own inimitable style. And like many best-laid plans, they come with no guarantees.
Stories by Tom Barlow, Susan Daly, Lisa de Nikolits, P.A. De Voe, Peter DiChellis, Lesley A. Diehl, Mary Dutta, C.C. Guthrie, William Kamowski, V.S. Kemanis, Lisa 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 57

As posted to Peter DiChellis to our list…
This week’s blog fires it up for short mystery and crime fiction: links to a wicked mix of reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Plus, from the Department of Weird Clues: Earprints.
A short walk down a dark street (#57). What’s fresh, what’s famous, and what’s fiendish in short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,
Peter

SMFS Member Publication News: John M. Floyd


SMFS list member John M. Floyd has a short story in the recently published anthology, What Would Elvis Think? Mississippi Stories. Published by Ink-Slingers, the book is available in both print and digital formats from Amazon. Mr. Floyd’s short story, “The Garden Club” is one of 23 tales in the 240 page book. Mr. Floyd also contributed the foreword to the book which is referenced below in the synopsis published at Amazon.

Amazon Synopsis:

From the Foreword: 
[A]ny discussion of southern writing will eventually lead to Mississippi—the state that has more published authors per capita than any other. . . . Why not, then, create an anthology of stories specifically about Mississippi? Such is the book you now hold in your hand—a collection of tales that are all set here in Elvis Country. . . . Some of these Mississippians might remind you of folks you know—and others are people you might never want to meet face to face. What they have in common is that they're all interesting—and unforgettable.
          – John Floyd, author of The Barrens
The authors: 
Jim R. Angelo, Marion Barnwell, Lottie Brent Boggan, Janet Brown, John M. Floyd, Chuck Galey, Sally P. Green, Sherye Simmons Green, Wendy Harms, Brent Hearn, Charlotte Hudson, Daney Kepple, JP Luby, Chuck McIntosh, Frederick Charles Melancon, Melanie Noto, Linda Raiteri, Nicolas Smith, Kyle Summerall, Stephanie Swindle Thomas, Janet Taylor-Perry, Diane Thomas-Plunk, and Judy H. Tucker

SleuthSayers: Anthology Psychology by John M. Floyd

SleuthSayers: Anthology Psychology: by John M. Floyd I've often told my writing students that there are three markets for short fiction: magazines, anthologies, and co...

Saturday, June 15, 2019

SMFS Short Story Saturdays: Robert Petyo


Each Saturday, we feature a SMFS list member whose work can be read online for free. These short stories are at least a year old.  

For SMFS Short Story Saturdays today, list member Robert Petyo shares the 2008 short story, “The Truth About Lang Tri” archived at The Thrilling Detective.

If you would like to be included and are a member of the SMFS list at yahoo groups, email the link to your story to KevinRTipple at Verizon dot net. If you are not a member, this would be a good time to check us out at Yahoo Groups.

Friday, June 14, 2019

What Editors Want You To Know: Barb Goffman: A Success Story

What Editors Want You To Know: Barb Goffman: A Success Story

SleuthSayers: Suspense Fiction by O'Neil De Noux

SleuthSayers: Suspense Fiction: by O'Neil De Noux These are not rules, not guidelines, not anything etched in stone. These are observations about suspense novels fro...

Criminal Minds: Criminal Minds Think Alike by Paul D. Marks

Criminal Minds: Criminal Minds Think Alike: Do you read different stuff when you're writing from when you're not? Why? by Paul D. Marks Another Two-fer today. I’ll respond ...

SMFS Member Publication News: Leslie Budewitz


SMFS list member Leslie Budewitz’s latest book, Chai Another Day: A Spice Shop Mystery, is now out. Published by Seventh Street Books, the book is available in print, digital and audio formats from the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors.  


Synopsis:

Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother’s house hunt, and a fisherman who’s set his hook for her.

As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle's famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee's vintage home decor shop that ends in murder.

Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend - and Pepper herself.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The First Two Pages: “Fire Drill” by Lisa de Nikolits

The First Two Pages: “Fire Drill” by Lisa de Nikolits

Writers Who Kill: Readers, Writers and Offensive Language by KM Rcokwood,

Writers Who Kill: Readers, Writers and Offensive Language: What language will your readers find offensive? It varies. Offense is in the eyes of the beholder, not the producer, of the language. O...

