I came home the other day to find an unexpected pleasure in my mailbox: my author copies of San Diego Noir! For those unfamiliar with the Akashic Noir series, each collection of short stories is set in a specific location, generally a city (though there have been some interesting exceptions). The books are a blast, a chance to see a place reflected and refracted into many different views and angles, all through the lens of noir (to push this strained metaphor even further).
I was thrilled when editor Maryelizabeth Hart (who is among other things co-owner of one of my favorite bookstores in the world, Mysterious Galaxy) asked me if I'd be interested in contributing a story. I'm about as newbie an author as they come, with one published book to my credit, and to be placed alongside rockstars like T. Jefferson Parker and Don Winslow (to name but a few of the authors included) was beyond flattering.
Also a little scary. I had not written a short story since college. Which was, erm, kind of a long time ago.
I somehow pulled it off, and you can read the result, "Don't Feed the Bums," when the book hit stores around June 1. If you're in the San Diego area, sooner, at the Mysterious Galaxy Annual Birthday Bash—more on that to come as we get closer to the event.
I've long thought that San Diego was an underutilized setting for fiction, and Maryelizabeth has done a fantastic job assembling a diversity of views, styles, places and subjects —I thoroughly enjoyed reading so many authors' disparate takes on my hometown, and I bet you will too.
Anyway, I had to document the books' arrival. I decided since Ghost did such a great job posing with the ARC of ROCK PAPER TIGER that I'd see what my foster kitty Feenie thought about the book:
(I call her a foster kitty but I don't think she's going anywhere...this is what happens with so-called foster kitties)
Ghost was blase about being in the limelight this time:
Spike is pretty tolerant of the whole thing:
Cats play a role in the story, actually. No, they don't solve crimes. These aren't cuddly cats. They're feral. Because this is noir, yanno?