Tag Archive for: Best Short Story

Interview with Agatha Nominees for Best Short Story!

Each year, I feel very privileged to be able to host interviews with the Agatha nominees for best short story in The Stiletto Gang and Writers Who Kill. I always learn from their answers and appreciate so much what goes into the craft.

Following is a list of the nominated stories with links on the titles so you can read and enjoy. Thanks to Gretchen, Barb, Debra, Gigi, and Art for taking the time to answer the questions. And check in at Writers Who Kill tomorrow to hear more from these talented authors. Best wishes to all. — PGB

Double Deck the
Halls
 by Gretchen Archer (Henery Press)
Whose Wine is it Anyway by Barb Goffman in 50 Shades of
Cabernet (Koehler Books)
The Night They Burned Miss Dixie’s Place by Debra
Goldstein in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (May/June 2017)
The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn by Gigi Pandian
(Henery Press)
A Necessary Ingredient by Art Taylor in Coast to
Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Seat (Down & Out Books)

How do you know an idea is “short story worthy”?

Gretchen Archer: If the elements
are there—story arc, strong characters, interesting setting, and a puzzle to
solve—I find the idea worthy. There are many colorful characters in the Davis
Way series, so I had a surfeit of choices for a protagonist in Double Deck the
Halls. From my character list, I chose Granny. The setting is always the
same—the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. And the puzzle?
What could be more fun than an octogenarian MacGyver?


Barb Goffman: When considering if an idea is better suited to be
developed into a short story or a novel, I think the key is how complicated the
plot is and how early you want to bring your main character in on the action.
If your story involves multiple murders, for instance, and you want to show
that your protagonist is on the case from the beginning, then you’re likely
describing a novel. That idea seems too complicated to develop properly in a
short story. But if you have the same scenario and your protagonist comes in at
the last murder and quickly figures out whodunit, then that could be a short
story. Which way to go? I think that’s a style decision for the author. 


This is why
I tell people that a short story is about one thing. One specific tight tale.
The more complicated the idea, the more detail you need to show, the more pages
your tale will take. The plot of my story “Whose Wine Is It Anyway?”
has two inciting incidents– twice within a few days my main character, a legal
secretary, feels slighted by her long-time boss–and the resolution comes
quickly thereafter, so it was well suited for a short story. (For those who
haven’t read the story, in Myra’s last week before retirement, she learns her
boss has hired an airhead to replace her and he does something that makes her
realize he’s been taking her for granted. So Myra devises a plan to teach him a
lesson.)

Debra Goldstein: I don’t initially
know if an idea is “short story worthy.” When a story works, it flows and ends
exactly where it should. The idea of the story may come from a prompt, a phrase
stuck in my mind, or a character’s voice. In “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s
Place,” the opening sentence “I remember
the night they burned Ms. Dixie’s Place” was the first thing I thought of, but
then I realized that most of the story had to be told on that night, when the
main character was only nine years old. Once I recognized the voice would be a
child’s, the importance of the premise became evident. I write both novels and
short stories, but there was no question that this idea and the portrayed characters
and incident would only work as a tightly written short story.



Gigi Pandian: I love short
stories that have a satisfying twist. In my own short fiction, the twists that
I like to play with are seemingly impossible crimes that have a rational
explanation.


My full-length novels are adventures in addition
to being mysteries, so while my books do have twists in them, the twists and
the puzzle aren’t necessarily as important to keep the story going as the
characters themselves and the adventures they’re having.


Therefore when I come up with an idea for a
story involving an impossible crime twist, instead of an idea that centers
around a specific character or a larger plot, then I know it’s a short story
rather than a novel.

Art Taylor: I’m primarily a
short story writer, so most of my ideas seem suited to that length—it just
seems to be the form I’m most naturally drawn toward, the one I’m most
comfortable in. Ideas come from a variety of places, of course: a bit of
overheard conversation, a dream, a trip (the travel kind, not the
hallucinogenic kind!), even other short stories or novels that prompt the
imagination along. While I tend to think in narrative arcs at short story
length, I also try to fold in other threads as well to help enrich the story’s
texture and its breadth—by which I mean balancing several characters’ narrative
arc and the ways they intertwine, for example, or by layering in some thematic
arc alongside the arc of the plot, letting several things speak one to another.
I may not be able to write long very often, but I try to write dense at
least—dense in a good way, I hope!