SleuthSayers Blog: A California Crime Weekend by Paul D. Marks

SleuthSayers: A California Crime Weekend: by Paul D. Marks A double header today. First up are some thoughts on the California Crime Writers Conference that happened this past week...

Victoria Weisfeld: Seasoning Dinner with Crime: First Course

Victoria Weisfeld: Seasoning Dinner with Crime: First Course

Monday, June 10, 2019

Little Big Crimes Review: 'Mocking Season by Christi Clancy

Little Big Crimes: 'Mocking Season, by Christi Clancy: "'Mocking Season," by Christi Clancy, in Milwaukee Noir,  edited by Tim Hennessy, Akashic Press, 2019. The publisher sent ...

SMFS Member Publishing News: Frank Zafiro


SMFS list member Frank Zafiro’s new book, Charlie-316, co-written with Colin Conway, is released today. Published by Down & Out Books, the read is now available in both print and eBook formats from Amazon and other vendors.


Synopsis:

Tyler Garrett is a model SWAT officer whose good looks, education and familial status add to that image. The fact that he is a black man in the predominately white Spokane Police Department only adds to the city administration’s pride in one of their own. He’s often pointed to as an example of the department’s best and brightest—a young man on the rise. 

One summer evening, Garrett stops a reckless driver. It’s something he’s done a thousand times except this time, gunfire erupts from a nearby house. As Garrett dives for cover, the driver turns and begins shooting as well. Garrett survives the ambush by killing the driver and chasing off the additional shooter. 

The legend of Tyler Garrett grows and the community rallies around him. 

Until the initial investigation determines the driver was shot in the back and his gun has somehow disappeared. Suddenly, the police department, city hall, and even the national news media are wondering just what happened that night? In a nation where police brutality dominates the headlines, Garrett’s case has suddenly become a flashpoint. 

Now, Officer Tyler Garrett must take matters into his own hands. Time is quickly running out for him to find the second shooter and to clear his name. 




SMFS Guest Post: Lisa de Nikolits on Writing Short Stories: Part Two

Please welcome back Lisa de Nikolits. Her short story, “Fire Drill” appears in the soon to be released anthology, The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories Of Mystery & Suspense published by Superior Shores Press. You can read Part One here.

As a followup to my first blog, which established that a number of novels had come about as a result of the short stories, I’d like to explore the ‘how” of this a bit more.

So, let’s take Fire Drill and use it as an example of using a short story to create a novel.

We have Miranda, sad and sorry protagonist.

My mirrored reflection stared back at me in the elevator. I was ridiculously exhausted and it was only seven a.m. I counted the red numbers as we passed each floor. Going up, when my whole life was going down. Down the tubes, that is. What with the shrinking industry, tenacious Shar-Pei lines etching their way into my cheeks, my teeth like old corn on the cob, the gums receding as fast as the prospects for my future, and my electric-socket hair, the prognosis wasn’t good. Sideburns, OMG, did I see sideburns?”

I love Miranda! She’s a character I simply must  explore more. Then there’s Alice B, antagonist, aka Princess Tight Pants in Red Stilettoes.

I don’t want to give away any plot spoilers but suffice to say that Miranda exacts revenge on Princess Tight Pants. And that the current plot point would make for a good ending.

I’ve been rereading Patricia Highsmith recently, prepping for a panel at ThrillerFest in July. The topic is Highsmith, Hammett or Agatha Christie? The Thrills of Mystery. I was particularly taken by a description of of fifty-year old minor character in The Price of Salt. I read the novel after I wrote Fire Drill but I was bowled over by the power of Mrs. Robichek. I wanted her to reappear and play a larger role but she remained in the shadows. Her life had disappointed her, she was a seamstress, a fashion designer but her eyes failed her and she had to survive by taking a job in retail, shovelling peas into her mouth at lunchtime in the crowded cafetaria.

