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2017 Derringer Finalist Billy Kring

I'm a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, an informal association of writers, publishers, and fans that has kept mystery & crime short stories in the public eye since 1996. On April 1, the Society announced the finalists for its 2017 Derringer Awards, and I had the idea to promote the finalists with interviews.

Retired U.S. Border Patrol agent-turned-multiple genre author Billy Kring's Best Flash (Up to 1,000 words) finalist story, "The Orphan", was published on Shotgun Honey March 18, 2016.

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

A border orphan grows up to become a drug smuggler and reunites with family in an deadly twist of fate.

What were the most difficult and most enjoyable parts of writing the story?

The most difficult parts of writing the story—trimming the words! The most enjoyable parts of the story—reliving the sights, sounds, and characters of the Texas-Mexico border where I worked for so many years.

Do you have a (juicy) story about how the story came to be published?

I (loosely) based it on a couple of incidents that happened while I worked along the U.S.-Mexico border and got to know some of the orphans who struggled to survive while growing up. Several became noted drug smugglers and could be tough and charming at the same time.

How does it feel to be a Derringer finalist?

It feels fantastic! To be recognized by your writing peers is a big deal to me. Thank you, everyone!

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