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Lissa Marie Redmond, 2020 Derringer Finalist

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. The SMFS's 2020 Derringer Awards voting ends April 29 and winners will be announced in May. In the meantime, I've invited the finalists for interviews.

Lissa Marie Redmond
Lissa Marie Redmond's "2 Percent", from Mystery Tribune, is up for Best Flash.

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

New technology exposes one family’s secrets with deadly consequences.

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

I wanted to capture the family dynamics involved in publicly revealing a family secret and throw a little twist in the end. Flash fiction really challenges you to make every word count. But balancing the humor with the macabre was tricky, especially because I had less than one thousand words to do it in. It was tough, but after tearing it apart numerous times, I think I managed it.

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

"2 Percent" was inspired in part by my use of DNA profiles during my time on the Buffalo police department. People were surprised to find out their family trees had some hidden branches. And the family members who were hiding them weren’t happy their secrets were exposed. Thankfully, I never had to deal with a scenario like in "2 Percent", but I could definitely imagine something like that happening!

How does it feel to be a Derringer finalist?

I was so gobsmacked when I saw the finalist list, I think I stared at my computer screen for about a half hour and kept refreshing it because I thought there must have been a mistake. It’s such an incredible honor, especially with the caliber of the stories chosen.

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