Writing in Shorts– Christina Freeburn

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This is interview 11 of 14 celebrating the authors of Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime, a food-themed short story anthology.

Christina Freeburn started jotting down stories on her bus commute to high school and never stopped. The Scrap This Mystery series* is a mix of crafty and crime, bringing together her love of mysteries and scrapbooking. Her New Beginnings series is an inspirational romantic suspense featuring heroines and heroes willing to risk their lives to find hope, promise and a future for those struggling in a world that’s set against them.

*This series is with Henery Press. I love their cover designs! 

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

I started writing shorts years ago when I first decided I wanted to write for publication. Writing a novel seemed so daunting so I decided to start with short stories to prove to myself that I could finish a story. I find it harder to write short stories than full-length novels because I’m a rambler when I write a first draft and I find it harder to cut the word count down on a short than a novel. Concise is something I have to actively work on doing rather than a just natural way of writing for me.

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

The Chesapeake Crimes collections.

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

Oh my, how I try to forget. It was during an online chat and someone had asked me what consumes most of my time when a book is released. The questions were coming fast so I was answering quickly so I didn’t ignore anyone’s question, and in my haste to answer: “What consumes most of your time when you release a book?”, I typed “Porno.” The correct answer, and what I intended to say, was Promo. From then on if an answer to question is promotion, I now make it a point to type out the complete word.

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

Miami is on our list of places we want to visit but haven’t had the pleasure yet, so I’ll have to say Disney World as that’s the closest we’ve been to Miami.

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

My favorite comfort food is chocolate chip cookies right out of the over…well, not quite right after taking them out of the oven, more like a few minutes later so I don’t burn my mouth.

Find out more about Christina and follow her on these site.

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Writing in Shorts– Teresa Trent

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Teresa Trent writes the Pecan Bayou Series and is debuting the Piney Woods Series this month. Being a fan of the Andy Griffith Show and Murder She Wrote she loves creating quirky small towns and colorful characters.

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This is interview ten of fourteen celebrating the authors in the Happy Homicides 6: Cook Up Crime short story anthology.

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

I’ve been writing short stories for years. I am always involved in a novel project so stopping to write something that has to be so concise is a good way for me to keep sharp. I’ve been with Happy Homicides since the first anthology. I had written six Pecan Bayou books and decided, that’s it. I’ll move on to a new series, because how much crime can center around a tiny town in Texas? * Still though, I missed the characters. Sounds silly, right? But those families I created are my family. When Joanna Campbell Slan came along with the idea to do an anthology creating short stories and novellas featuring our most known characters I loved the idea. Betsy and her crew came back to life, and in the process, I found I couldn’t give them up. My seventh book in the series, Till Dirt Do Us Part came out in 2017 and there’s another on the schedule for this year!

* The Cabot Cove syndrome!

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

It is a horror anthology. Yes, I have a dark side. Dark Screams Volume 7 had a fabulous story titled A Monster Comes to Ashdown Forest which was about Christopher Robin, now an old man and the characters in the 100 Acre Wood were monsters. All I can say is watch out for Tigger.

 

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

I am a hybrid author, which means some books I independently publish and others I publish through an agent and a publisher. I started out self-publishing and learned the hard way to hire an editor on my first book. One thing you find out as an author is no matter how many times you read and edit, there is a mistake in it. I re-edited my first book several times and I had a tough time stopping!

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

Forgive me, but I’m from Texas. I live close to Galveston, so go there a lot. I also love Panama City Beach and I honeymooned in the Keys

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

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings. My mother and grandmother were from North Carolina and they had a way with biscuit dough!

Teresa Trent is a prolific author. I urge you sign up for her newsletter and follow her on her social media to keep up with her. 

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Check back next week ~~

There are four more interviews in this series. 

 

 

Writing in Shorts– Micki Browning

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Micki in 2016. She is an interesting person and very good writer. I urge you to read anything you can by her. Not only her latest release Beached, but also her short story “F is for Fruitcake”, in the Happy Homicides 6 anthology.

Micki Browning worked in municipal law enforcement for more than two decades, retiring as a division commander. Now a full-time writer, she won the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence and the Royal Palm Literary Award for her debut mystery, ADRIFT. BEACHED, the second Mer Cavallo Mystery launches January 10th, 2018.

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This is interview nine of fourteen celebrating the authors of Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime.

