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2017 Derringer Finalist Doug Allyn

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.

Doug Allyn's record in the Derringer Awards' 19-year history speaks for itself: Six wins in ten trips to the finals. His eleventh is with "Coup de Grace", from the Septmeber/October 2016 Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, contending for Best Novelette (8,000–20,000 words).

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

A war-weary veteran returns to his hometown to renew old acquaintances, and murder his best friend.

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

I'm a vet myself, but seldom write about it. It was a dark time of my life and revisiting it is not fun for me. On the other hand...See [my next answer].

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

In her acceptance letter, Janet Hutchings, the editor of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, said she thought the story was one of the best I've ever done. She NEVER says stuff like that, at least, not to me. It went a long ways towards lifting the story's gloomy mood.

How does it feel to be a Derringer finalist?

To be a Derringer nominee is a great honor, and I couldn't be more grateful.

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