Tell us about the publisher of your nominated
short story and how the story came to be published.

Gretchen Archer:
Double
Deck the Halls: is a short-story companion to my Davis Way Crime Caper mystery
series published by Henery Press. I knew where Deck would land before I wrote
it.

Barb Goffman: “Whose Wine Is It Anyway?” appeared in the
anthology 50 Shades of Cabernet,
which was published by Koehler Books. This book is the brainchild of author
Teresa Inge. She came up with the idea of a lighthearted anthology involving
mystery and wine. She wanted to help promote the Virginia wine industry. So she
reached out to a bunch of Virginia authors and asked if we’d be interested in
submitting stories for the book. After doing a lot of interesting research I
came up with a workable story idea, wrote my story, and submitted it. Teresa
shopped the manuscript around and Koehler ended up picking it up. They’re based
in Virginia Beach, near where Teresa lives, so it all worked out very nicely.
Koehler gave us multiple rounds of edits and proofreading. And royalties.
What’s fun about them is for each book they publish, they put two potential
covers on their website and the general public can vote on which one they like
better. The cover with the most votes becomes the cover of the book.



Debra Goldstein: Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine not only published my first submission to it, “The
Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,
in its May/June 2017 issue, but featured it on its cover. Neither of these
exciting events almost happened. Even though several of my short stories had
been accepted by other publications, I lacked the confidence to send my work to
AHMM or Ellery Queen. Several friends, including Art, Barb, Bob Mangeot and
Terrie Moran encouraged me to submit my work to these Dell magazines, but the
one who made me believe in myself was B.K. (Bonnie) Stevens.


When I read her story, “Thea’s First Husband,” I was so blown away
by it that I wrote her a fan email asking if she taught online classes. She
didn’t, but she sent me suggested readings and we subsequently became friends. She
encouraged me to reach beyond my fears. Last year, every Malice Domestic recipient
received the AHMM which contained “The
Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place” in
their book bags. A few weeks after Malice, I received a package and note from
Bonnie. She wrote she believed it was an award-winning story and knew, because
it was my first Alfred Hitchcock submission and acceptance, I would want extra
copies of the issue. I wish she had lived to see that her encouragement, as
well as that of so many friends, made this wonderful ride happen.

Gigi Pandian: Henery Press
publishes my Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries. The most recent book The Ninja’s Illusion, is set in Japan,
and I had an idea for a locked-room mystery twist that needed to have the
characters stranded in a remote place. I was having such fun with the
characters in The Ninja’s Illusion that
I wondered if Jaya and her friend Tamarind could get waylaid on their way home
from Japan. I came up with the idea to have them get stranded due to bad
weather, so “The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn” is set at the remote inn
where they’re forced to seek shelter from a storm.



I had a lot of fun writing a
story-within-a-story, because in “The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn” there’s
a ghost story about an avenging ghost that killed an unscrupulous man who was
reading an Agatha Christie novel at the hotel nearly a century ago—and now the
“ghost” is striking again while the guests are trapped. Can Jaya figure out
what’s really going on? The team at Henery Press loved the story idea, and they
published it as a short story single the month after the novel came out last
fall.


Art Taylor: “A Necessary
Ingredient” was published in Coast to
Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea.
Paul D. Marks—a good friend,
fellow blogger at SleuthSayers, and co-editor of the first volume of the Coast to Coast—reached out to say he was
doing this second volume with the same publisher, Down & Out Books, in this
case focused on private eyes, and would I like to contribute something? I don’t
generally write private eye stories, but the geographical slant on the
anthology attracted me—the opportunity to explore the intersection of that
subgenre of crime fiction and my home state of North Carolina, which was the
region I was assigned. That’s also one of the things I enjoyed about writing
the story, trying to navigate the shadow of one tradition (hardboiled PI
stories) against another (traditional, regional mystery fiction, specifically
here with nods toward one of my own mentors, Margaret Maron, another North
Carolina native). An additional inspiration was the tonka bean itself, the
“necessary ingredient” of the title, which I’d first heard about from another
NC-based writer, Wilton Barnhardt—but to reveal more about that story would give away too much about the story I wrote.
 
If you could bring your protagonist as a guest
to the Agatha banquet, what shoes would he or she be wearing?
 