Patricia Highsmith had no regard for this character, or so I felt. She was captivated by her young and beautiful lovers. It’s true that The Price of Salt was driven more by forbidden eros than a murder mystery so it’s not fair to judge for that and I’m not. I just think that her Mrs. Robichek, like Miranda, deserved so much more air time.

But what will I do with my Miranda? Her moral ambiguity is fascinating and I do have the culmination of her anger to work with but I will have to come up with more than that! My three-point structure will need sub-plots that intertwine and twist and keep the reader turning the page until the last word.

I’ve also been watching reruns of Prime Suspect, with Helen Mirren. I’m at the penultimate season and I’ve watched Helen, oops, Jane, fight the internal politicing with a stubborn irascibility that would have made Miranda proud. And, like Miranda, Jane is clearly on her way out. What if Jane Tennison was pushed too far? But Jane is more likely to become Prime Minister than take an Uzi into work, an option I considered for Miranda since workplace gun violence is such a terrible and prevalent story today. But no, I want something more devious, more deeply planned and mapped-out.

And my Miranda is written with humour and I’d like to keep that. I like noir with humour, Tarantino-style. Highsmith wrote Mrs. Robichek with derision, as if utterly certain that she herself would never end up like that, varicose-veined and blind, shovelling peas mindlessly. But Patricia Highsmith ended up alone, surrounded by cats, with heads of lettuce in her handbag, along with dozens of snails. All of that in itself fascinating, she was a tough cat herself, with nothing warm or fuzzy there.

I think what I loved about Mrs. Robichek was the bizarre encounter with protagonist, Therese Belivet. It was utterly strange – she took her young friend home and dressed her in red velvet and fed her a tincture with Therese took ill, overwhelmed by the ugliness of the life she had stumbled into. Oh yes, the horror! And that sort of thing would make for a very rich novel.

And that my new friends, at the Short Mystery Fiction Society, is where I currently at! Which may seem like I don’t have much at all but this is where the real fun begins. I’ll begin the long process of flipping through the Rolodex of my mind for plots and stories that I haven’t yet used and start making diligent notes. Could Miranda meld with other short stories that I’ve written? Can I use any of the other stories, like so many engine parts lying around the workshop? I have a wealth of short stories that I’ve never given up on and they’ve served me well, either as descriptions for longer works, or minor characters or as mentioned, as full stories.

Thank you for sharing this exploration with me and I’m very interested to hear your thoughts. Have any of your short stories become novels? Any tips or insights or observations you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them!

Photo by Bradford Dunlop

Lisa de Nikolits ©2019

Lisa de Nikolits is the award-winning author of eight novels: The Hungry Mirror, West of Wawa, A Glittering Chaos, The Witchdoctor’s Bones, Between The Cracks She Fell, The Nearly Girl, No Fury Like That, and Rotten PeachesNo Fury Like That was published in Italian in 2019 by Edizione Le Assassine under the title Una furia dell’altro mondoHer ninth novel, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution, is also scheduled to be published in 2019 by Inanna Publications.  Her short fiction and poetry have also been published in various anthologies and journals across the country. She is a member of the Mesdames of Mayhem, the Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and the International Thriller Writers.  Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits came to Canada in 2000. She lives and writes in Toronto.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 56

As posted by Peter DiChellis to our list….
This week’s blog cheers short mystery and crime fiction with links to a bad-ass bunch of reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes: A baker’s dozen of hard-working editors dish the inside dope on how they select and edit anthology stories.
A short walk down a dark street (#56). What’s fresh, what’s famous, and what’s fiendish in short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,
Peter

SMFS Members Published in NO WAY: Totally Twisted Tales


SMFS members have stories in the latest collection from Pulphouse Fiction Magazine titled NO WAY: Totally Twisted Tales. Edited by Dean Wesley Smith, the read is available in print and digital formats from the publisher as well as Amazon and other vendors. The SMFS members in the short story collection are:

David H. Hendrickson with “Looking For The Bastard.”

Robert Jeschonek with “Time, Expressed as an Entrée.”

Annie Reed with “The Old Guy.”

