Forgive me. I’m still walking on air after discovering  my  crime fiction short story “Journey into the Dark” qualified as one of the 18 for inclusion in Bouchercon 2017’s anthology, Passport to Murder. I had never written a short story before. (I’m not counting the unfocused prose I wrote before Christmas 2016 that my darling daughter declared not to be a story, but did have promising elements.)

So with a drastic change of point of view to that of a young girl who happens to be a Syrian refugee; add a gang of nasty traffickers in drugs, slavery and prostitution;  and a new murder victim—all set mostly in the idyllic countryside of Gloucestershire, England—I had a story that met all the Bouchercon 2017 anthology requirements: an element  of travel and a murder or plan to commit a murder.

With Bouchercon being the premier international mystery convention, I knew I would have tough competition—116 stories were submitted, many by already successful authors—but at age 65, I figured what did I have to lose by shooting for the top?

The wait to print begins

Down & Out Books  is publishing the Passport to Murder collection. The official publication date corresponds with the first day of Bouchercon on October 15, 2017. Pre-ordering of the book will be available this summer. Watch this blog and follow my tweets and Facebook page to learn when pre-ordering begins.

What’s next for my writing?

So I’ve made it into prestigious author company on my first attempt. Aha! Now to stay there and earn my writing credits. So far I have one unpublished story awaiting a yea or nay for another crime and mystery anthology. I’ll know its fate soon. I’ve already got  a plan B publisher in mind.

In the meantime, I’ve started a police procedural novel set this time in Toronto. That way access to crime scenes are only a subway and/or streetcar ride away. I’ve also found helpful police and other advisors to keep my book honest, yet with a compelling tale.

I hope to share the joys, techniques and travails of writing a first novel with you here in future blog posts.

Nor do I intend to abandon the characters in my first story. I fell hard for my Syrian refugee, Amira, and her plight. I’ll be revisiting Gloucestershire and doing research there while I visit my daughter in Wales this September. Look out for blog posts about my travels and research in the UK this fall.

See you at Bouchercon 2017?

Bouchercon 2017

Passport to Murder anthology launches at Bouchercon 2017 in Toronto

Bouchercon—the annual World Mystery Convention, named in honour of the late American mystery writer, reviewer and editor Anthony Boucher—will be held in Toronto on October 12-15. I hope to see you there.