Vengeance. Mystery Writers of America Presents B00A25NLU4
E diting this anthology was a lot of fun — not least because Mystery Writers of America’s invaluable and irreplaceable publications guy, Barry Zeman, did all the hard work. All I had to do was pick ten invitees. And write a story. And then later on read the ten winning stories chosen by MWA’s blind-submission process. Piece of cake. Apart from writing my own story, that is, which I always find hard, but that’s why picking the invitees was so much fun — I love watching something difficult being done really well, by experts.
It was like playing fantasy baseball — who did I want on the field? And just as Major League Baseball has rich seams of talent to choose from, so does Mystery Writers of America. I could have filled ten anthologies. Or twenty. But I had to start somewhere — and it turned out that I already had, years ago, actually, when I taught a class at a mystery writers’ conference in California. One of the after-hours activities was a group reading around a fireplace in the motel. A bit too kumbaya for me, frankly, but I went anyway, and the first story was by a young woman called Michelle Gagnon. It was superb, and it stayed with me through the intervening years. So I e-mailed her about using it for this anthology — more in hope than in expectation, because it was such a great story, I was sure it had been snapped up long ago. But no — it was still available. Never published, amazingly. It is now.
Then I had to have Brendan DuBois. He’s a fine novelist but easily the best short-story writer of his generation. He just cranks them out, one after the other, like he’s casting gold ingots. Very annoying. He said yes.
And I had Twist Phelan on my radar. She’s a real woman of mystery — sometimes lives on a yacht, sometimes lives in Switzerland, knows about oil and banks and money — and she had just won the International Thriller Writers’ award for best short story. I thought,
I’ll have a bit of that.
She said okay.
Then there was the overtalented but undersung Jim Fusilli. He wrote two great New York novels that I really loved, and then four more just as good, and he’s the rock music critic for the
Wall Street Journal
. We make lists together, like the top three bands most dependent on their drummers for their sound. (Led Zeppelin, the Who, and the Beatles, obviously.)
I asked; he said yes.
And then, purely by chance, in the course of a conversation Karin Slaughter told me she’d just finished the nastiest story she’d ever written. Which had to be something, right? With Karin? I didn’t ask. I just told her.
Alafair Burke was next. I’ve followed her novels from the very beginning and loved them all. Then she went and wrote a terrific story for Michael Connelly’s MWA anthology a few years ago. I thought,
Hey, she did it for him, she can do it for me.
I asked. She said yes.
Then, because I’m a transatlantic person, I thought about a couple of great writers from the old country. First up: Dreda Say Mitchell. She’s five novels into a terrific career, and I find her narrative voice completely fresh and utterly addictive. I asked; she said yes.
Then, Zoë Sharp. If I were a woman, I’d be Zoë. If Jack Reacher were a woman, he’d be Zoë’s main character, Charlie Fox. A natural fit. I asked; she said yes.
Two spots left.
Let’s complete the lineup with a couple of heavy hitters.
I waited until both of my targets were drunk and happy at the Edgars, and I asked. Michael Connelly first. A busy guy, but a nice guy. He blinked. He said yes.
Then I turned to Dennis Lehane. Equally busy guy — he’d just had a kid. But equally nice too. He blinked. Twice. But he said yes.
So then it was about sharpening my editorial blue pencil and waiting for their stories to show up. They did, but I didn’t need the pencil. I think there was a spelling mistake in there somewhere, but authors like these don’t need help. So then it was about waiting for the MWA winning stories to arrive.
The way it works is that any paid-up MWA member can submit a story; the author’s name is replaced with a code number, so the judges read each story blind. The selection panel evaluates them all and chooses the ten best. The panel for this anthology was Heather Graham, Tom Cook, David Walker, Joe Trigoboff, and Brendan DuBois (pulling double duty,
Weitere Kostenlose Bücher