SHORT FICTION

Like a lot of fiction writers, I learned my craft writing short stories. The Owen Keane series began with a short story, "St. Jimmy." It was included in Keane's first short fiction collection, THE CONFESSIONS OF OWEN KEANE, which is described on the Owen Keane Series page of this web site. I didn't write a Scott Elliott short story until after his second novel had been published, but the series now includes the eight stories collected in THE HOLLYWOOD OP plus the Shamus-nominated novella IN A TEAPOT. Descriptions of the collection and TEAPOT can be found on the Scott Elliott page.

In addition to the Keane and Elliott sagas, I now have three series that consist entirely of short stories. The two new ones are my Sherlock Holmes parodies and the Margo stories. Both are lighter than my usual stories, the Holmes parodies especially so. As I noted on the Writing News page, the parodies "purport to be from the recently unearthed notebooks of Dr. John Watson" and differ significantly from the versions eventually published in the Strand Magazine of old. A lot of Watson's rewriting was intended to gentrify Holmes, who in these "true and unadulterated versions of Holmes' famous cases" is a lover of beer, banjo playing, and collecting a fat fee. The Margo stories are set in the world of New York radio in the last months prior to Pearl Harbor. The protagonist, Margo Banning, is an assistant radio producer who has her career all mapped out until she runs afoul of a radio criminologist named Philip St. Pierre, who also claims to be a "spy smasher." 

My third and oldest short story series I call my Star Republic series, after the fictitious Indianapolis newspaper for which the protagonist, a nameless reporter, works.  He specializes in tales of the strange and unexplained and offbeat, which gives him something in common with Owen Keane.  And like Keane, he often finds a human explanation at the bottom of a preternatural occurrence.  My first Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine publication was a Star Republic called "Rise Up."  It appeared in their August 1998 issue.  In January 2011, Queen published the newest entry in the series, "No Mystery."

In 2007, a story of mine appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine for the first time.  It was called "The Last Ghost of Strachan Island."  2013 saw the publication of "The Mayan Rite," the fifth entry in this non-series series.  These stories have no settings or characters in common, but most of them share certain elements:  unusual settings, couples in crisis, and female point-of-view characters.

Another non-series story, "The Empty Seat," is my only sale to date to the new Strand Magazine.  It appeared in their issue #24 and it's a homage to one of my favorite short stories, Saki's "The Open Window."

Another entrée into a new market was my first horror story, "Uncanny," which is currently available in an anthology, TWICE THE TERROR. "Uncanny" was also my first e-zine publication, having appeared originally on The Horror Zine in June 2010.
A complete list of my published short stories and novellas can be found on the Bibliography page.