 

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

Writing short stories isn’t so much a matter of it being harder or easier than writing a novel, it’s just different—and quicker! My first fiction credit was a short story. I had been working on a novel, and the short story was a bit of a lark (the story was based on a writing prompt and I just ran with it). Short story writing is a great way for budding authors to build their resume. The shorter format also provides an opportunity to experiment with story, voice, point of view, and character without investing the time required to complete a novel. I find myself turning to short stories when I’m on vacation or need to work out a plot point on my novel-in-progress. Changing formats always seems to break something loose in my mind.

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

I’m partial to Dangerous Women.  It contains stories by Diana Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, Lev Grossman, George R.R. Martin (who also is credited with editing the anthology), and many more. As the title suggests, there are no shrinking violets in its pages. But you can’t go wrong with any of the “Best Of” anthologies and many authors now have their own collections of shorts.

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

Oh boy. I don’t usually write stories that contain recipes. That said, my Mer Cavallo Mystery series is set in the Florida Keys, and nothing is more representative of the Keys than Key lime pie. As part of my promotional materials, I printed up postcards that show the cover of Adrift on the front and my Key lime pie recipe on the back. I can’t tell you how many people proofread that copy, but darn if it doesn’t say “better” instead of “butter” in the list of ingredients for the crust. A mere thousand postcards later, I’m hoping most people used ready-made pie crusts….

Micki, your next short story should be “Betty Botter’s Better Butter”.

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

The Florida Keys! I love being able to wear shorts any day of the year—and it’s close enough to Miami for a fabulous daytrip. When I moved to the Keys from Colorado, I knew I was going to have to adjust to a more laid-back lifestyle, but I hadn’t given much thought to how that was going to impact my wardrobe choices. Shorts, flip-flops, wetsuits… ah, paradise!

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

I have a confession. I love fruitcake–the darker and spicier the better. Brew a bracing cup of black tea to go with it, and all is well in my world.

Please visit and connect with Micki Browning via her social media.

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Please check back next week for another great author & interview. Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime is available on kindle for $3.99 or free if you are an unlimited member. Read Micki’s short story “F is for Fruitcake” along with 14 other food-themed stories including mine “Fish Fried”.

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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!

Follow Neil on his social media:

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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- Terry Ambrose

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I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. Is there any pumpkin pie left? My favorite Thanksgiving leftover is turkey. I love a simple turkey sandwich the day after and the day after that, too. Here I am talking about food, again. Good thing this series of interviews is with the authors of Cooking up Crime!

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

My guest today is Terry Ambrose. His story in the anthology is titled Recipe for Murder and is part of his Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series. Terry has written more than a dozen books, several of which have been award finalists. In 2014, his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. In a former life, he ran skip traces and collected on deadbeats. That gave him great material for his stories and also taught him “liars come from all walks of life”. He is always watching out for scams. If you follow his blog & social media (links at the end of the interview) you will benefit from his vigilance.

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

For years I only wrote full-length novels. I loved the complexity of piecing together a complex plot, building characters, and finding ways to weave it all together. My first short endeavor was a story written for an anthology I organized to benefit Read Aloud America, an organization that promotes literacy in Hawai’i. I found the process of writing shorter to be equally challenging and have enjoyed writing “in shorts” ever since.

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

I’d have to say “Paradise, Passion, Murder: 10 Tales of Mystery from Hawai’i.” Okay, I’m prejudiced because I organized it, but also I loved the stories about Hawai’i from the other authors.

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

Leaving out the typos that create words of the unmentionable variety, I’d have to say it occurred while I was talking to an local editor in Carlsbad, CA. The book in which the gaffe occurred is License to Lie and is set in Carlsbad. An interstate freeway runs north-south through Carlsbad. In one of the closing scenes, my protagonists were on their way to meet the antagonist at an outlet mall, which is a very public place. They drove south, took the freeway exit, and drove over the freeway to the mall.

At a professional meeting for writers and publishers, a local editor came up to me and told me he liked the book, but said there was one problem with that scene. The road to the mall doesn’t go over the freeway, it goes under. Ugh.

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

Sorry, but not Miami—Kaua’i. I love the climate, the smaller atmosphere, and it’s the one place where I feel truly centered. Okay, maybe that’s a little too touchy-feely for some people.

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

Hmmm…tough choice. If we’re going with cookies as comfort food, then probably Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons. If we’re talking about something halfway nutritious, then it would be chicken pot pie—but it has to be gluten-free since I’m one of those people with Celiac disease and am gluten intolerant. And yes, we do have a killer chicken pot pie recipe. Yay!

