My short story, The Mercy Killer, will be going up on the Mysteryrats Maze podcast on October 16. Here’s my interview with editor Lorie Lewis Ham from Kings River Life magazine.
KRL: When did you first write “Mercy Killer” and where did you get the idea?
Merrilee: I got the idea for this story after spending a few days in Lyon (which is an amazing place to visit – great food, a historic district with Renaissance buildings, and a museum next to a Roman theatre still in use.) I saw a street musician dragging what looked like a heavy sound system around and thought it looked like a difficult life. Then I thought, what if my first impressions were completely wrong?
KRL: Has it been published?
Merrilee: This is a new story making its first public appearance.
KRL: Have you written and published many short stories?
Merrilee: Yes, I had a number of short stories published when I was in my 20s. Then for a long time I primarily wrote non-fiction. I started writing fiction again a few years ago and I’m very glad to be back at it. I have several short stories, all crime fiction, coming out over the next few months.
KRL: I understand you also write mystery novels, what is easier writing short stories or books?
Merrilee: I would never have said this when I was writing my first novel, but in many ways, writing short stories is more difficult. You have to develop characters and plot in a very few words. But that also makes short stories kind of exiting. You can explore an idea and tell a tale without the huge time commitment a novel requires. On the other hand, a novel gives you the opportunity to explore a more complex plot and involve more characters, which can be very satisfying. I like to think of a short story as like an amuse bouche at the start of the meal, something small and intriguing, whereas a novel is more like the main course, more filling.