Writing in Shorts– Wendy Sand Eckel


This is interview 14 of 14 celebrating the authors in the short story anthology Happy Homicides 6: Cookin’ up Crime. 

Wendy Sand Eckel is the award-winning author of the Rosalie Hart Mystery Series set on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Death at the Day Lily Café,* the second in the series, was chosen best cozy mystery of 2016 by Suspense Magazine. Eckel is passionate about living a life filled with good food, love, and lots of hearty laughter.

*Click this hyperlink and watch the BEST book trailer I’ve ever seen. Who was your cinematographer? Wow, so Hollywood! And I mean the California one not the Florida one.

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

The Naming of Cats in Happy Homicides 4: The Purr-fect Crime, was my first short story to appear in an anthology. I also have a story in our most recent release, Happy Homicides 6: Cookin’ Up Crime. The difficult part about writing a short is trying to uncover and solve a mystery in under 10,000 words. But I really enjoy writing for Happy Homicides. I am in great company and writing shorts allows me to introduce my protagonist, Rosalie Hart, to new readers in an affordable, accessible format.

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

I view short story writing as being a lot like writing a poem — every word must be vital to the story and move it forward. My favorite short story writer is Alice Munro. I’ve been reading and re-reading her short stories for as long as I can remember. She can develop complex characters, a compelling plot, evoke emotions, and offer up a satisfying ending in very few words. She is a talent!

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

Upon the release of Death at the Day Lily Cafe, I was invited to the Virginia This Morning television show in Richmond to do a live cooking demonstration. I didn’t come on until the last five minutes of the hour. So while waiting patiently in the kitchen area enjoying the show, I heard the announcer say, ‘coming up later in the hour…’ I looked up to see a live camera in front of me. I was a deer in the headlights until the cameraman mouthed, do something! I quickly picked up a knife and pretended to chop. The good news is they’ve been inviting me back ever since. The people there are lovely and thank goodness they have a sense of humor. You can check out the videos of my appearances on my website.

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

Love South Florida! Just got back from Fort Lauderdale. But I would have to say Italy. In the third book in the Rosalie Hart series, which I am currently writing, Rosalie is returning from a fabulous trip to Florence. My inspiration comes from having attended cooking school in Tuscany a few years ago. That week still simmers in my soul. So, yes, the answer is Italy. Always Italy!

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

That’s an easy one. A taste of good dark chocolate followed by a sip of aged tawny port wine. Instant warmth and yum. It’s the best and I highly recommend it.

Please find Wendy Sand Eckel on social media