Yum! My family eats a lot of gluten free foods due to gluten intolerance. I will be trying out the GF recipes Terry has on his website. Enough to fill a cookbook. Hey, there’s an idea Terry. Maybe that will be your next publishing adventure?

Follow Terry Ambrose on these social media platforms.

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Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime has a bonus pdf of recipes & crafts. Instructions on how to access the bonus file are in the book. FYI-If you are an amazon prime member the book is free! Leave a review once you’ve read a few of the stories in the anthology. It helps other readers discover us.

Writing in Shorts- Joanna Campbell Slan

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

Introducing the fabulous Joanna Campbell Slan. She is the national bestselling and award-winning author of more than 30 books. RT Reviews has called Joanna Campbell Slan “one of mystery’s rising stars.” In her work, Joanna likes to explore mysteries of the heart.

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I have know Joanna for over a decade and I’ve interviewed her before. So, you’d think I’d have nothing new to learn about her. Wrong. Lemon Poke Cake. I didn’t know that was a thing. I thought it was a typo for Lemon Poppy. But Joanna would never make a typo like that. She is a sharp editor and grammarian. She is also a crafter. Scrapbooks, miniatures, needle crafts, zentangle, and more. She even has has a coloring pages for grown-ups group you can join. Always working on a new project, I wish I had a smidgen of her energy and focus.

Onto the interview–

When and why did you begin writing “in shorts?”

Traditional publishers always had a long interval between books, and I realized that during that interval I was losing my readers’ attention. I figured that short stories could bridge the gap. I now have about 50 short stories that go with various series.

Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

It depends on the short story and on the book. In some ways, a full-length book actually feels easier because you have more room to develop a plot. But that also makes it harder, because there’s more material to deal with. In some ways, a short story is easy because you have to limit the number of characters, scenes, and so on. But that also makes it harder, because you have to be so economical with what you write.

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

I remember when I was growing up, my parents had a tattered copy of the Norton Anthology of English Literature. I loved that book! Opening it was like opening the door to another world. So many authors, each with such a different world view, and all available to me because I could read.

I have to agree that Norton has amazing anthologies. And I love the thinness of the pages. 

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

I think it was the time the Barnes & Noble manager announced, “We have a special guest in our store today. Joanna Campbell Slan is the author of the Kinky Lowenstein Scrap and Crap Series.” I laughed until I thought I’d fall face first into the carpet.

Oh, Kinky! You will never be Kiki again.

What is your favorite spot to be in shorts?

On the beach in Florida. I was born in Jacksonville, and we live on Jupiter Island, so Florida is my happy place, always and forever.

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

Sadly, my list of comfort food is long. (Too long.) Snickers Bars, Malbec wine, mashed potatoes, homemade vegetable soup, chocolate chip cookies, Wesleydale cheese, Gouda cheese, fresh cherries, and lemon poke cake are probably somewhere at the top of the list.

Do yourself a favor and follow Joanna on your social media platform of choice. She has tons of giveaways, contests, and freebies. 

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Join her community of readers for fun, special offers, contests, and more.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your long weekend of family, friends, and food. Psst… a long weekend is a great time for reading and also a wonderful excuse to get away from the house guests. 

Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime is just a download away.  

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Writing in Shorts-Amy Vansant

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When I asked Amy for a short biography, this is what she sent me.– Amy Vansant specializes in fun, comedic reads about accident prone, easily distracted women with questionable taste in men. So, autobiographies, mostly. Currently, she is a nerd and Labradoodle mommy who works at home with her goofy husband.

Fun-loving is the perfect one-word (Okay, it is actually two words with a hyphen cheater.) descriptor for her. Just look at her author photo. And, her books keep to the punny theme. I love “kilty” as guilty. (I wish I’d thought of it!) She writes several series and crosses genres. The Pineapple Port series (5 titles ) is in the cozy vein. The Kilty series is romantic suspense. I love the tag line Romance. Suspense. Haggis. She also has an urban fantasy series and a romantic comedy series. This lady never stops writing stories that must be why her answers to my interview questions were short and sweet. She had to get back to the keyboard.

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

When I was asked to join the Happy Homicide series! It’s harder to write short stories for me, because I need to introduce the characters, make them memorable, introduce a good mystery and have it solved satisfactorily with enough twists and turns all in a few thousand words. That’s tough.

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

I guess I could say Moms are Nuts because it is a story anthology I put together with other humorists a few years back.

