New Flash Fiction

I love flash fiction. I love reading it. I love writing it.

Unfortunately, I don’t get the chance to publish much of it these days. So I was thrilled to see my short story, “Secondary,” up at Spelk Fiction. I originally wrote this one for a two minute reading at Bouchercon, New Orleans in 2016. It was also read by a cozy author at the California Crime Writers Conference MISCAST event last June.

And now it’s up at Spelk, a great site for flash fiction under 500 words.

Give it a read. I hope you dig it.

S.W. Lauden is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series including BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION and GRIZZLY SEASON (Rare Bird Books). His Tommy and Shayna Crime Caper novellas include CROSSWISE and CROSSED BONES (Down & Out Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Interrogation—Tom Pitts

Who: Tom Pitts

What: He received his education on the streets of San Francisco. He remains there, working, writing, and trying to survive. He is the author of AMERICAN STATIC, HUSTLE, KNUCKLEBALL, and PIGGYBACK.

Where: San Francisco

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Congrats on the release of AMERICAN STATIC. What would you like readers to know about your latest novel?

Thanks! What to let readers know? Where to buy it! Down & Out Books tells me you can order this one from any bookstore, so have at it. As far as the story goes, if you enjoyed HUSTLE, I think you’ll love this. It’s fast-paced, down and dirty, and a ton of fun. Provided you have a twisted view of what fun is.

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Interrogation—Robert R. Moss

Who: Robert R. Moss

What: As part of the Washington, D.C. music scene in the early 1980s, Robert played bass in Artificial Peace and Government Issue. He’s toured the country, and his music was released on Dischord Records and other labels. In DESCENDING MEMPHIS, Robert tells a detective/coming-of-age-story set just after the birth of rock ‘n’ roll.

Where: Portland

Congrats on the success of your debut novel, DESCENDING MEMPHIS. What was the inspiration for this story?

Thank you for asking. It began with a question. What if Johnny Cash never made it as a musician, but instead became a detective with all the character traits, quirks and flaws of the Man in Black? I considered writing such a story, and mentioned the idea to a friend who happens to be a lawyer. He saw it as a legal issue. Meaning, the Johnny Cash estate might not look favorably upon such an endeavor. So I created Tommy Rhodeen, a small-time private eye in Memphis whose dream is to make it big in rock ‘n’ roll. It was the right decision.

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Interrogation—James W. Ziskin

Who: James W. Ziskin

What: Author of the Edgar-, Anthony-, Barry-, and Lefty-nominated Ellie Stone Mysteries. A linguist by training, he studied Romance Languages and Literature at the university of Pennsylvania. He then spent sixteen years in the Hollywood post production industry, running large international operations in subtitling and visual effects. He speaks Italian and French. His latest book, CAST THE FIRST STONE, launched on June 6.

Where: Seattle

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Your latest novel, CAST THE FIRST STONE, is the fifth Ellie Stone Mystery. What does Ellie get up to this time around?

Thanks for having me, Steve. I’m a big fan of your books, stories, and novellas. And hats.

CAST THE FIRST STONE gets Ellie out of the fading mill town of New Holland, NY, and drops her in Hollywood. It’s February 1962, in the midst of heavy rains in Los Angeles. A New Holland boy has scored the second lead in a real Hollywood beach movie, so Ellie is dispatched to profile the hometown hero who’s done good. It’s the chance of a lifetime for Ellie, until she arrives and finds the actor, Tony Eberle, AWOL on the first day of shooting. He’s promptly fired from the picture, and the next day the producer is found dead in a ravine in the Hollywood Hills. Ellie realizes that her own tenuous career hangs in the balance if she comes home empty-handed, so she sets out to find the missing actor. She’s drawn into the shadowy world of Hollywood’s closeted gay actors, who are desperate to keep their secrets hidden. Hilarity ensues.

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Interrogation—Nadine Nettmann

Who: Nadine Nettmann

What: Nadine Nettmann, a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, is always on the lookout for great wines and the stories behind them. She has traveled to wine regions around the world including Chile, South Africa, Spain, Germany, and every region in France. Nadine’s debut novel, DECANTING A MURDER, was nominated for the Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty Awards. Her second book, UNCORKING A LIE, was released in May.

Where: Los Angeles

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Congrats on your “Best First Novel” Anthony Award nomination for DECANTING A MURDER! Can you tell us a little bit about that book?

Thank you and congratulations to you, too! DECANTING A MURDER follows sommelier Kate Stillwell as she tries to solve a murder using her deductive wine skills. Every chapter is paired with a wine so readers can drink along while they read, but as there are a lot of chapters, maybe just choose one or two of the wines.

