If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our July author interviews: Ellen Byerrum (7/5), Day of the Dark anthology authors (7/12 and 7/19), and Nancy Cole Silverman (7/26).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in July: 7/1--Fran Stewart, and 7/8--Nancy Cole Silverman. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 7/15--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/22--Kait Carson, and 7/29--E. B. Davis.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.”

In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on October, 18, 2017. Look for the interview by E. B. Davis here on that date!

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WRITING THE MYSTERY SHORT STORY: G.M. MALLIET'S ANSWERS TO OUR SURVEY



Photo by Joe Henson
In preparing this series, I solicited answers to ten survey questions from members of the Writers Who Kill blog and authors who are well-known for their wonderful mystery short stories. These authors have been so generous, detailed, and insightful in sharing their views and providing excellent information that I wanted the WWK readers to have the full benefit of their replies.

Today, G. M. Malliet, author of the St. Just and Max Tudor novels, offers her perspective.


G.M. Malliet did post-graduate work at Oxford University after earning a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge, the setting for her earlier series, the St. Just mysteries.


Raised in a military family, she spent her childhood in Alaska, Colorado, New Mexico, and Hawaii and has lived in places ranging from Japan to Europe, but she most enjoyed living in the U.K. She and her husband now live in the Washington, D.C. area, but often visit Europe.

She writes full time every day but Sunday, and is currently writing a screenplay in addition to her mystery novels and short stories. She changes her mind frequently about who would be the best actor to portray St. Just or Max Tudor. Currently, Hugh Grant for Max Tudor is tied with Colin Firth and Rufus Sewell. She feels Jude Law would make a perfect DCI Cotton (Max's crime-solving sidekick).

Gin’s third Max Tudor novel, Pagan Spring, has just been published. She has two short stories that will be published soon. In “Home for the Holidays” (to appear in January’s Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine), a routine break-in is anything but - when it ends in murder. In “Yuletide” (to appear in the holiday issue of the Strand Magazine), a French amateur sleuth vacationing in a small English village realizes death never breaks for the holidays. 

Gin, thank you for being with us and taking the time to answer the survey questions.


How has being part of a short story writing community influenced your writing?

My first published fiction credit was for a short story I submitted to the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, a professional association for mystery writers, male and female. Acceptance into the anthology was just the sort of reinforcement I needed at the time, to keep me going.

What is your thought process when you submit or select stores for a themed anthology?

I try to avoid the obvious. For a holiday mystery anthology for example, you have to figure nearly everyone is going to write a Christmas or Hanukkah story.

When do you know an idea is suited for a short story instead of a longer work?

When the ending is a "gimmick," a sort of one-off solution that couldn't be sustained by a longer narrative arc.


Have you written flash fiction? What do you think of flash fiction as a literary form?

I really can't write flash. I can barely write short.

How many characters can be in a short story?

One to five or six. And two of those should be a couple or a team of some sort, to help the reader keep everyone sorted.

How long have you been writing short stories?

All my life, beginning age five or six. I was inspired by my best friend, a little girl with literary aspirations. We wrote and "published" illustrated children's stories. Our parents were our only audience as I recall. Some things never change.


What is good/bad about the current short story market?

Not enough print magazines.

Should an unpublished author self-publish short stories?

Never say never, but it's risky. A lot of what gets published online gets stolen from online and you need a team of lawyers on call to track down the pirates.

The reason I write short stories is:

To cleanse the palate after a long slog of writing a novel. I just handed in the fourth Max Tudor book and all the while I was writing it new ideas, unsuitable for the series, kept popping into my head. You have to channel the extraneous stuff somewhere. The short story is ideal for that.

The most important aspect of writing a mystery short story is:

Entertaining and surprising the reader.

Again, thanks for joining us and providing us with such terrific insight, Gin. Best wishes for your continuing success.

7 comments:

Sarah Henning said...

Welcome to the WWK, Gin! Super interesting answers and your books sound great.

Gloria Alden said...

Good to see you here, Gin. I loved your first two books, but haven't gotten around to getting the others, but after reading this interview, I'm looking forward to reading the next ones, too.

GM Malliet said...

Hello, and thanks for hosting me here!

Shari Randall said...

Hi Gin! Thank you for stopping by. I adore the Max Tudor books and am looking forward to the next. Also, it will be fun to look for your short stories. The Chesapeake Chapter of SINC is wonderful.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Gin, thank you for being with us and for participating in our survey. Best wishes on all your writing projects!

Yolanda Renee said...

I will be checking out those shorts as I plan a selection of them to go along with my series. Great post, Gin, thanks for sharing!

Kara Cerise said...

Thank you for the good information, Gin! I will keep in mind your advice about making two characters in a short story a couple or team to help the reader keep the characters sorted out. Best wishes on all your projects.