New short story debuts

Encouraged by the response to SHOWDOWN, I've published another new short story on Kindle and Smashwords. It's called FOUND MONEY, and I'm real proud of it.

FOUND MONEY is the suspenseful tale of a briefcase full of drug money, how it's lost and found, and how many lives it takes down along the way. The story was especially challenging to write because it's all in one character's voice, one half of a conversation between cop and crook. I had to cover a lot of backstory in very few pages, and still have a twist in the present.

Give FOUND MONEY a try. I think you'll like it. And it's only 99 cents.

Thanks to e-books, I'll write more short stories and novellas in the future. The market tilts toward shorter works now, after years of going the other direction. Plus, I enjoy writing them. Short stories used to seem so much harder than novels, but I started thinking of them as one-act plays, and that's made it easier.

I've started sketching out a new novel, but it's in the earliest stages right now. Doubt I'll get much done on it this week because I've got lots of chores and meetings, and a stack of papers to grade for my University of New Mexico class. But some part of my brain is always working on the next book.

Looking forward to Halloween. We get lots of trick-or-treaters at our Albuquerque home because the neighborhood park has a "pumpkin glow." Last year, we gave out 10 pounds of candy. One of my chores today is to buy 11 pounds of candy, so I'll be sure to have leftovers for me.


New short story

Two old men sit down together once a week to play gin rummy. They've met for these games at the farm for thirty years. One night, one man reveals a terrible secret from long ago. Revealing a secret always has consequences.

That's the opening premise of SHOWDOWN, my new suspense short story, available at Kindle, Smashwords and soon at Nook and Apple and the rest. It's only 99 cents. Please give it a try and let me know what you think.

I wrote SHOWDOWN after sending my new bank robber novel STASH THE CASH off to my agent. He loved the manuscript, but asked for changes, including a new, grittier title. I'm now feverishly working on the rewrite of  The Novel Formerly Known as STASH THE CASH. It's even darker than before.

The new working title is DUKE CITY SPLIT. You like?

My most recent novel-length e-book, A BOX OF PANDORAS, is still selling briskly, thank you very much. It's gotten excellent customer reviews, except for one complaining about the few scattered curse words. Apparently not allowed in cozies. Damn.

My "New Noir" class at the University of New Mexico is keeping me hopping, adding to my usual reading load. And I'm reading and planning for next semester's Honors class, a first-time offering called "Become a Better Writer."

My SouthWest Writers mystery-writing seminar last weekend went very well. Sixteen students managed to stay awake while I talked faster than an auctioneer for four hours. We all went away exhausted, yet energized about writing.

Busy, busy, busy. Next public appearance is at the Tony Hillerman Writing Seminar in November in Santa Fe. I'm popping in on Nov. 9 to preside over a humor panel with fellow New Mexico authors Richard Peck and Michael Orenduff. Should be a hoot and a half.

Now stop reading this and go read SHOWDOWN.