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

The funniest thing that happened recently – I was setting up a promotion for another author and realized I’d posted an embarrassing typo for his book “BONE MAKER” – I’d typed “BONER MAKER” Had me crying laughing… talk about a totally different book!! Luckily it hadn’t gone live yet and I was able to fix it.

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

Miami is a favorite for the culture and food  – plus any island. I’m rarely happier than when I’m on a Caribbean Island!

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

Pasta, butter and cheese. I used to have it every day for lunch in college – turns out you can’t have that meal every day as an adult and still be able to fit through doors…

Please check out Amy Vansant’s website and other social media. You will be assured a laugh, a giggle, and maybe even a ROFLOL.

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This is interview 2 of 14 highlighting the authors of Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime. Keep coming back to Cozy in Miami to get to know the other authors in this great short story anthology.

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Writing in Shorts-Vincent H. O’Neil

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

This is the picture of Vincent H. O’Neil that appears on his books and all offical author-y things.

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Doesn’t he look respectable, polished, and sophisticated?

That is not the Vincent I know. I mean he does look like that when he wears a suit and tie. The Vincent I know is named “Vinny”. Vinny wears cargo shorts and a t-shirt (with a movie or pop-culture theme). Vinny sits on the lobby couch at SleuthFest and tells you side-splittingly hilarious antidotes that make you spit your coffee onto your precious manuscript that is bleeding in red slashes and comments from an agent/editor. Vinny will always make you forget your woes with a joke and a dash of sarcasm. So, it is with great honor that I present you Vincent “Vinny” H. O’Neil, the Malice Award-winning author of the Frank Cole mysteries and the theater-themed mystery Death Troupe. Writing as Henry V. O’Neil, he recently completed a five-novel military science fiction series with HarperCollins.

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

I absolutely love the short story format. I’ve written long novels, regular-sized novels, novellas, and short stories, and while each has its own appeal, I started out writing short stories and always come back to them.

There’s a discipline to everything in short stories, from the plotting to the word choices, that really makes me focus on what I’m doing. I’ve also found that my editing of draft short stories is much more precise than it is for longer works, no doubt because the word count is more manageable.

Right now I’m working on a fantasy piece that’s a little longer than my usual short story (this one’s topping 13,000 words) but I’m taking the time to dissect each part. It’s fun to make sure I’ve taken advantage of all the opportunities presented by the characters, the dialogue, and the plot.

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

Well, since you ruled out Happy Homicides, there’s another one that’s a little closer to home here in Rhode Island. Level Best Books has an annual mystery anthology that is really superb. The subtitle for the series is “Best New England Crime Stories” and the title each year reflects something indicative of the region. For example, the year I got a story into that series the anthology was called “Quarry” and the cover featured a marvelous picture of a fine piece of New England stone. Although many of the stories are based in the northeast, the requirement is that either the tale or the author have a connection to the area. They’re really worth checking out.

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

For this answer, I’m gonna go with a typo—but it really is embarrassing.

In my Frank Cole mystery series, the main character is down on his luck and recently relocated to the town of Exile in the Florida Panhandle. He’s quite intelligent, and puts food on the table by doing

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Although he does everything from hunting down important court documents to online background checks, his main role is fact-checking for law firms and private investigators. In the third book, he’s describing himself as a fact-checker and somehow I fat-fingered that into “fakt-checker”.

You can be forgiven for misspelling a lot of words, but in the context of my book the irony of this mistake is just deadly. Luckily someone caught it before the book was released.

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

Of course it’s Miami! During our beautiful Rhode Island winters, I frequently check the temperature in Miami just to make sure that sandy beaches and palm trees really are only an airplane flight away. I’ve also spent a fair amount of time in the Panhandle (and set the Frank Cole mysteries there) so Panama City, Destin, and Fort Walton Beach are all great places for shorts. Oh, and the beaches there are white because they’re not made of sand—it’s finely ground quartz left over from an ice age.

I also lived in Panama for two years while serving in the army, and once I acclimated (it’s really hot down there) I grew to love the scenery and the culture and the Canal. It’s a fantastic place to wear shorts, and if you get the chance to go it’s well worth it.

 

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

Although I grew up in New England, I’ve lived in many different parts of the United States including the south. I deeply enjoy chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy, and a nice tall glass of sweet tea.

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Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime is on sale for .99 cents until Nov. 5th and just $ 2.99 after that. Free for Kindle Unlimited members. There is a bonus pdf of recipes & crafts with each purchase of the e-book. Instructions on how to claim your bonus are on the last page of the 303 paged anthology.

