07 March 2018
Write in Haste, Publish at Leisure
He was a Black man in Minnesota, killed by a Latino cop moments after telling the man that he had a licensed handgun in the car. The police officer was acquitted.
The shooting happened on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. The next day someone put up a link to this (already existing) video in which a jolly cop and cheerful civilian explain how to safely inform a police officer that you are carrying a weapon. Someone had added in the comments, approximately: "For best results, be White."
I am usually a slow writer. Very slow. It takes me months to write a first draft and then a couple of years to turn it into something publishable.
But I wrote the very short "Nobody Gets Killed" in two hours that Friday night. I revised it the next day and sent it to a friend for editing. By Monday it was on its way to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and you can find it in their current, March/April, issue.
I have said before that every piece of fiction involves two sides of the brain, the Miner, and the Jeweler. Some people talk about conscious/unconscious mind, or left and right brain, but this metaphor is what works for me. The Miner digs out the raw material and may do some of the work, but eventually he hands it off to the Jeweler who polishes it into something that is hopefully publishable. Often when the Miner is running the show the writer has little conscious memory of the process. "It's like I wasn't even there. The words just flowed out."
A lot of the time my Miner comes up with only the bare idea and leaves the Jeweler to do everything else. But "Nobody Gets Killed" was 90% Miner. Doesn't mean it's a better or worse story for that, by the way. You will have to read it and see what you think.
It would appear that I am having some difficulty establishing a consistent brand for myself. But as long as Hitchcock keeps buying (I am up to thirty sales there) I guess I shouldn't complain.
By the way, I wrote another piece about writing "Nobody Gets Killed," and it appears on Trace Evidence, the AHMM blog.