Interview by Troy Palmer.

LF: Your bio says you’re part of a crime writers outfit, and your book on Smashwords (Coincidence Detection) is mystery — how does Sacrificial Lamb differ from your other writing?

SH: I have an eclectic taste in reading. Also in writing.  I develop a story idea from a scene or voice that takes me into the feel of it and from there to the structure. For Sacrificial Lamb the image of a dusty attic, with the protagonist sneezing away, took me into the story. For Coincidence Detection it was the image of Jane in her comfy chair reading and that I thought of it in first person that helped that story along. I enjoy reading mysteries and Coincidence Detection is what happened when I tried to write one.  I have other stories that aren’t mysteries, besides Sacrificial Lamb, although, when forced to think about it, most are.

LF: How would you compare writing short stories vs. long format? Is there one that you find more enjoyable than the other?

SH: I like to finish and say I’m done with a story, and for that I like short stories. Sometimes ideas are self-contained, beginning, middle, end, and then they’re short stories. With novel length ideas I have a beginning and an end but it takes more time to develop a middle.

LF: Has being a fitness instructor ever been a source of inspiration for your writing (characters, story ideas, etc.)?

SH: No, but thanks for the idea!

LF: What is your writing process? Do you have any rituals, or a place that you like to write?

SH: I have a room of my own. I have to admit that most times when I sit down with the intention of writing I find instead some truly fascinating web sites that take all day to read, or, alternatively, the laundry has a strange pull on me, as does doing the dishes.

The only time I seem to get things done is if I sit down first thing in the morning and start writing before I do anything else.

LF: What do you like most about writing (and reading) short stories?

SH: I like how contained they are and, when written well, how complete they feel.  The ones that make you smile a little at the end because it was nicely done.  I like how you can have this experience all in one go, and yet the best ones can stay with you a long time.

LF: Does music ever factor into your writing process? If so, was there any specific music that inspired Sacrificial Lamb?

SH: Music can inspire me to daydream and can lead to ideas for stories but I never listen to music while actually working. I don’t believe there was any music involved with writing Sacrificial Lamb.

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