Gretchen Archer: Easy Spirit Happy
Feet Walkabouts. With Velcro. She’d pair them with a gold velour track suit.


Barb Goffman: Myra would choose
something stylish and practical. I’m not quite sure what that would be, but it
surely would be nicer than what I’ll be wearing. I go for comfort, so I’ll be
in the equivalent of stylish slippers.


Debra Goldstein: My protagonist
would be wearing these scuffed basketball shoes:



Gigi Pandian: “The Library
Ghost of Tanglewood Inn” has two main characters, historian Jaya Jones and her
librarian friend Tamarind Ortega. Jaya is only five feet tall in socks, so she
loves her heels. She’d dress in black slacks, a sleeveless black blouse, and
three-inch shiny black stilettos. Tamarind is tall and big-boned, with short
hair she dyes different colors (it’s blue right now). She thinks of herself as
post-punk and loves her purple combat boots, so for the Agatha banquet she’d wear
those boots with a homemade dress that looks like Molly Ringwald’s dress from Pretty in Pink.



Art Taylor: Ambrose Thornton comes from
a fairly proper Southern family, so I’m sure he could spiffy up if he needed
to: a sharply polished pair of wingtips maybe? But honestly, he strikes me as
someone who would rather be back home reading than out socializing most nights.
 


Meet the Authors of the 2015 Agatha Best Short Story Nominees!



Each year at Malice Domestic,
writing excellence is recognized by the Agatha awards. This year’s nominees for
Best Short Story are:
“A Joy Forever” (PDF)
by B.K. Stevens (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, March 2015)
“Suffer the
Poor” (PDF)
by Harriette Sackler, History & Mystery, Oh My (Mystery
& Horror, LLC)
“A Killing at the
Beausoleil” (PDF)
by Terrie Farley Moran (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine,
Nov. 2015)
“A Questionable Death” (PDF) by Edith Maxwell, History
& Mystery, Oh My
(Mystery & Horror, LLC)
“A Year Without Santa
Claus?” (PDF)
by Barb Goffman (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine,
Jan./Feb. 2015)



