ROSEMARY HARRIS: Good girls go to heaven, but bad girls go everywhere - and these girls are bad. Today's guest is one of the baddest girls in mystery, Clare Toohey. Clare was literally one of the first people I met in the mystery community. She may not remember, but we sat at the same table at my first MWA dinner. I thought, wow, that gal looks tough! Imagine my surprise when I discovered she was one of the sweetest, hardest-working, most generous women in the biz. And she does a mean Hamburglar imitation which those of us who attended Crimebake a few years back will remember.
CLARE TOOHEY: Thanks, Reds, for inviting me over! I’m Clare Toohey, the site manager and Managing Editor of CriminalElement.com, delighted also to have been the editor on a brand new e-collection of short crime fiction (with invaluable assistance from Laura K. Curtis and Claire Eddy).
The phrase “Girl Trouble” may conjure up something specific in your mind, or perhaps a few different somethings, but we wanted to read what came to the fevered brains of our site visitors. We had the notion to solicit our online community for short works on a theme (asking for submissions of artwork for the cover, too). From those, we’d select, edit, and publish a kind of e-zine in short order: 100 days from announcement to on-sale. That pace meant the most we could ever do is 3 per year. That’s no quarterly, not close to a monthly, thus The Malfeasance Occasional (The M.O.) was born.
Well--best laid plans and all--the first issue encountered storms (two actual ones and the rest bureaucratic), so it took about a year finally to happen. *sighs* But now it’s finally here, and the collection is as wonderful as we ever could’ve hoped way back when. *cheers*
Tender-hearted, tough-minded (and occasionally foul-mouthed) girls take center stage in suspenseful tales that are also touching, haunting, and darkly funny. From modern cities and the middle of nowhere--even a place that never existed--come stories about female entrepreneurs, housewives, mothers, daughters, addicts, strivers, wanderers, conquerors, runaways, and women in collision.
We have fourteen stories. The first one, a criminal and cautionary tale about social media is “Follow Us On Facebook and Twitter” by Eric Cline. As our free excerpt, anyone can read the entire story online: http://www.criminalelement.com/stories/2013/09/complete-story-excerpt-follow-us-on-facebook-and-twitter-eric-cline-malfeasance-occasional-mo-gir-trouble-issue-social-media-cautionary-crime-tale
The other stories are just as great, though all very different from each other, and some of them are by established authors you may already know. We’re also proud to have a few debuts. (Okay, three of them would’ve been absolutely, no-contest debuts if we published last year. Since then, a couple of the talented rascals have gone and gotten book contracts and been published elsewhere—guess we’re not alone in recognizing the quality of their work.)
The rest of the stories in the “Girl Trouble” issue are:
"Mad Women" by Patricia Abbott"The Wentworth Letter" by Jeff Soloway
"The Barnacle" by Hilary Davidson
"My Brother's Keeper" by Charles Drees
"The Third Echo" by Sam Wiebe
"Magda" by Cathi Stoler
"Crow's Lesson" by Robert Lopresti
"Her Haunted House" by Brendan DuBois
"Girl of Great Price" by Milo James Fowler
"Benign" by Caroline J. Orvis
"Them Old Blues" by Ken Leonard
"Incident on the 405" by Travis Richardson
"Birds of Paradise" by Chuck Wendig
You can also read a brief intro from each of the stories and learn more about the contributors. http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2013/09/the-malfeasance-occasional-girl-trouble-inaugural-issue-e-collection-short-fiction-mo
The collection’s on sale in e-format for $3.99. We hope you’ll give it a try, because if it goes well, it won’t take a year to do the next one!
(Also, before next Friday, October 11th, if you want to leave a comment here with a link to your website, twitter handle, or your e-mail address (there just needs to be a way to notify you if you’ve won), I’ll have the Reds pick 3 winners at random, who I’ll send a copy in whatever e-format you wish.)
ROSEMARY: Oooh, I see lots of familiar names there including pals Hilary Davidson and Cathi Stoler. Dip into Girl Trouble, the uh, maiden voyage, of the Malfeasance Occasional.