Coming in October 2019
I am honored, and really excited, to have one of the featured stories in this long-running series, The Best American Mystery Stories, overseen by Otto Penzler, editedc this year by Jonathan Lethem.
I wrote my story, "If You Say So,” during the month of February, and it was a really bad month, made worse than the usual February slog by the fact that my old cat, Dashiell, was clearly in serious trouble, health-wise. Between trips to the vet, and giving him food he would not eat and medicine he didn’t want to take, I tried to lighten things up by writing a Valentine’s Day story, and as such I think it gives a pretty good idea of why I should never write a romance.
Sometime in the summer (August, I believe, which is usually a better month for me than February) I found out the story had been accepted into the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ anthology, False Faces. That was exciting news as this was the first short story of mine ever published. (I should perhaps back off a little here. Back in college, I was the editor of one issue of the college literary magazine, and I cannot swear that I didn’t sneak one of my own stories in there. I don’t think I did, but it sounds like something I might do. Everybody else who edited the thing did.) False Faces came out in September of 2018, and it’s a great anthology. Lots of wonderful stories in there.
And then February came around again. Only this time, it came with the good news: that “If You Say So” had been selected for inclusion in this year’s edition of Best American Mystery Stories.
And it’s not the only one. To indicate the quality of the False Faces anthology, not just one, but two stories from it are included in The Best American Mystery Stories, 2019 edition. The other one is the first story in False Faces, “That Donnelly Crowd,” by Anne Macdonald. A third story from False Faces, “Not A Mother,” by B.J. Eardly, was listed in Best American Mystery Stories in “Other Distinguished Mystery Stories of 2018.”