Welcome: Earl Staggs
December 2, 2012
I met Earl several blog tours back, and he’s a marvelous tour bus driver. It’s my pleasure to welcome him to my blog!! So glad to be on the road with you again…
Mystery author Earl Staggs recently received his second Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year. His novel MEMORY OF A MURDER earned a long list of Five Star reviews. SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS, a collection of 16 Mystery tales, is available in print and ebook. He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine and as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society. He’s a contributing blog member of Murderous Musings and Make Mine Mystery and a frequent speaker at conferences.
Madeline, you asked, “What do you like and enjoy the most about being a writer?” Wow. Where do Istart on my list of things I like? There are so many.
There’s a feeling I love before I even begin typing a story. The story idea has been rolling around between the ears for a while, and the feeling is half anxiety and half excitement. Anxiety because the story is only an embryo, and I’m anxious to know if it will actually grow into a good story. Excitement because it could turn out to be my best story ever.
Another great feeling comes over me about halfway through the story. Many times I get to that point and find myself lost. The beginning was good, the plot developed along the way, and the ending is in sight up ahead. But how do I get there? How do I take what I have so far and carry the plot to a satisfactory end? That’s when the characters often take over. If I’ve developed them properly, and they stand out as independent and credible people, they know what they want to do and say. All I have to do is let them have their way and hang on for the ride. That’s a fantastic feeling when it happens.
A tremendous feeling also arrives when I type “The End.” That’s the signal saying I’ve made it all the way through. I don’t always reach that point. Some story ideas simply don’t develop as well as I’d hoped. Sometimes what seemed like a super idea in the beginning fizzles somewhere in the middle or near the end and is nothing but a dud. But when I get there and type “The End,” it’s a story that came out as good or better than the original idea.
All those are great feelings, but there’s an even greater reward when I’m finished and look back over the story and see that it all came together like a perfectly designed puzzle and the overall result is greater than the sum of all the parts. All the clues have led directly to the conclusion. All twists and turns have been explained and make sense. All questions have been answered. All characters have reached a satisfactory point in their lives. That’s the greatest feeling of all for me. My novel MEMORY OF A MURDER gave me that feeling as have several of my short stories.
That’s what I like most about writing, and something I look forward to every time I begin something new. I know it won’t always be there at The End, but there’s always hope.
Thanks for letting me stop by you place on the Blog Tour, Madeline.
Thanks also to everyone who came by. You’re now invited to visit my website at http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com where you can:
. . .read Chapter One of my Mystery novel, MEMORY OF A MURDER.
. . .read a short story called “The Day I Almost Became a Great Writer.” Some say it’s the funniest story I’ve ever written.
. . .read “White Hats and Happy Trails,” a story about the day I spent with my boyhood idol, Roy Rogers. There’s even a picture of my wife and me with Roy to prove it’s all true.
. . .check out SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS, a collection of 16 of my published tales of mystery, ranging from hardboiled to humorous. Available in print or ebook for all ereaders.
But don’t go yet–Please leave a comment whileyou’re here and you may win a free book.
At the end of the tour, I’ll draw two names from those who left comments. The first name drawn will receive a signed print copy of MEMORY OF A MURDER, a mystery novel with a long list of Five Star Reviews. The second name drawn will receive their choice of a signed print copy or an ebook of SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS, a collection of 16 tales of mystery from hardboiled to humorous.
AND – Don’t forget Buster, Dobie, and Mugs (the latest) are each drawing a name from comments for free copies of Lies of Convenience (or a M.M. Gornell title of your choosing)!