By Anne Stephenson
Other than a naively romantic notion that being a foreign correspondent would be cool, I had no plans to be a writer. But when it came time to choose a university, typical teenager that I was, I went for the one furthest from home.
Journalism has served me well – or at least, kept me semi-employed for years while I dabbled in fiction, raised a family, and worked freelance.
And then, silly me, I retired. Chucked it all in, moved to the country, and daydreamed about writing the great Canadian novel while my husband and I refurbished our 1860’s farmhouse.
But the muse does nag. With impeccable timing. In the interim, self-publishing had become legitimate, and there I was with a couple of manuscripts in the drawer and a backlist of traditionally-published short stories, feature articles and mysteries for kids. I had “skin in the game.”
And one hell of a lot to learn.
Unfortunately, everything from social media and website design, to author branding and securing my publishing rights, kept me from what I really wanted to do! So I put it all to one side, delved into the “archives,” and came up with the first draft of a short mystery I’d written a few years back.
I’d called it Bitter End. A 3,000-word tale of revenge (my favourite motive) involving best friends and an errant husband with questionable…assets. My guy loved it. Buoyed by his support, I sent it to Mystery Weekly Magazine and they bought it.
It felt good.
But here’s the really interesting bit. In early August, I received an email from an E. Michael Helms. A bit of a detective is Michael. He’d found a copy of Bitter End in his inbox (I swear it wasn’t me!), enjoyed it, noted the spelling as being either Canadian or British, and tracked me down via my website.
Sounds like “Dinger, PI” is in good hands!
A freelance writer and journalist, Anne Stephenson’s first crime fiction appeared in Cold Blood IV, a long-running anthology edited by Peter Sellers. Her other credits include reviewing crime and mystery novels for The Ottawa Citizen, writing books for nine-to-12 year olds, and the odd bit of scriptwriting.
Anne’s most recent releases are: Paper Treasure, originally published by General Paperbacks; and Something’s Fishy at Ash Lake, written with long-time friend and co-author Susan Brown. Both titles are available at: http://amzn.to/2hhd0Tb
In the meantime, the reboot continues at: annestephensonwriter.com