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2017 Derringer Finalist Craig Faustus Buck

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.

His Spring 2016 Flash Bang Mysteries story "Aftermath" contending for 2017 Best Flash (Up to 1,000 words), this is Craig Faustus Buck's second consecutive appearance in the finals. An author/screenwriter, his debut novel, Go Down Hard, was published by Brash Books in 2015. He has also previously been nominated for the Macavity and Anthony Awards, and has served as president of the MWA's SoCal chapter.

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

​ "Aftermath" is a dark, twisting ride through the mind of a woman wrought by guilt, paranoia and possibly murder.

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

The most difficult part, for me, was coming up with an idea that wasn't derivative of something I'd read before.​ The most enjoyable part was the writing, especially since the brevity of the story made it so easy to track all the elements.

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

​The story I have is more about how "Aftermath" came to be than how it came to be published. "Aftermath" began life as a scene in a screenplay that I was never able to sell. It was an epilogue after the climax. That screenplay was the basis of the first draft of my novel Go Down Hard, which departed so far from the script that virtually nothing remained in the book but a little backstory. The scene no longer made sense in the novel, but I liked it, so I transformed it into a standalone flash story.

How does it feel to be a Derringer finalist?

​It's always an honor and a thrill to receive an award nomination, but this one is especially gratifying for two reasons. First, the Derringer nominations are based on blind submissions (as all nominations should be), allowing the work to speak for itself.​ And secondly, this year's nominees are all so strong that, no matter who wins, the nomination is its own reward.

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