Please enjoy the opportunity to read
these stories, if you haven’t already. We are so fortunate to have with us
today B.K. Stevens, Harriette Sackler, Terrie Farley Moran, Edith Maxwell,
and Barb Goffman.
All are not only fabulous writers, but also delightful people. Thanks, Bonnie,
Harriette, Terrie, Edith, and Barb for stopping by to share your work and
thoughts with us!
Paula Gail Benson
What are your writing habits?
B.K. Stevens
B.K. STEVENS:         Usually,
I spend a lot of time planning, especially if I’m working on a whodunit and
have to make sure all the evidence will come together. I may or may not make some
sort of outline, but I almost always take a lot of notes on the
computer—exploring various plot possibilities, planning clues, writing profiles
of characters and describing their backstories, and so on. Usually, my notes
are much longer than the final story; for the last story I submitted to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine,
they’re over three times as long. I like to have a clear idea of where I’m
headed before I begin to write, even though I usually end up making lots of
changes during drafting and revising. I draft fairly quickly and try (often not
successfully) to resist the temptation to revise while I’m drafting. Once the
first draft is done, I put it aside for at least a week and then spend a long
time revising and editing. For me, revising always involves a lot of cutting—my
first drafts are always much too long. I try to have at least two projects in
progress at all times. That way, if I get stuck on one, I can put it aside for
a while and focus on the other.
HARRIETTE SACKLER:      Since
I’m involved in many different projects, I write when I can. Once I have a
kernel of a story idea in my mind, I put it down on paper. I do seem
to accomplish more when I’m under deadline. I’m a great procrastinator.
Terrie Farley Moran
TERRIE FARLEY MORAN: I write
seven days a week. I get up every morning leave the house and do some kind of
exercise (walking, visit the gym, water aerobics or bike ride) then I come home
and sit at the keyboard. I write until I break to eat lunch and watch a few
minutes of news. Then I go back to the keyboard until about six o’clock when I go
out for a walk or a bike ride. If I am falling behind on a deadline I write
after dinner until bedtime. Under the heading “writing” I include all writing
related chores: editing, research, website, blog posts, etc. And, of course, I
still try to have an actual life!
EDITH MAXWELL:  I am a full-time
fiction writer now and I treat it like a job. I’m always up by six AM and am
working by seven. Whether I’m working on the first draft of a book, a short
story, or revision, I do my creative work before noon. Then I head out for my
brisk long walkoften plotting the next day’s
scene as I go – and reserve the afternoon for admin jobs like writing blog
posts, arranging author events, and other items of author business. So far it’s
workingI have three multi-book contracts, so
I have to write three books a year, plus one or more short stories.
Barb Goffman
BARB
GOFFMAN:    When I come up with a story
idea—be it organically, or more often, in response to a story call—and don’t
have the time to write the story immediately (that’s ninety-nine percent of the
time), I’ll write some notes about the idea: the beginning, the end, maybe a
bit of dialogue or the voice I hear in my head. Then those notes will sit,
sometimes for a long time, until I find the time to write that story. I prefer
to write in large chunks rather than a few minutes a day, so I can go a long
time between writing stretches when my day job keeps me busy.
Once I
start writing, I’ll write a few paragraphs, then read them out loud, revising
them before I go forward. Any time I take a break or get stuck, I’ll re-read
the last few paragraphs out loud, trying to get a feel for what comes next
(and, of course, revising as I go). While I’m writing a story, I may also sleep
on it, take a short drive, or a hot shower, trying to think on it—consider if I
have plot holes, how I could spice up the dialogue, create a plot twist, and
more. Once I finish, I try to let the finished story sit for a few days (or
longer if I have the time) before I read it again and try to spot and fix any
problems. And then I send the story out to a trusted friend or two for feedback
before I revise once more and then send the story out for submission. (Though I
must admit I’m often so eager to see what my friends think that I may send a
story to them before I’ve cleaned it up perfectly. Letting the story sit for a
few days is hard, even though I know that’s the best way to proceed. I keep
trying to reign myself in. It’s a work in progress.)
How long does it take to plan and complete
a short story?
B.K.
STEVENS:         Generally, it takes a
long, long time. Once in a while, I’ll get an idea, do only a little planning,
and sit down and write the story straight through. That doesn’t happen often,
though—maybe four or five times in the last thirty years, usually for flash
fiction stories, and even then I’ll spend days cutting and revising. Most of
