by Paula Gail Benson
Today’s message builds on yesterday’s post by Debra H. Goldstein. The anthologies organized and published by the online Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime have had a wonderful and pervasive influence not only in nurturing both new and established authors, but also in encouraging more people to read and try their hands at the craft of short stories. The recently released Hook, Line, and Sinker is the seventh in the series and features twenty-three stories, including three by Writers Who Kill (WWK) partners Kait Carson, Mary Dutta, and KM Rockwood. In addition to Debra H. Goldstein’s (along with Carol L. Wright’s) work in organizing the endeavor, Guppy President Susan Van Kirk’s writing the introduction, and James M. Jackson’s Wolf’s Echo Press being the publisher, WWK partners can claim some serious bragging rights in this volume.
Looking at the history of series titles, the members who wrote the introductions, and the editors who worked with the authors to make the stories exceptional, one realizes the great scope of talent that has gone into producing these anthologies.
Here’s the list:
Fish Tales (2011), introduced by Chris Roerdan and edited by Ramona DeFelice Long
Fish Nets (2013), introduced by Kaye George and edited by Ramona DeFelice Long
Fish or Cut Bait (2015), introduced by Michelle Drier and edited by Ramona DeFelice Long
Fish Out of Water (2017), introduced by James M. Jackson and edited by Ramona DeFelice Long
Fishy Business (2019), introduced by Debra H. Goldstein and edited by Linda Rodriguez
The Fish That Got Away (2021), introduced by Susan Van Kirk and edited by Linda Rodriguez
Hook, Line, and Sinker (2023), introduced by Susan Van Kirk and edited by Emily P.W. Murphy
Check out the contents of these volumes and you’ll find familiar names: authors who have written successful mystery series, received awards, and served in distinguished capacities among numerous writing organizations. Many have credited being in the Guppy Chapter as a motivating experience. Thankfully, many also remain as Guppies and are generous in offering advice and information to other members.
My story, “The Train Is On The Tracks,” appears in Fish or Cut Bait. While it was not my first published story, it represented a unique opportunity in many respects.
First, we received feedback from the anonymous judges who made the selections. For that volume, there were three judges: one very complimentary, one very negative, and one right in the middle. Because my story was loosely based on an incident that happened at my work, I found it amusing that the negative judge criticized it as something that could never happen.
Hook, Line, and Sinker.
Why not start your new year right by reading a short story a day? Here’s the group of authors you’ll find in Hook, Line, and Sinker:
C.N. Bucholtz, Lida Bushloper, Susan Daly, Steve Shrott, Kait Carson, Judith Carlough, Sandra Benson, Sally Milliken, Wrona Gall, M.R. Dimond, Mary Dutta, Kim Keeline, Sharon Taft, Merrilee Robson, Lisa Ann Rothstein, KM Rockwood, Frances Stratford, Jane Limprecht, Vinnie Hansen, Ann Michelle Harris, A.W. Powers, Kate Fellowes, and M.A. Monnin