Thursday, June 26, 2014

Larissa Reinhart's Novel Debuts!

Larissa Reinhart writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery series, about a Southern artist, for Henery Press. Previously, Cherry appeared in three novels, Portrait of a Dead Guy, Still Life in Brunswick Stew, and Hijack in Abstract (and novella in Heartache Motel). This week, Death in Perspective debuts. I met Larissa at Malice. Recently, she sent me a postcard from her trip to Japan.  She has taught English in Japan and high school history in the United States. She lives with her husband, daughters (adopted from China), and assorted pets in Georgia. With LynDeeWalker, she organized the Mystery Minions on Facebook. Congratulations!

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Lovely Surprise

Barbara Carnal

I received a lovely surprise from a student who took my short stories workshop at the S.C. Book Festival. As class exercises, the students wrote and volunteers read some six-word and six-sentence stories. Barbara Carnal, whose website is, wrote a delightful six-sentence story with a twist at the end. On Saturday, before my panel, she met me at the door, thanked me, and placed an oversized envelope in my hand. Later, when I opened it, I discovered she had bound and illustrated her story, “A Surprise for Minnie,” in a small book. Thanks, Barbara, for this wonderful, thoughtful gift!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Teaching at the S.C. Book Festival

At this year’s South Carolina Book Festival, I had the remarkable opportunity of teaching a class about writing and submitting short stories.

Since noted short story writer Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature last year, short fiction markets have received renewed interest and attention.

I used exercises to allow my class of thirty students to complete two (very short) stories, one just six words and the other six sentences.

They produced some amazing results. Here are pictures from the class. I mentioned a number of print and online journals, and shared my story structure and submission tracking charts.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Guest Reader at Smoke Long Quarterly

This week, I have the pleasure of serving as the Guest Reader for SmokeLong Quarterly, an online journal that features flash fiction up to 1000 words. I received this opportunity after meeting and interviewing writers Art Taylor and his wife Tara Laskowski, an editor with SmokeLong. The name SmokeLong comes from a Chinese saying about a story being as long as a good smoke. I'll read all the submissions made this week, select one I recommend for publication, and interview the story's author. If you would be interested in submitting, please check out the information about the guidelines and submissions.

Monday, June 2, 2014

More Views from the 2014 S.C. Book Festival

Amy Carol Reeves, Cathy Pickens, Megan Shepherd, Bruce Holsinger

Cathy Pickens moderated two excellent panels. One featured three historical novelists, Bruce Holsinger (his A Burnable Book considered Chaucer and John Gower’s relationship), Amy Carol Reeves (her  YA series was based on Jack the Ripper), and Megan Shepherd (her gothic YA novels stemmed from The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). The other consisted of authors whose work contained paranormal elements: Sonja Condit (her Starter House was haunted by a child ghost), Nina de Gramont (her YA novels had gothic elements), and Jason Mott (his The Returned inspired the TV series Resurrection).

Cathy Pickens, Sonja Condit, Jason Mott, Nina de Gramont