Please follow Vincent on his facebook page.

Join us next week for another interview with one of the Happy Homicides authors.

Food, Crime, & Crafts!

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Drum roll, please!

I have a new release!

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It is a short story anthology and I am one of 15 award winning authors in it. You will note the 6 after Happy Homicides. This is volume six of a very successful series. Each anthology has a theme. Sometimes it is a holiday, but this time it is FOOD!  Each of the fifteen stories has a food element to it. There is also a bonus pdf file of recipes and crafts. (Instructions on how to get the bonus are on the last page of the anthology.) You will want the book and the bonus. My story features my Southern-Latina character, Lilly Hardin Hernandez. If you are one of my close friends you might have been a beta reader for my unpublished novel, Pinche Guey which is her series. My recipe in the bonus is for Southern Caviar, a favorite dish of my to take to potlucks and barbecues.

Happy Homicides 6: Cooking up Crime is on sale for .99 until Nov. 5th. Get it while it’s HOT!

To promote this release there is also a gift basket being raffled.

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Win a Cook’s Dream Basket at http://gvwy.io/fheu0li

I hope that you will take advantage of these promotions. This series and especially volume 6 is great. It has been an honor to be included. These authors are seasoned storytellers. You will enjoy each and every one of these 15 stories. Please leave a review on Amazon and/or GoodReads so that others might find the anthology.

Look back here for interviews with each of the authors over the next weeks and months.

To Live & Write in FLA– Joanna Campbell Slan

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I have known Joanna Campbell Slan for almost ten years. We met at SleuthFest in 2006. She was folding origami while we waited in the audience for the panel to begin. Whenever I think of her, the picture of a woman always making something pops into my mind. Creative is not a strong enough adjective to describe Joanna’s skills and talents. Not only is she a well-known scrapbook aficionado and miniaturist, but she weaves amazing plots. I love the Kiki Lowenstien series, now at book twelve. Kiki is a complex woman of strength, a lot like the author. Joanna has a series on its third book, Cara Mia Delgatto,  which is set in Florida. She has intertwined the two characters in her latest release  the Kiki and Cara Mia Christmas Collection.  And then there are the anthologies she edits and her historical series and … As you can see this lady is a  tidal wave of talent. So, on to the interview–

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How long have you lived in FLA?

Actually, I was born in Jacksonville, but my parents moved us to Indiana when I was a baby. I’ve been back as a full-time resident of Jupiter Island since 2010.

Where do you write and when?

Anywhere, everywhere, all the time.  Seriously, I do.  I use a notebook computer for its portability. Because I’m on the computer all day, I like being able to move from room to room, or even to go outside.  I write every day unless I have an event or a project. Right now I’m working on my entry for the 2016 Creatin’ Contest, a miniature contest, so I’m not putting in my usual hours at work. That said, this year I’m releasing four original books and four anthologies with other authors, for a total of eight titles.

joanna-big-wave

 

Joanna won Honorable Mention in 2015

for her “Big Wave Dave’s Surf Shop”.

 

What is your biggest failure and what did it teach you?

You don’t have room or time for me to list all my big failures. I fail nearly as much as I succeed. But I can’t remember one specific failure that outranks all the rest, and here’s the reason for that—it doesn’t matter. What matters is getting up, starting over, and moving forward. That’s the lesson I’ve learned over and over. You’re only “out” if you stay down.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?  Or do you have some personal writing advice to offer?

Wendy Corsi Staub once told me to keep writing that next book. Each new book sells the old ones. She was right! Plus, you get better and better as you rack up more experience. The more I write, the better I get.

Who is your Dead Dream Date and why?  (Literary or otherwise)

I’d love to have lunch or dinner with Terry Gross or Diane Rehm because they’ve interviewed the most important people of our generation.

Oh, please invite me to that dinner party. Both those ladies are great.

Favorite cocktail or N/A drink and at what Florida bar?

My favorite is Campari and orange, and I prefer drinking it while on a yacht, because I first had one on a yacht at the Cote d’Azur.  It was such a thrill that I still order this cocktail as a way to bring back a fun, once-in-a-lifetime event.

I love Campari with grapefruit juice but I’ve never had one on a yacht!

You’ll find all of Joanna’s social media links on her website along with links to her books. She often has contest, giveaways, and freebie short stories. So, stay connected with her via her newsletter.

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