Margot Kinberg, whose admirable blog will I'm sure be known to everyone who reads Do You Write Under Your Own Name? has done a great job in putting together In a Word: Murder, an anthology which is designed as a tribute to another fine blogger,the much-missed Maxine Clarke, alias Petrona. Proceeds go to the Princess Alice Hospice, which cared for Maxine during her illness. This seems to me to be a great idea and very fitting. I have a long-standing connection with the hospice movement in the north west of England, and coincidentally I'm discussing a literary project with one of the hospices local to me at the moment. To my mind, there are few worthier causes.
Margot suggested that contributions to the anthology might touch on subjects close to Maxine's heart, and this gave me the idea for a storyline connected with....blogging. At about the same time, I had a very enjoyable trip to Whitby, and that provided me with a highly suitable setting for the tale that was buzzing round in my mind. The result was a brand new short story called "The Killing of Captain Hastings." It's a more light-hearted piece than many of my stories, and I had fun writing it. This is the great joy of having the opportunity to write a short story for an anthology or magazine - part of the pleasure lies in the chance to do something a bit different.
There are some very interesting contributors to the book, including, I was delighted to see, Sarah Ward, whose blog Crime Pieces is another must-read, and Elizabeth S. Craig, whose blog probably contains more helpful tips and suggestions for writers than almost any I've ever read. The other contributors include Paula K.Randall, Pamela Griffiths, and Jane Risdon.
The book is now available from Amazon, and I gather that a print version will be available in 2014. Margot's hard work (and believe me, putting an anthology together is not as easy as it may look!) deserves the highest praise. I count it a real privilege to have had a story of mine included in a tribute to Maxine. Her kindness and astute critiques of the crime fiction scene will long be remembered by those of us who knew her.