After dealing with an online editor who arbitrarily changed the title and format of a another short story of mine, I found Mozark Press editor Linda Fisher a professional gem, so when she contacted me last summer about a new anthology, I had no trepidation about submitting a new short story to her. That is, until I read the title, A Shaker of Margaritas: Cougars on the Prowl, the topic of the new stories—cougars—older women hunting for younger male partners.
I’m a crime writer, so my short story in A Shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas, featured older women who solved a crime. It wasn’t much of a stretch since many of my main characters are older women (except for my current WIP, oddly enough). After quaking in my boots for a week, I realized that the volume called for romance, and I spent a few weeks writing an atypical story (for me) without crime, no victims allowed, and my first purely romantic short story.
After editing and revising, I called upon the advice of Polly Iyer, who I’ve interviewed here on WWK and who contended for the Daphne Du Maurier Award. Polly knows how to write romance and she edited and advised me. I found that writing romance calls for the use of Deep POV, which reveals the main character’s emotional orientation, and visceral anticipation and response, whereas crime writing relies much more on intellectual observation and internal dialogue.
The result of Ms. Fisher’s request and Polly’s coaching produced, “Rock the Cradle,” my short story in A Shaker of Margaritas: Cougars on the Prowl, which will be released next month. Here is a sample of a few of the stories in this volume. I hope you enjoy it and when released, I’ll send a copy to one of today’s commenters.
- Will the widow in a new job fall for her boss, who just happened to be a student she tutored many years ago?
- A photographer engages in phone repartee with a star’s manager, but in person she finds that he is a much younger man catching her by surprise.
- After her husband leaves her for a younger woman, a recent divorcée spends time with a younger man. Can she find love, or does she find a new identity?
- A widow accepts an invitation from an old beau and while on the date, she meets a much younger man who is the lead singer in a famous rock band. Will she let their age difference dissuade her from enjoying the moment?
- A widow coaches her newly divorced friend in the art of dating. The rules she developed fall by the wayside when her star pupil teaches her a few lessons.