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2018 Derringer Finalist Tina Whittle

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. A vote of eligible members will 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.

Tina Whittle
Tina Whittle is up for the Best Novelette Derringer (8,001–20,000 words) with Lowcountry Crime's "Trouble Like a Freight Train Coming".

An MWA member, she is also a chapter officer and national board member of Sisters in Crime. She writes the Tai Randolph series for Poisoned Pen Press and lives in the Georgia Lowcountry with her patient family and an odd assortment of animals, including the world’s dumbest chicken.

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

Do the perils of having a criminally-inclined branch of the family tree outweigh the benefits? Discuss. Use specific examples.

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

I blatantly stole the idea for "Trouble" from a friend who runs marathons (just snatched it from her hands and ran out the door with it). She forgave me (because she's awesome). But researching that angle of the plot revealed how little I knew about the competitive sport of running, even though I run myself. I had no idea what it meant to Rosie Ruiz something. Now I do!

The most enjoyable aspect was getting on a boat again. The Lowcountry is laced with waterways, from creeks that run inches deep at low tide to the broad Intercoastal. Kayaks share the waves with Russian freight vessels, and dolphins frolic in your wake. I'm a terrible sailor, but my husband can handle a boat quite well, so I let him do the hard work while I enjoyed the view.

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

My friend James M. Jackson lives half the year in the Upper Peninsular of Michigan and half the year in Savannah. When he offered me the chance to write a novella along with himself and two other writers, I jumped at the chance. And Lowcountry Crimes came into the world.

I'm sorry, that's not very juicy, is it? My bad. I can't tell the real story because my lawyer had me sign a non-disclosure agreement as a contingency of my parole. Besides, if certain parties learned my real name and whereabouts...

How does it feel to be a Derringer finalist?

Awesome! Like my whole world is filled with helium! On a deeper level, I am grateful to be a part of the mystery community, which includes some of the most generous, fascinating, and genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure and privilege to associate with. Thank you for being one of them, and for inviting me to your blog.

Comments

Tina said…
Thanks for interviewing me! I am excited to be in such fine company.

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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.

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

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