“Summer Reads”

If you’re in the market for some killer “Summer Reads,” look no further than the latest episode of the Writer Types crime/mystery podcast.

For this episode we interviewed a handful of indie booksellers from around the U.S. to hear what they are most excited to read in the next few months. Our panel of well-read experts includes Tom Wickersham from The  Mysterious Bookshop (New York, NY), Meg King-Abraham and Devin Abraham from Once Upon A Crime (Minneapolis, MN), Anne Saller from Book Carnival (Orange, CA), and Scott Montgomery of BookPeople/MysteryPeople (Austin, TX). Plus we hear from our resident reviewers, Kate and Dan Malmon.

We’ve also got great interviews with Meg Gardiner (“Unsub”), John Rector (“The Ridge”), Jordan Harper (“She Rides Shotgun”) and Thomas Pluck (“Bad Boy Boogie”). All that plus a short story by Angel Colon.

If you like what you hear in this episode, or any of the previous episodes, please leave a review and subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud. It’s the best way to help other people discover our podcast.

Interviewed by Will Viharo

I’m THRILLED to chat with excellent crime author, Will Viharo, about the Indie crime scene, the importance and pitfalls of using social media for book promotion, and what I’ve got coming down the line. You can check out the short interview RIGHT HERE.

S.W. Lauden is up for two Silver Falchion Reader’s Choice AwardsVoting is open to everybody and no registration is required. Please cast a vote for GRIZZLY SEASON (Best Action/Adventure) and CROSSWISE (Best Mystery)Thank you!

Interrogation—Maria Alexander

Who: Maria Alexander

What: Maria Alexander is a multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning and Anthony Award-nominated author of both YA and adult fiction. She’s also a student of Japanese swordsmanship. She lives in Los Angeles with two ungrateful cats, a Jewish Christmas caroler, and a purse called Trog.

Where: Los Angeles

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Congrats on your recent Bram Stoker Award! Can you tell us a little about SNOWED?

SNOWED is a YA paranormal mystery about the teen skeptic Charity Jones who discovers she should not only believe in certain Christmas myths, but she should be afraid of them.

What went into creating Charity Jones?

Charity is today’s teen. Because of her racial background, her family’s dysfunction, and her intellectual gifts, she’s got a lot to deal with. But throw in the complicated business of online life and the resulting information overload, and teens today have way more to process today than I did when I was in high school.

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Interrogation—Jeffery Hess

Who: Jeffery Hess

What: Author of the novel, BEACHHEAD, and the story collection, COLD WAR CANOE CLUB, as well as the editor of the award-winning HOME OF THE BRAVE anthologies. He served six years aboard the Navy’s oldest and newest ships and holds writing degrees from the University of South Florida and Queens University of Charlotte. He leads the DD-214 Writers’ Workshop for military veterans.

Where: Florida

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Congrats on the release of COLD WAR CANOE CLUB. Can you tell us a little about how this short story collection came together?

It was nothing I planned. In fact, I spent my twenties and thirties writing about everything but the Navy. Then, in 2007, I formed a writing workshop for military veterans. In advance of the first meeting, I sent a press release to the (now-defunct) Tampa Tribune hoping they’d list the workshop with my phone number on their calendar of events. Instead, a reporter called with interest in writing a piece about me and the workshop. During the twenty-minute interview, it came up that I didn’t require participants to write their military experiences, but they were welcome to. The reporter asked if I wrote about my own military experiences. When I said “no,” she asked why. That question made me recall the moment more than ten years earlier, when I assumed Tom Clancy had written everything about the Navy that anyone could want. But in the breath or two it took me to reply, I realized my stories would be different.

Needless to say, I wrote dozens of Navy stories in the years that followed. I’m beyond thrilled that sixteen of them made this book almost a decade later. More than half of the stories in the book have been published by journals and magazines like Noir Nation, Plots with Guns, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, O-Dark-Thirty.

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Interrogation—Nik Korpon

Who: Nik Korpon

What: Author of THE REBELLION’S LAST TRAITOR, QUEEN OF THE STRUGGLE (2018), and THE SOUL STANDARD, among others.

Where: Baltimore

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

We are two weeks out from the release of your new novel, THE REBELLION’S LAST TRAITOR. What can readers expect this time around?

It’s a lot different from my other books, but at the same time it’s very similar. I’ve never written an out-and-out sci-fi novel (though TRAITOR splits the line between sci-fi, murder mystery, and revolution novel), but at the heart of it, it’s a novel about families—whether that’s blood relations, friends-who-are-family, fellow countrymen, all that. But there are still a couple dick jokes and a Shaun of the Dead reference, so it’s definitely a Nik Korpon book.

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