Tag: short stories (Page 1 of 2)

Double Deceit Commentary

Double Deceit is a novella of 21,000 words that was published in November 2020 by Five Star Publishing. I wrote this story in the late fall of 2019, and it appeared in a quartet of frontier crime novellas entitled Perilous Frontier.

I have written a few other works in the novella range. As I mention in other commentaries on my work, I enjoy working in different lengths. Some people consider the typical length for a commercial story to be about 5000 words, while many literary magazines have limits such as 1500, 2500, 3500, and so on. Over the years, I have written stories of just about every length from 1000 to 28,000 words. In this past year alone, I have written stories at 1000, 5000, 8000, 10,000, and 20,000 words, plus a novel at 70,000. So when the opportunity came up to write a work in the 20,000 range, I was happy to give it a try. 

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Short Fiction Awards for 2020

Like last year but quite different, this year has been a good year for me with awards. My short story “Return to Laurel” was a finalist for the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Western Short Fiction Story and was also a finalist for the Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award for Best Short Fiction. My novella “Leaving the Lariat Trail” won the Peacemaker Award for Best Short Fiction. Any one of these distinctions would give me an occasion to be thankful, and so I am appreciative three times over.

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Dangerous Trails Commentary

Dangerous Trails, published by Prairie Rose Publications in June 2020, is a collection of twelve western short stories that (with one small exception) I wrote since my last collection (Blue Horse Mesa) came out in 2013.  This is my third collection of western short stories and my eleventh collection of short fiction. It includes “Return to Laurel,” which was a Western Writers of America Spur Award finalist and a Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award finalist, both in 2020.

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At the End of the Orchard Commentary

“At the End of the Orchard” is a story of mine that originally appeared in a magazine called Hardboiled in May 2009. This story is a little under 10,000 words—not quite in the novella range but longer than most short stories. It is representative of one kind of fiction I have worked on in recent years. After its publication in Hardboiled, it went on to win the Western Writers of America Spur Award for best western short story in 2010.

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Seasons in the Fields Commentary

Seasons in the Fields is a collection of short fiction set in the farm and ranch country of California where I grew up. This book consists of thirteen stories, nine of which were previously published. I brought out these stories as a collection in the spring of 1998 so that I could promote it along with Black Diamond Rendezvous, a paperback western that came out in May of the same year.

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Antelope Sky Commentary

Antelope Sky is a collection of short stories set in the contemporary West, for the most part Wyoming. It consists of twelve short stories, nine of which were previously published. I brought out these stories as a collection in the spring of 1997 so that I could promote it along with Wild Rose of Ruby Canyon, a hardcover western that came out in June of the same year.

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Blue Horse Mesa Commentary

My collection of Western short stories entitled Blue Horse Mesa came out during the same period of time as my collection of retro/noir stories entitled Field Work, in 2012 when I was in between novel publishers. Blue Horse Mesa consists of twelve short stories, of which all but one had been previously published, and I took the initiative to bring them out in book form.  

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