Skip to main content

2017 Derringer Finalist Terrie Farley Moran

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.

Terrie Farley Moran won Best Novelette (8,001–20,000 words) with the Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine story, "Inquiry and Assistance". Terrie also writes a Florida cozy novel series whose protagonists own the Read 'Em and Eat bookstore cafe, "where murder and sweet tea are always on the menu." The first in the series, Well Read, Then Dead, won Malice Domestic's 2014 Best First Novel Agatha Award.

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

Tommy Flood, down on his luck but high on self-confidence, invents a career, deflects a beating, and solves a crime.

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

The most difficult part of writing “Inquiry and Assistance” was meeting the high (for me) word count that the original requesting editor required. I had never written a story longer than five to six thousand words, so at the time, those extra three thousand plus words seemed daunting. Fortunately, the most enjoyable part of writing the story was hanging out with Tommy and his cousin Luke. I had so much fun that the words did flow and the story ended at just over nine thousand words.

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

Why, yes, yes I do. Over time I had written several well-received stories set in the 1930s. More than a few years ago an editor invited me to write a Depression era story for an historical anthology. I submitted the story. It was accepted for the publication and then the project languished. And languished. And languished. Years passed. Finally, the editor moved on to another job but not before telling the authors that the anthology was never going to see the light of day. So I took “Inquiry and Assistance” back and am thrilled that it found a home in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

How does it feel to be a Derringer finalist?

It is indescribably delightful. I should tell you I was a Derringer judge for the first time in, I think, 2007 and in various years thereafter. Each time I was awed by the quality of work Short Mystery Fiction Society members produced. With that experience behind me, I never seriously imagined that I would one day write a story that would receive a Derringer nomination. I am overjoyed.

Comments

Hi Gerald,

Thank you for this opportunity to chat.

Terrie

Popular posts from this blog

The Night of the Flood: A Novel in Stories

The Night of the Flood: A Novel in Stories goes on sale March 5. I invited the editors, E.A. Aymar and Sarah M. Chen, to tell us more about it:

It happened the night Maggie Wilbourne was to be put to death, the first woman executed by the state of Pennsylvania in modern times. That was when a group of women passionately protesting Maggie’s imprisonment struck. They blew up a local dam, flooding the town of Everton and indirectly inspiring a hellish night of crime and chaos.

Fourteen of today’s most exciting contemporary crime writers will take you to the fictional town of Everton, with stories from criminals, cops, and civilians that explore the thin line between the rich and the poor, the insider and the outsider, the innocent and the guilty. Whether it’s a store owner grimly protecting his property from looters, an opportunistic servant who sees her time to strike, or two misguided youths taking their anger out against any available victim, The Night of the Flood is an intricate and…

2018 Derringer Finalist William Burton McCormick

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 15, the Society announced the finalists for its 2018 Derringer Awards. Members are voting to determine the winners, to be announced May 15.

In the meantime, as I did last year, I'm inviting the finalists for interviews. If you'd like to participate, email me your answers to the same following questions.

Published widely and worldwide, Bill McCormick is up for the Best Long Story Derringer (4,001—8,000 words) with the chilling "Matricide and Ice Cream" from The CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour (November 2017).

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

An American man bumps off his mother on a Ukrainian train. It seems the perfect crime until another passenger starts snooping-around.

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

The story…

Robert B. Parker's Old Black Magic by Ace Atkins

Twenty-five years after the brazen theft of three of its paintings, Boston's Winthrop Museum receives fresh leads in the unsolved case. Succumbing to cancer, art crimes investigator Locke trusts Spenser to pick up the trail.

Spenser rose to fame as a man in the mold of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe in the time and place Robert B. Parker lived, fighting its crime. The series grew to thirty-nine books in Parker's lifetime, but Spenser stopped aging in his forties, the later books no longer reflecting the changing times but drawn mostly from Parker's imagination.

Rather than keep things timeless in his continuations, Ace Atkins takes Parker's original approach, setting Spenser in the present day, somewhat older, still ably plying his trade. This has allowed Atkins to put his own stamp on the series, basing the new cases on compelling true crimes like the unsolved 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft.

Atkins' earlier continuations proved how well he know…