Synopsis:

The Most Twisted Stories from Pulphouse Fiction Magazine
What gives the “twist” to these stories? They wouldn’t fit in any other magazine, for one thing. They leave readers shaking their heads in amazement that they read that story, let alone anyone wrote it.
Twisted stories often make you laugh, or make you tear up because they always surprise the reader. And that makes them very memorable.
This volume, the second collection from Pulphouse, filled bumper to bumper with stories from some of our favorite writers.
Includes:
“The Wereyam” by Kent Patterson
“The Old Guy” by Annie Reed
“Playing With Trains” by J. Steven York
“Hand Fast” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“The Time Cop” by Patrick Alan Mammay
“Catastrophe Baker and the Cold Equations” by Mike Resnick
“Time, Expressed as an Entrée” by Robert Jeschonek
“Savage Breasts” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
“Fiction” by Jerry Oltion
“Group” by Ray Vukcevich
“Looking for the Bastard” by David H. Hendrickson

Saturday, June 8, 2019

SMFS Member Publication News: John M. Floyd


SMFS list member John M. Floyd has another mystery short story appearing in the Woman’s World Magazine. His latest mystery short story, “A Sterling Theft” is in the current issue (June 17,  2019) of  Woman’s World Magazine. The publication is available on some newsstands and by subscription.

Members are reminded that Mr. Floyd shared in his piece at SleuthSayers Blog how he goes about writing short stories for this market. Well worth reading, especially if you are looking to break into this market.

SMFS Short Story Saturdays: Earl Staggs


Each Saturday, we feature a SMFS list member whose work can be read online for free. These short stories are at least a year old.

Today for SMFS Short Story Saturdays, Earl Staggs shares his short story, “Baltimore Bounty” archived at his site.

If you would like to be included and are a member of the SMFS list at yahoo groups, email the link to your story to KevinRTipple at Verizon dot net. If you are not a member, this would be a good time to check us out at Yahoo Groups.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

SMFS Members Publishing News: Nancy Clark


SMFS member Nancy Brewka-Clark’s short story, “Fisticuff Dreams” appears in the recently published, Wittier Than Thou: Tales of Whimsy and Mirth inspired by the life and works of John Greenleaf Whittier. Published by Haverhill House Publishing, the read is currently available in paperback format at Amazon. She is the second SMFS member in the anthology. As previously announced, SMFS member Dave Goudsward’s short story, “Skeleton on the Ski Lift” also was reprinted in the anthology and Mr Goudsward served as editor.

Synopsis:
Wittier Than Thou is a collection of twenty short stories of humor and whimsy inspired by the life and works of John Greenleaf Whittier. All proceeds benefit the Whittier Birthplace museum in Haverhill, Massachusetts.John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) is best recalled either as as a fiery abolitionist or as one of New England’s beloved Fireside Poets. But along with impassioned anti-slavery verse and the later songs of faith and rural domesticity, Whittier had a sly and subtle sense of humor, most evident in poems composed for friends and correspondents. What better way to celebrate the poet and his work than by exploring the wide range of wit and mirth that Whittier inspires. Who knows – you may find that he is wittier than thou!Stories by Jeff Strand, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ken Faig, Jr., Nancy Brewka-Clark, Judi Calhoun, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Peter Rawlik, Edwin Berne, Jill Hand, DG Critchley, Richard Lau, Mark Twain, Joan Wright Mularz, Rosemary Shomaker, John Greenleaf Whittier, Gregory L. Norris, David Bernard, Seabury Quinn, and Rob Smales.Edited by David Goudsward

Monday, June 3, 2019

THE STILETTO GANG: The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspe...

THE STILETTO GANG: The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspe...: Judy Penz Sheluk I'm beyond excited to announce that the The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense is now available ...

News from SMFS Member Craig Faustus Buck

As he posted earlier today....

If anyone's in the mood to write a Twitter story (280 characters or less), there's a site that will have an actor read it and produce a short video for free (they try to upsell you to add visuals for $40). It's a lot of fun. Here's mine (a "reprint" of a story many of you have read)::
https://storypitches.com/2019/06/03/twitter-story-story-hat-box-by-craig-faustus-buck/

Enjoy,

Craig

SleuthSayers: Loss and Gratitude by Travis Richardson

SleuthSayers: Loss and Gratitude: by Travis Richardson On May 23 crime fiction lost an angel when author and short story advocate Sandra Seamans passed away. For short st...

