Writing in Shorts-Neil Plakcy

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This is the seventh of fourteen interviews to celebrate Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime

I’ve know Neil for at least a decade. We first met via SleuthFest. At the time, he was the chair/organizer. Ten years later and I’ve just learned the mnemonic for his name. Plakcy rhymes with taxi. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve messed up his name. Forgive me Neil. I hate to blunder someone’s name as I’ve had both my first and last names messed up more times than I can count. Rachel, Rockel, Welch, Reeze, Rays, and so many other combinations. FTR- Reyes is pronounced ray-iz.

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Neil Plakcy has written or edited over three dozen novels and short stories in mystery, romance and erotica.To research his Angus Green FBI thrillers, he participated in the FBI’s sixteen-week citizen’s academy, practiced at a shooting range, and visited numerous gay bars in Fort Lauderdale. “Seriously, it was research.”, he says. Neil knows how to pick some fun research – Bars in South Florida, Surfing in Hawaii, and Golden Retrievers.

When and why did you begin writing “in shorts”? Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

I began writing short stories when I was a teenager—but didn’t have my first one published until I was at least a decade older. Interestingly enough, it was a short piece of erotica called “The Cop Who Caught Me” and I’ve been writing about cops and sex ever since!

What is your favorite short story anthology beside the Happy Homicide series?

I’m quite partial to the city noir series published by Akashic Books. I’ve read a number of them – including, of course, Miami Noir.

I love the noir series, too.

As an author, what has been your most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

I attended the Left Coast Crime fan conference in Kona, Hawaii, back in 2009, and at the banquet on the last afternoon I was fortunate to win their Lefty Award for best police procedural for Mahu Surfer, my second mystery. I was so excited I ran off to call people and then make social media posts—completely forgetting I had an author discussion to do! Fortunately the sun had come out after a few days of rain and everyone was outside enjoying it so no one noticed.

What is your favorite vacation spot to be in shorts? (I want you to say Miami, but no pressure. wink)

Well, since I’ve been living in the Miami area for over thirty years, I’m going to say Sanibel—totally relaxing, and fun for shell-gathering.

Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

Mine is macaroni with butter and some grated cheese sprinkled on top. What I used to eat as a kid for lunch when I was home sick from school—and it’s still very comforting!

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I still have six interviews to go. So, check back weekly.   

Don’t forget reviews help other people find the Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime anthology.

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Writing in Shorts-Vered Ehsani

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This is the sixth of fourteen interviews to celebrate Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime

I’ve met most of my interview authors in person at some point and time. But Vered Ehsani is a hard woman to get to. Why, you may ask? She lives in KENYA!  Yes, the Kenya that is in Africa. (This is her home and the critters that roam it. Ummm, hyena!) Even though, I would love to visit such a majestic place, sadly, airfare and vacation time do not permit it. I and you will have to make-do with reading about it via Vered’s lens. She writes a paranormal detective series that is ‘Jane Austen meets Lara Croft’ and ‘African myth meets Victorian manners’.

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When and why did you begin writing “in shorts”? Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

I use shorts to understand the backstory of a character, or to explore an idea for the next book. In some ways, it’s easier than a novel, and certainly quicker.

What is your favorite short story anthology beside the Happy Homicide series?

Christmas Lites – all the proceeds go to support victims of domestic violence.

As an author, what has been your most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

I published my first book in the Society for Paranormals series, believing my editor had done her job. She hadn’t, and there were a number of typos and issues which reviewers were quick to point out. I had to re-do the editing.

What is your favorite vacation spot to be in shorts? (I want you to say Miami, but no pressure. wink)

Mombasa, Kenya – I live in Nairobi, so going to Miami isn’t a great option for a long weekend!

Do an image search for Mombasa beach! You may want to start your trip saving now. It looks gorgeous. Very tropical paradise feeling.

Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

It’s not a food but a beverage: tea. Copious amounts of tea. My favorite is Lady Grey, because I am above all things a lady… except when I’m not, in which case I reach for White Tea. I prefer to use whole leaf, as the bagged tea is really whatever can swept off the factory floor.

 Do you use honey, sugar, cream?  

I absolutely never add honey, sugar or cream. These additives would completely distort or destroy the subtle tastes inherent in that delightful beverage.

Do you drink it with a favorite treat?  

While a biscuit is always a lovely addition to tea time, I usually don’t indulge as a pot of tea is a treat all on its own.

Vered’s short story in Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime is A Death in Customs: The Cozy Tea Shoppe Mystery Series. Give it and all the other stories a read. Quick, fun, light, and plenty of laughs.

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Please follow Vered on her various social media platforms

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& ask her a question about Kenya in the comment section below.