the time, depending on the length and complexity of the story, the whole
process takes several weeks or several months. (But remember, I work on more
than one project at a time.) If I’m not satisfied with a story, I may put it
aside for months or even years until I think of a way to fix it. Right now,
I’ve got a half-written story that’s been sitting in a folder for at least
three years, waiting until I come up with a better murder method.
Harriette Sackler
HARRIETTE
SACKLER:      I’m not one to churn out
stories in a short time. It takes me a while from conception to finished story.
But that feels fine to me.
TERRIE FARLEY
MORAN: I am a very slow writer and writing
is a very contrarian occupation. If I think a story is going to take a long
time to write, it usually gets itself down on paper without a problem. If I
expect the story to be a quick slam dunk, it generally turns out to be
torturous to write. Basically when I see a call for submissions that interests
me, or when I get an idea for a potential story, I tend to think about it for a
good long while. Once I think of a direction the story could take, I begin to
research anything that could possibly relate. I do far more research than
necessary because…I love research. Then I think some more. While all this
thinking and research is going on I am generally working on another project or
two. Eventually I write the story. I don’t outline, I just plunge into it. Of
course if there is a deadline that sets the time frame.
Edith Maxwell
EDITH
MAXWELL:  That really varies. Once the
story emerges in my head, sometimes I can talk it through on my hour walk (see
previous question, and yes, I’m the crazy author lady who talks out loud to
herself on the rail trail). Then I take a day or two to write the first draft.
But the finishing, editing down, and making sure it works can take a lot
longer. And with historical stories set in a real location, there’s always more
research to be done, too.
BARB
GOFFMAN:    It varies. If I get a detailed
idea, I might finish the first draft in a few days. (That’s how I prefer to
proceed. I like to know the beginning, a few high points, and the end before I
start writing. It makes the process easier.) But sometimes I’ll hear a voice in
my head—a story’s beginning—and I’ll start writing. I might write a couple of
paragraphs or a page or two, and then I’ll get stuck, really stuck, because I
have no plot to go with the voice. Those stories can become big problems
because I’ve found my writing flows best when I come up with conflict first and
let character react to it, and the plot unfolds from there. When characters
show up first without the conflict—those are my problem children.
That’s
what happened with my nominated story “A Year Without Santa Claus?” I saw a
call for whodunit stories set in New Jersey. I woke up soon thereafter with the
main character’s voice in my head. I wrote the first page, and that was all I
wrote on that story—for years. Whodunits are hard to write (at least for me). I
needed a mystery and suspects and all that good stuff. I needed a plot in which
my character could solve the crime when the police couldn’t. And I had none of
that. Perhaps three years later, one morning out
of the blue, I had an idea in the shower—a plot that worked. I hurried to my
computer (thank goodness I had the time to write that day and week) and banged
out a solid draft within a few days. So sometimes it takes a few days to come
up with an idea and write a story. Sometimes the planning can take a few years
and then the writing a few days. It’s nice when it all comes together fast.
What shoes would you, your protagonist, or another character from
your story wear to the Agathas banquet?
B.K. STEVENS:         I’ll wear boring,
sensible shoes, because I always wear boring, sensible shoes. Gwen seems like
the type to wear boring, sensible shoes, too. Considering the way the story
ends, though, this time she might just wear stilettos.
HARRIETTE SACKLER:      I’m at the age when comfort is my most
important priority. Gone are the days of high heels and pointed toes.
I’ll be at the banquet in a pair of
strappy and low-heeled shoes.
TERRIE FARLEY MORAN: I intend to wear this pair of MUNRO AMERICAN bright
red shoes. I think Sassy and Bridgy would wear similar bright red shoes but with
fewer straps and a higher heel.
EDITH MAXWELL:  I’m SO not a shoe person. And my Quaker
midwife Rose Carroll from “A Questionable Death” would wear something very
modest, as well. But her unconventional friend and co-conspirator, postmistress
Bertie Winslow? She loves fancy hats and colorful clothes. She’ll wear these
satin embroidered evening slippers to the banquet.
BARB GOFFMAN:    Kyle Coyote, my main character’s security chief, would wear
rocket skates from the Acme Company because when something goes wrong, he needs
to reach his destination fast. Plus, he loves Acme’s innovative products (how
many companies are selling rideable rockets?), despite his boss’s concerns
about defects.
I’ll be wearing open-heeled black
shoes with a tiny heel because I believe in comfort.

