A recent listserv exchange about “boy” versus “girl” stories got me thinking about two of the most powerful noir novels I’ve read—and whether my response was, at least in part, gendered. Probably. Very different novels but both propulsive and perfect for the spooky season: Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet and In the Cut by Susanna Moore.
How do you make a successful comedy out of suicide, aging, and death? Check out: A Man Called Ove. I have to go way, way back to recall another funny movie so full of suicide (Harold and Maude).
If you haven’t read it already, check out my new 700-word story, “Ick or Okay?”, on the wonderful website, Shotgun Honey. A huge thanks to the readers who kindly commented on the story.
Yay! Shotgun Honey, here I come. Proud to be part of a webzine that publishes “fiction with a kick.” Gave flash fiction a try to see how noir I could go. The 700-word limit was, ahem, character building. My short stories tend to be novelette length. My story, “Ick or Okay,” is tentatively scheduled to appear on Oct. 17. Thank you, Ron Earl Phillips, managing editor.
After some critiques, I am polishing up my crime novel, Angela Cray Gets Real, to release to the world. It’s a fun story (so I’ve been told!), which is amazing as it was written in the midst of much sadness, including the death of my wonderful mother. With thanks to the ladies upstairs for giving me Angela Cray.
Jodie is a wonderful editor (and person!) who helped me tremendously with The Overthrow. She’s used some of my work in her book, Captivate Your Readers.
Thank you to Robert Lopresti for including “When I’m Famous” in his round-up of the year’s best stories. I’m deeply honored to make the list. Congratulations to the other writers highlighted as well. Check out his “All the best from me to you” column on SleuthSayers:
Where’s the champagne? Am thrilled by a nice mention in Mystery Scene magazine about my short story, “When I’m Famous.” In his column, “Short & Sweet,” Bill Crider writes: “Dara Carr makes a notable debut with her first short story…” and “When I’m Famous’ is Dara Carr’s first story, but the voice of the narrator here is so distinctive and assured that it sells the story from the first paragraph.”
YAY! The column mentioning my story begins, “Now and then I read an article about the importance of ‘voice’ in fiction. If you want to get a master class in practical examples of how voice can make a story work, just pick up in the June 2014 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (EQMM).”
Super cool to be mentioned in an impressive round-up that includes Dave Zeltserman, Bill Pronzini, Liza Cody, Marilyn Todd, Robert Lopresti, Roger Jones, and Amy Myers.
Now that my mom’s eye surgery is over, Jo Nesbo’s latest novel, The Son, is keeping me up at night. Scary good. I think it’s his best yet, which is quite a feat.
Today Amazon announced the five semi-finalists for mystery/thrillers. Alas, my book was not among them. One thing is for certain: it has been an exciting and fun ride. I’m happy to have made it into the quarters, which works out to be about the top 5% of entries.
Favorite cherry-picked excerpts from the Publishers Weekly review of The Overthrow:
“This thriller starts off as a taut tale of two female Oregon detectives hired to remove a troubled teen girl from a religious cult’s forested compound, but it takes a Hitchcockian twist when the liberation of Sierra Langford results in a shooting and increasingly deadly pursuit by sinister unnamed forces.”
“The torture, fighting, and shoot-em-up sequences are entertaining…”
I’ll take that as a compliment. In any event, it sounds like I wore out the reader by the end, at least in the reviewer’s opinion. Thank you to the awesome reviewer, who wrote such a badass summary. Great feedback. Great contest. Onward and upward….