Several years before I even thought about writing a mystery novel, I took some creative writing classes. Inevitably the word count limit for the writing assignments would fall in the “flash fiction” category (typically fewer than 500 or 1,000 words, depending on who is doing the defining).
I must have been going through a lot of angst in my life back then—or perhaps I thought literary fiction had to be tinged with sadness. Whatever the reason, everything I wrote seemed to have an unhappy ending. The best of these efforts were sent to THEMA, a New Orleans-based literary journal I’d long admired. While not all of my submissions made the cut, three of my stories did get published in 2004 and 2005. More than a decade later, I’m still grateful and honored to be part of the THEMA legacy.
I’ve written about THEMA before on this website, and in fact, have a page dedicated to my experience with THEMA, and its tireless editor, Virginia Howard. Should you enjoy literary fiction and poetry, I encourage you to visit their website and take out a subscription, which includes three nicely-bound issues per year. (Each issue looks like a small paperback novel!)
My recent publication of Live Free or Tri: a collection of three short mystery stories, got me thinking. Why not put together an eBook compilation of my three THEMA stories? The result is Unhappy Endings: a collection of three flash fiction stories. Here’s a brief synopsis:
We like to believe that every story has a happy ending, but in life, as in these brief slice-of-life stories, that isn’t always the case.
In Sylvia’s World, narrator Sylvia considers her life with her husband, Phil.
In Cleopatra Slippers, a sixteen-year-old girl arrives home to discover her mother has tried to commit suicide.
In Emmaline, the shortest of the three flash fiction stories at 260 words, a teenager contemplates her life while faced with an unplanned pregnancy.
The Kindle version of Unhappy Endings will be free on Amazon for 5 days (the maximum time allowed by KDP Select): February 26 through March 1, after which time the price will be set at .99US (the minimum price allowed by KDP Select). I hope you’ll take the opportunity to download it during the free promotional period.
COMING MARCH 4: An interview with Katherine Prairie, author of THIRST, and owner of Stonedrift Press.