Some Recent Short Stories

Looking for a quick read? Here are a few of the short stories I have published in the last year.

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published by Rare Bird Books in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Interrogation: Angel Luis Colon

ALCWho: Angel Luis Colon

What: His Derringer Award nominated fiction has appeared in multiple print and web publications. Book reviews have appeared in My Bookish Ways and he is an editor for Shotgun Honey, a flash-fiction website focused on noir, hard-boiled, and crime crime stories. Debut novella, THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR out in July from One Eye Press.

Where: New York

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

I just read THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR in one shot. Totally couldn’t put it down. What dark corner of your soul did the title character emerge from? Where does he go when you’re not writing about him?

Great question. Blacky isn’t necessarily my id, but he’s definitely a creature of impulse. I wanted to create someone dark, but cartoonish enough to love, if that makes sense. Most of Blacky’s decisions are by the seat of his pants and most definitely low-hanging fruit. Though, in the story, we do see Blacky has sort of a moral compass. This doesn’t excuse the things he does, but in most cases you’d have a beer with the guy.

That second part, I can probably answer that better when I’m actually not writing him! I’m currently working on a new Blacky story for the Thuglit Christmas anthology due out later this year. This crazy bastard won’t leave my brain, man.

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What Inspires Your Flash Fiction?

Yard Sale

The inspiration for a piece of flash fiction can come from the strangest places.

For example, we had a yard sale (a.k.a. “garage sale,” “tag sale,” etc.) a few months back. I hung some handmade signs up on telephone poles the night before and rolled our junk out onto the driveway at dawn the next day. A few people were already waiting when I opened my garage door that morning. Half my stuff was sold before I even had my first cup of coffee.

After that, business died down. The initial flurry of activity had wiped out most of the furniture and electronics I was selling, so the rest of the day was all about unloading knick knacks at a dime a pop. That gave me plenty of time to do some people watching and work on a sunburn. It wasn’t long before a short story began forming in my head.

That first version was about an unhappy suburban family (daddy, mommy and a teenaged son) who were cleaning out their garage in preparation for two big life events: junior going to college, the parents getting divorced. The story was told from the father’s perspective, an abusive corporate sales guy who only sees the world through the lens of negotiation—whether it’s dimes at a yard sale, sneaking a drink at lunch or cheating on his wife with a country club waitress. It came in at just about 1,500 words and, of course, ended in murder.

I submitted the story to a handful publications and watched the rejections roll in. A few weeks later I decided to rework it by changing the father from a corporate sales guy to a high-paid assassin. I liked the idea that he had this double life that his miserable family knew nothing about. In that version of the story, he leaves the yard sale after a fight with his wife and goes to the country club to negotiate his next hit.

I sent that version off too. It also got rejected. Rightfully so.

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The assassin interlude was interesting, but it felt forced. So I took that out and developed it into its own piece of flash fiction that I called “Range Life”. That one didn’t get rejected. In fact, it’s up on Shotgun Honey this week!

As for the yard sale piece? Well, I did the only logical thing and turned that into a story about a murderous clown. It’s with a magazine now and I am REALLY hoping it gets accepted because, you know, murderous yard sale clown.

What inspires your flash fiction?

S.W. Lauden is a writer and drummer living in Los Angeles. His short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Akashic Books, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published in 2016.

New Short Story Up At Shotgun Honey

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Super excited to see my short story up on the amazing Shotgun Honey website. Some of my favorite modern crime writers have published with Shotgun Honey and it is a little mind-blowing to see my name up there today.

Please take a look at my short story “Range Life” (very short at 700 words) and, if you like what you read, please share it with your friends. Thank you.

S.W. Lauden is a writer and drummer living in Los Angeles. His short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Akashic Books, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published in 2016.

Shotgun Honey Presents: A Who’s Who of Crime Writers

Locked and Loaded

I started doing weekly author interviews about six months ago. Up until very recently I was pretty impressed with the quality and diversity of crime and mystery authors I managed to connect with. And then I picked up Shotgun Honey Presents: Locked and Loaded (Both Barrels v3).

Jeez.

Of the 25 amazing authors featured in this volume—including Patricia Abbott, Bracken MacLeod, Frank Byrns, Katanie Duarte, Jedidiah Ayres, Bill Barber, Angel Luis Colon, Chris Rhatigan and John L. Thompson, to name a few—I have only interviewed one of the authors, Travis Richardson. I also interviewed one of the Locked and Loaded Volume 3 editors, Erik Arneson.

So, I have my work cut out for me. The good news is that I have yet another reason to read every single story in this impressive volume.

For now, here’s an excerpt from my Travis Richardson interview:

COFFEE PARISDo you have a favorite form of fiction?

I like writing short stories better because I can explore different stories and characters and then start something totally different a few weeks later. While I would love the idea of a big fat contract to develop a series character over several novels, finishing several works in a year is satisfying. As a reader, I’d say I like short stories and novellas over novels. I’m a slow reader and I like that I can finish a short story in one sitting. Shorter works can sustain intensity and focus that most longer works can’t. To me there are parallels between music and writing. Short stories are like individual songs that are self-contained and keep a pace/rhythm for the entirety of the piece. Books are like albums with each chapter similar to a track. More often than not, there are a few weak pieces that make the entire work (book or album) uneven, even when the majority of the work is rock solid.

If you haven’t gotten your copy of Locked and Loaded (Both Barrels v3) yet, you can try to win a copy over at GOODREADS through May 15.

And you can look for my flash fiction story, “Range Life,” over at Shotgun Honey on or around May 18th.