Writing in Shorts- Joanna Campbell Slan


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. 

 Twitter & Facebook

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Read one of her books absolutely free

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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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