SleuthSayers: A H8ful Play by John M. Floyd

 SleuthSayers: A H8ful Play: by John M. Floyd I just finished writing a mystery/western short story which is set almost entirely on a stagecoach in Arizona in the ea...

Guest Post: Lisa de Nikolits on Writing Short Stories

Please welcome one of our newest members to the blog today, Lisa de Nikolits. Her short story, “Fire Drill” appears in the soon to be released anthology, The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories Of Mystery & Suspense published by Superior Shores Press.

I’ve always believed we were born poets, novelists or short story writers. This sweeping statement may be met with some scepticism but I’m sticking to my guns! I’ve tried my hand at all three forms and I admit I’m a natural-born novelist.

I write long, I can’t help it! I’ve written dozens of short stories and here are a few of them that have made it into publication. Flash fiction in the Jellyfish review, Ms. Pacman Don’t Love Me No More in PAC’N HEAT (a Ms. Pacman-inspired noir anthology edited and published by A.G. Pasquella), Trouble Times in Thirteen O’Clock (the Mesdames of Mayhem), Mad Dog and the Sea Dragon in Thirteen Claws, Hit Me With your Pet Shark (forthcoming in In The Key of Thirteen, Fall 2019, The Mesdames of Mayhem). Tour Guide was published in the Sisters in Crime anthology, The Whole She-Bang 3, Postscripts to Darkness featured Eve Ago about an obese art instalation public figure later eaten by her ravenous siblings and, most recently, there’s Fire Drill in The Best Laid Plans (forthcoming by Superior Shores Press on 18th June).

All of these are mystery short stories, noir suspense thrillers and they’ve all proven immensely helpful, not only for the wonderful pleasure of being published in an anthology but for sowing the seeds for novels. And if not the exact story, then at the very least, the characters. I’m a meticulous bookkeeper when it comes to characters, plot and storylines. And if I lose track of one – you know that horrible feeling of ‘where is that idea, I knew I wrote it down somewhere’ and you can’t rest until you find it again? Well, that’s me! And I mine each character, plot and storyline until I’ve wrung them dry.

When it comes to short stories, I respond best to calls for submissions, I love working towards a goal, with a theme in mind.

When Judy Penz Sheluk put out the call for The Best Laid Plans, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I’m a freelance magazine designer by day and I was called into a rather arduous meeting about a year ago. Let’s just say that the meeting wasn’t going too well and less than kind thoughts were milling around my brain, thoughts that only stepped up in tempo when the fire alarm sounded and my boss refused to let me leave. I was forced to sit there, bludgeoned by the noise and my boss was in my face, way too up close and personal. As we left via the stairwell, we were the only two people left in the building, high up in the empty stairwell, I thought “well, imagine if…”  

I immediately wrote down my observations of the meeting, how I had felt, how the sound had felt, almost a physical pounding. A character had been floating about in my brain and Judy’s call created the perfect stage for the marriage of my experience and this character, giving the story a focus and a theme.

Anyway, I’m really happy to have joined the Short Mystery Writers Society and I look forward to reading a bunch of other people’s stories and hopefully to contributing to more anthologies. Anthologies and groups like this are a great way to learn about new writers  and make new friends and I’m very glad to be part of the Short Mystery Writers Society!

Lisa de Nikolits ©2019
Photo by Bradford Dunlop


Lisa de Nikolits is the award-winning author of eight novels: The Hungry Mirror, West of Wawa, A Glittering Chaos, The Witchdoctor’s Bones, Between The Cracks She Fell, The Nearly Girl, No Fury Like That, and Rotten PeachesNo Fury Like That was published in Italian in 2019 by Edizione Le Assassine under the title Una furia dell’altro mondo
Her ninth novel, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution, is also scheduled to be published in 2019 by Inanna Publications.  Her short fiction and poetry have also been published in various anthologies and journals across the country. She is a member of the Mesdames of Mayhem, the Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and the International Thriller Writers.  Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits came to Canada in 2000. She lives and writes in Toronto.