05 July 2019


by O'Neil De Noux

Following up on blogs by Michael Bracken and R. T. Lawton, I am amazed at my similarity to both writers, especially R. T.

I was an army brat who went to a dozen different schools before I graduated from high school. I kept the nomadic way through college, going to three different universities in getting my degree.

I too was drafted into the US military during the Vietnam War but I took the option to enlist before reporting (spending 3 years instead of 2 in the army so I could choose my MOS). I chose photographer, like an idiot, instead of photo lab technician so they trained me as a combat photographer. I was not sent to Southeast Asia – luck of the draw.

I started out as a short story writer, wrote a lot of bad stuff. Became a novelist after I became a homicide detective. As a cop I've always taken notes for stories. George Alec Effinger showed me how to write a short story and I've been writing stories and novels since the mid-1980s. It's been a long road with a lot of rejection and a lot of acceptance.

My novels have all been published with mixed results as for sales. But they are all in print.

It wasn't until the early 1990s did I managed to get stories accepted by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (as well as Asimov's and The Saturday Evening Post) and other top markets and anthologies.

Motivation? I knew in grammar school I would be a writer. It took a long time to learn how. No way I can stop or even slow down. I write every day, even when I doing other things. I always start a novel as soon as I finish a novel. As I write the new book, the characters and the story stay with me, even when the pace is interrupted by work (back when I was working) or a short story which gripped me to write.

I love writing novels and short stories.

That's all for now.


janice law said...

Interesting. I guess most writers begin with short stories. I started directly with novels and only began short stories later.

Eve Fisher said...

I started with poetry; then songs for a Southern rock band; then I wrote my first short story on a bet that I couldn't do it. I did it. (Not saying it was great, but I wrote one.) Keep going, O'Neil!

John Floyd said...

You're great at writing both, O'Neil. Keep up the good work!!

Lawrence Maddox said...

Inspiring read, O'Neil! I especially liked "I knew in grammar school I would be a writer. It took a long time to learn how. No way I can stop or even slow down." Keep on truckin.

Robert Lopresti said...

I mentioned this last year... when you gave Terri and me a tour of New Orleans last year and pointed out the building where your private eye Lucian Caye had his office in the forties, and I realized I was looking at the park from your short story 'The Heart Has Reasons...." I shivered. Great story!

Steve Liskow said...

I don't remember writing any short stories until this century when I went "back" to writing after three decades of theater. By then I'd produced several horrible novels. The best thing about the novels was that I learned to write FAST. I'm still learning how to write well, but you do what you have to do...

O'Neil De Noux said...

Thanks for the comments.
Interesting, Janice. Like me. Novels first.
Eve. Poetry. Then songs. I always admire those who can do what I cannot. Why I admire painters and sculptures so much. Poets and songrwriters as well.
Thanks John. Appreciate the thoughts.
Thanks Lawrence. It's been a long road. Lot of pot holes but also a lot of high points.
Robert. I consider "The Heart Has Reasons" one of my best and Linda Landrigan putting it on the cover of AHMM was a thrill, especially since the story was accepted right after Katrina hit us. FYI: The model on the cover of NEW ORLEANS RAPACIOUS is leaning against the fence of Cabrini Park right across from P.I. Lucien Caye's office. I've shot a number of pictures around the building and park, several are on the covers of my books.

R.T. Lawton said...

O'Neil, we just got back from Alaska (where they have plenty of Cajun food), else I'd have chimed in sooner. For the record, I always enjoy your stories.

Larry Chavis said...

Always enjoy your work, O’Neil. Keep ‘em coming.