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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.

William Burton McCormick
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 was inspired when I was stuck on a slow-moving Ukrainian train on the hottest day in the country's history in 2015. So, enduring that was pretty difficult. As was explaining to Mom that I was writing a story called "Matricide". Fortunately, I was forgiven. (Though she may never take a train trip with me again).

The most enjoyable thing was seeing it in print. And getting compliments on its accuracy from my Ukrainian friends who’ve read it. Especially blondes.

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

Not really. At every Crime Writers' Association conference, I pestered Martin Edwards about any anthologies coming out. I think I wore the poor guy down, and when they did publish one, he had to accept my story just so I’d bugger off. :) Great guy, Martin. He endures loud, overbearing Americans very well.

How does it feel to be a Derringer finalist?

This is my fifth time being a finalist and it feels better every time. A thrill and honor just to be nominated. That said, I do wonder what it’ll be like to win once. Would it feel good? Or maybe everything goes kinda numb and black? And then you wake up on the floor, find it was all a dream, and John Floyd has won all the Derringers again this year, having published 3,000 stories in 2017. :) Love ya, John.

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