Welcome to Earl Staggs
December 2, 2011
Earl, thank you for visiting my blog today and sharing your thoughts on Inspiration, Author Enjoyment, & Reader Wishes…
Earl Staggs is a Derringer Award winning author and has seen many of his short stories published in magazines and anthologies. He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine and as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society. His novel MEMORY OF A MURDER earned thirteen Five Star reviews online at Amazon and B&N. His column “Write Tight” appears in the online magazine Apollo’s Lyre. He is also a contributing blog member of Murderous Musings and Make Mine Mystery. He hosts workshops for the Muse Online Writers Conference and the Catholic Writers Conference Online and is a frequent speaker at conferences and writers groups.
Great questions, Madeline. On Inspiration–Everything and everybody around me. I never know when something will trigger a story idea. I watch a number of true crime documentary shows on TV and occasionally the seed of a story idea will spring from there. I may meet an interesting person I think might be the model for a good fictional character. There has to be a plot, of course, so I play the “what if” game. What if this guy killed his wife and buried her in the woods? Or, what if he’s an undercover cop who turns up dead the next day?
Once, I saw a movie about a killer for hire. That led me to wonder: What if a hit man sees someone he’s sure he killed but is very much alive? That idea led to a story called “Dead Wife Walking,” which was originally published in an anthology titled DIME and was reprinted in the magazine Mouth Full of Bullets. It’s now included in my collection, SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS.
There’s never a shortage of inspiration for stories. The problem is finding the time to write them all.
What do you most like about being an author? It’s the feeling I get when I’ve written a story, have struggled through the process of rewriting and rewriting again, and it finally develops into a story I’m pleased with. The process is frustrating, it often takes an incredible number of rewrites, and I frequently reach a point where I want to toss it and forget about it. I don’t toss it, because once I start something, I’m as stubborn as a Missouri mule and stick with it. When an especially tough story finally works out, the feeling of accomplishment makes it all worthwhile. I allow myself a little time to enjoy it, then start a new story, and the whole ordeal begins again.
What do you most want readers to take away from your novels–When they reach “The End,” I want them to be satisfied but, at the same time, disappointed. If I’ve been able to create characters they were happy to spend time with and a story that held their interest all the way through, I want them to be sorry it’s over and to want more. That’s why it’s important to have a series. The reader only has to move on to the next one.
Now, everyone who read all the way to here is invited to drop by my Blog/Website at: http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com and visit with my special guest for the day.
While you’re there, you can read Chapter One of MEMORY OF A MURDER, my first mystery novel, which earned thirteen Five Star reviews.
Also while you’re there, you can read “The Day I Almost Became a Great Writer,” which some say is the funniest story I’ve ever written. There’s also one called “White Hats and Happy Trails,” about the day I spent with my boyhood idol, Roy Rogers.
And please don’t forget to leave a comment there. Those who do will be entered in a drawing on December 9. The first name drawn will receive a print copy of MEMORY OF A MURDER. The second name drawn will have a choice of an ebook or print copy of SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS, a collection of sixteen of my best short stories.
Earl, thank you so much for visiting with me today! It was a pleasure meeting you!
If you leave a comment, your name will go into the drawing for a free copy of Reticence of Ravens (three copies in total, randomly selected by Buster!)
Today Anne K. Albert interviews me on her blog and we talk about all kinds of interesting things!
Blog url: http://anne-k-albert.blogspot.com