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2017 Derringer Finalist R.T. Lawton

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.

This year marks R.T. Lawton's third time as a finalist, following 2010 and '11. "An Ill Wind" is one of four Flash Bang Mysteries stories up for 2017 Best Flash (Up to 1,000 words). R.T. is a retired federal agent and past member of the MWA national board of directors. He has over a hundred published short stories in various publications, to include several anthologies, ten mini-mysteries in Woman’s World magazine and thirty-seven stories sold to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

A police Detective tests the wind for a suspect’s account of events in order to determine what really happened.

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

Fitting the clues into a solve-it-yourself mystery so the reader could have the same chance as the story's detective was the most difficult part. Being able to put it all together was the most enjoyable part.

How does it feel to be a Derringer finalist?

Competition for the five available slots in each of the four categories is really tough. Makes me feel proud to have my name and story fill one of the slots.

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