Meet the Authors of the 2014 Agatha Best Short Story Nominees!


Each
year at Malice Domestic, writing excellence is recognized by the Agatha awards.
This year’s nominees for Best Short Story are:
“The Blessing
Witch” (PDF)

by Kathy Lynn Emerson, Best New England Crime Stories 2015: Rogue Wave
(Level Best Books)
“Just
Desserts for Johnny” (PDF)
by Edith Maxwell (Kings River Life Magazine)
“The
Shadow Knows”
by Barb Goffman, Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays
(Wildside Press)
“The
Odds are Against Us” (PDF)
by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Nov.
2014
“Premonition” by Art Taylor,
Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays (Wildside Press)
Please
enjoy the opportunity to read these stories, if you haven’t already. We are so
fortunate to have with us today
Kathy Lynn Emerson, Edith Maxwell, Barb Goffman, and Art Taylor. All are not
only fabulous writers, but also delightful people. Thanks, Kathy, Edith, Barb,
and Art, for stopping by to share your work and thoughts with us!
How do you compare short story writing with
novel writing?
KATHY:
Writing short stories is much
harder. In quite a few cases, it took me longer to finish a short story than it
did to write an entire 80,000 word novel. With at least one story, it took me
years to get it right. When I write novels, they get longer with each revision.
When I revise a short story, it almost always ends up even shorter.
EDITH:
A heck of a lot shorter, for one thing!
When I had two-thirds of a novel in the drawer twenty years ago and then
reentered the paid work force while raising two sons, there was no way I could
carry the plot and characters of a book around in my head and fit them into the
tiny snatches of time I had available to writer. But I could manage a short
story, and wrote nearly a dozen, five of which were eventually published in
juried anthologies. Short stories are simpler. They’re not necessarily easier,
but they don’t take as much time or brain space to complete.
BARB:
For me, writing a novel is like the
long con. I start in one place, and I know that eventually I’ll bring the
reader to another place. But in the middle there will be detours and red
herrings and subplots. I want to keep readers from seeing where we’re going. I
want to fool them. To surprise them. I might set something up in chapter two
that will pay benefits three hundred pages later. That’s the long con.
With a short story, there’s no space
for the long con. I’m writing the equivalent of a bank robbery. I get in, get
the cash, and get out. No detours. No subplots. It’s a quick ride. Sure, short
stories and novels both should have a great beginning and ending and hopefully
a surprise or two, but the way I approach the middle is different.
ART:
Each time I’ve tried to write a full
novel, I’ve struggled with structure and pacing to the point that the results
have always been bumpy at best, dismal at worst—and none of them has seen the
light of day. With my upcoming novel-in-stories, On the Road with Del and
Louise
(coming out this September from Henery Press), I’ve tried to
capitalize on what I think I do well: manage the narrative arc—the structure
and pacing—of a short story, and link those stories together in contribution to
a larger narrative arc featuring the bigger story of these characters. To some
degree, I think I just understand short stories better, for better or worse.
What advice would you give to short story
writers?
KATHY:
Keep it simple. In a short
story there is no room for subplots, information dumps, or complicated
relationships. I’d say limit the number of characters, but that would be a tad
hypocritical since I’ve never managed to follow that piece of advice myself.
EDITH:
Don’t send it in too early. Get the
first draft done and let it stew for a while. Then work to eliminate everything
unnecessary, whether a description that doesn’t move the story forward or a character
you can do without. And then work it over again, polishing, trimming. I’ve seen
a couple of beginning writers dash off a short and send it in (well, I did the
same myself when I was starting out) when it wasn’t quite ready.
BARB:
Read. Read novels. Read short stories.
Read, read, read. It gets your brain moving. It teaches you technique, even if
you don’t realize it as it’s happening. It helps you learn what works and what
doesn’t.
And when you write, keep two things in
mind: (1) Everything in the story should move the plot forward. If a scene or
character can come out without affecting the plot, it doesn’t belong in the
story. (2) But don’t make your plot move so quickly that your main character
doesn’t have the time to react to what’s happening. Reactions are interesting.
They bring the character to life and add richness to the story. So show us her
thoughts, and then move that plot along.
ART:
Write the biggest story you can and
then cut and fold, cut and fold, cut and fold until the only words left are
those that are key to the story—that’s the ideal for me, even I personally feel
like I’m always falling short of that goal. The novelist’s art strikes
me generally as one of accumulation, where the short story writer should
ideally focus on subtraction—the most effect in the fewest words—and training
yourself to see where to cut and combine and condense is a challenge. Beyond
that, read widely in the short story form. There are so so many great
short story writers out there, each of them with different stylistic and
structural approaches, and there’s so much to learn from them and then maybe
apply in your own way to your own craft.
For the Agatha banquet, what kind of shoes would you (or if
you prefer, your protagonist, a character from your story, or your spouse)
wear? [This is, after all, The Stiletto Gang!]
KATHY:
The same ones I wear every
year—black SAS sandals with one-inch heels. Definitely no stilettos. I have
trouble enough walking in the sandals. By rights I should be wearing old-lady-with-arthritis
orthopedic lace-ups!
EDITH:
I’m so shoe impaired in terms of what’s
conventional. I’m trying to come up with a pair of party shoes that aren’t
either stilettos or some version of little-girl shoes. I have short wide feet
and refuse to wear heels, so it isn’t easy! You’re going to have to wait and
see what I find. Maybe we can do a follow up post with a picture of all our
Agatha banquet shoes…
[Edith sent her picture early, so I
wanted to share it. I’ll see if I can get shots of the shoes actually worn at
the banquet!—Paula]
BARB:
Gus, my main character from my
Agatha-nominated story “The Shadow Knows,” wouldn’t go to a banquet. It’s way
too fancy for him. But if he were forced, Gus would wear plain, comfortable
shoes. I’m similar in that respect. My shoes will be black and nearly flat and
above all else, comfortable. I want to enjoy the evening, which means doing
what I can to avoid aching feet.
ART:
I’ve got a pair of suede saddle shoes that
I regularly want to wear (khaki green panel over off-white), but my wife Tara
says they don’t ever match what I put them with, so…. We’ll see if I can ever
come up with a good combination! [Here are Art’s shoes for your viewing pleasure!—Paula]