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2017 Derringer Finalist Victoria Weisfeld

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.

Freelance journalist Victoria Weisfeld won Best Long Story (4,001-8,000 words) with "Breadcrumbs", published in the third issue Betty Fedora: Kickass Women in Crime Fiction (September 2016).

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

The loss of personal privacy from excessive social media sharing can have unexpected, deadly consequences.

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

What I especially enjoyed about writing "Breadcrumbs" was establishing the voice of the first-person narrator. She's a state trooper working in lightly populated southwestern part of Michigan. Most difficult was thinking through how, in this day and age, my character Becky Tailor actually could go "off the grid." Readers had to absolutely believe what I described would work. I did quite a bit of research, which I enjoy, but which eliminated a lot of possibilities!

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

In the story, the one personal possession Becky takes with her when she flees her abusive husband is a small doll wearing a flamenco costume. I have that doll. And I, like Becky, have been inspired to take flamenco lessons. The women in my classes routinely pull out their cell phones to video the teacher's steps, catching all of us stomping away. At the risk of coming off like a crank, that bothers me. Not that they want to record the lesson, but that they do it without thinking. As a mystery/crime writer, I'm a bit obsessive about security and can think of multiple scenarios in which such casually acquired and distributed images could put a person in jeopardy.

How does it feel to be a Derringer finalist?

I read a lot of crime/mystery/thriller fiction and am well aware of how many fine writers work in these arenas. To have "Breadcrumbs" selected as a Derringer finalist is a mystery and a thrill and not, I hope, a crime.

Comments

Art Taylor said…
Enjoyed your interview--and the glimpses behind the story here: flamenco!

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