(I don’t know what it is about New York City that has inspired me to base all of my crime fiction stories here–maybe it was one too many Law & Order marathons–but here you go and there you have it.)
It’s a significant publication for me, not only because of the publication itself (EQMM has been publishing award-winning mystery/crime fiction for 80+ years), but because crime fiction is not my usual genre. And I am almost more proud of that than for the accomplishment of landing in EQMM’s prestigious pages.
Years ago, I was advised to stay in one genre if I wanted to become a successful writer. The advice sounded good (and it was coming from a NYT-bestselling author), but I struggled with it because I kept thinking, “But what if I wrote this, can that be considered fantasy? Or that? Or, or, or…?”
The push that shoved me over the cliff came from a writing workshop in which I was determined to come out with 7 fresh fantasy stories. But I realized after the second prompt arrived in my inbox that I really, really, REALLY wanted to write a science fiction story to fulfill that particular assignment. And then the next one was contemporary fiction. And the next one was crime. And one assignment was straight-up romance as a requirement. (Flunked that one, I couldn’t quite manage the hang of romance.) I ended that workshop with 6 new stories, only ONE of which could be considered truly fantasy.
But I’d also managed to cross the streams, blow up a few dimensional gates, and have a blast.
So I kept going. Now I write stories as they come, in whatever genres they want to arrive. Because if writing isn’t fun, then it’s work. And that isn’t a good place to write from at all.
I’m grateful to all of you readers who somehow find, read, and like my stories; that’s real success to me. So thank you, from my heart, where stories should come from, and will keep coming.