Short Mysteries, Alfred Hitchcock, and an Abundance of Story Ideas with John Floyd
Strap in. You're about to meet the master of the short mystery.
When John Floyd says he writes short mysteries, he's not kidding! As you'll hear during our conversation, some of John's mysteries clock in at 800 words. That's just a little more than one single-spaced page.
It takes some kind of amazing talent to not only write a story that short, but to make it a mystery and solve the puzzle. I am in awe of John's experience and practice in this area, which is why I wanted to talk to him today.
I found John when I was looking for information about writing short mysteries, and found one of his blog posts on the subject. It is a thrill to have him on the show today to talk about his prolific output.
Since we're talking about short mysteries today, this episode of It's a Mystery Podcast is sponsored by my brand new short mystery, The Outside of a Horse. (This short mystery runs to about 94 pages.)
Secrets. Lies. Family.
June 1889. When Pastor Thoreson’s sister-in-law arrives in the town called Horse she immediately becomes the victim of a crime. With Constable Jack Merrick deep in the early stages of grief over losing his wife, his good friend Walt is pressed into service to try to solve the mystery. With assistance from close friends, Walt must find a way to help the Thoresons before Merrick’s superiors discover his absence.
The Outside of a Horse is part of a new series of short historical mysteries from award-winning author Alexandra Amor. A cross between the gentle rhythms and supportive relationships of Call the Midwife and the historical charm of Little House on the Prairie, the Town Called Horse stories are perfect for readers who like their mysteries with well-drawn characters and a lot of heart.
Click here to get your copy today, for less than the price of your morning latte.
You can find out more about today's guest, John Floyd, and all his books on his website JohnMFLoyd.com.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode
Click on any of the book covers to go to John's books on Amazon
Dogwood Press, the publisher of many of John's anthologies
The Wikipedia page for Eudora Welty, the Pulitzer Prize winning author John mentions in our conversation
Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.
You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Transcription of Interview with John Floyd
Alexandra: Hi, mystery readers, I'm Alexandra Amor. This is "It's a Mystery Podcast," and I'm here today with John Floyd. Hi, John. How are you today?
John: Hi, Alexandra. I'm fine.
Alexandra: Good, good. Well, let me introduce you to our listeners.
John Floyd's work has appeared in more than 250 different publications, including "Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine," "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine," "The Strand Magazine," "The Saturday Evening Post," and "The Best American Mystery Stories".
A former Air Force captain and IBM systems engineer, John is also a three-time Derringer Award winner, an Editor Award finalist, and a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee.
His 7th collection of short mystery fiction, "The Barrens," is scheduled for release in summer 2018. John's work has been praised by James Patterson, Nevada Barr, Douglas Preston, Jan Burke, Tom Franklin, and many others.
That's quite a list, John. I love it. So, we're here today specifically to talk about short mystery fiction, and that was how I found you. I'm actually thinking of doing some short mysteries myself. And as you do, I went to Google and did a little search and found an article that you had written about writing short mystery stories.
Why don't you tell us, how did you get started writing short mysteries?
John: I'm not sure how I got started. I grew up on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "Twilight Zone" and all those crazy little shows ...