Posts tagged "International Thriller Writers"

“The Long-Term Tenant” Wins Thriller Award for Best Short Story

I was so pleased to hear that my short story “The Long-Term Tenant,” originally published in the July/August 2019 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, won the 2020 Thriller Award for Best Short Story. Thanks so much to the judges, to International Thriller Writers, and to my fellow nominees.

Congratulations to all the winners! Check out the full list of winners here.

You can also hear me read the story on the Ellery Queen podcast!

What Scares You, LynDee Walker?

I’m excited to feature LynDee Walker today on What Scares You. She’s pretty awesome, and she’s super nice, and she’s crazy prolific. In fact, in the time it’s taken me to write this intro she probably already drafted three novels. Her novel Leave No Stone, from the Texas Ranger Faith McClellan series, is a finalist for a Thriller Award this year, and she’s constantly hanging out on the bestsellers list on Amazon.

BUT WHAT SCARES HER, you ask?

Read on to find out!

What is your greatest fear?

Losing one of my children. It’s probably cliche to say that as a mom, but it terrifies me to my bones. That was the inspiration for the first Faith McClellan novel, actually, which was originally written partially from the victim’s mother’s point of view.

What is your earliest childhood memory of fear? 

Jaws. I was probably three, and sitting in my mom’s lap eating sweet tarts, when the shark popped up out of the water. I sucked a piece of candy down my windpipe and nearly choked. I’ve been afraid of sharks ever since. I got over the fear of the candy, though.

Is there any fear you’ve overcome in your life? How has that changed you?

The fear of public speaking—I have always been able to talk with anybody one on one, but until I was 30, I couldn’t speak in front of a group if you paid me. When I took a job as a meeting leader at Weight Watchers, I had to figure it out quickly, and conquering that fear has given me more confidence in myself and my voice, and probably by extension, the confidence to try writing fiction in the first place. 

What is your weirdest fear?

Sharks in the swimming pool. It’s really random, but when we’re swimming and the idea strikes me, my heart pounds until I’m out of the pool.

Weirdest fear: “Sharks in the swimming pool.”

Do you believe in ghosts?

I do, I’m pretty sure we had one when I was growing up. So many things would happen inexplicably in that old house—bread falling off the counter, appliances coming on when no one was even in the room…I never felt afraid, but there was something there.

 How do you deal with fear? 

I find something I can control in the situation and focus on that. And if I can’t find a focus, I hide under the covers until the scary thing has passed.

What scares you most about the writing process?

I’m a total pantser, so every time I start a new book I’m afraid this will be the one that falls apart in the middle and doesn’t get finished. So far, it’s unfounded. Yes, I just knocked on wood after I typed that.

Do you have any horror movie deal-breakers?

I’m not a fan of the jerky, sort of stop-motion-esque animations of villains (like Pennywise in the new theatrical versions of IT), and I don’t like blood just for the sake of it being bloody (I never got into Saw, for example). But well-done horror movies like the old original Halloween, The Haunting of Hill House, or Get Out are some of my favorites to watch.

In which post-apocalyptic scenario are you most likely to survive and thrive: 28 Days Later (zombies), The Stand (sickness kills all but a few), or The Last Policeman (asteroid hits Earth)?

The Stand—I usually manage to avoid germs, I get along with almost everyone, and I can fight off just about anything to protect people I love. I think I could both fit in with a survivors’ group and hold my own against Mr. Flagg.

LynDee Walker is the Amazon Charts bestselling author of two crime fiction series featuring strong heroines and “twisty, absorbing” mysteries. Her first Nichelle Clarke crime thriller, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, was nominated for the Agatha Award for best first novel, and in 2018, she introduced readers to Texas Ranger Faith McClellan in FEAR NO TRUTH. Reviews have praised her work as “well-crafted, compelling, and fast-paced,” and “an edge-of-your-seat ride” with “a spider web of twists and turns that will keep you reading until the end.”

Before she started writing fiction, LynDee was an award-winning journalist who covered everything from ribbon cuttings to high level police corruption. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the U.S. Aside from books, LynDee loves her family, her readers, travel, and coffee. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is working on her next novel when she’s not juggling laundry and children’s sports schedules.

“The Long-Term Tenant” is a finalist for a Thriller Award!

I was super excited to get the email that my story “The Long-Term Tenant,” published last year in the July/August 2019 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, is a finalist for International Thriller Writers’ 2020 Thriller Award for Best Short Story.

Kudos to EQMM, which has four stories on the list of finalists! Here’s the list:

Hector Acosta — “Turistas” (Down & Out Books)
Michael Cowgill — “Call Me Chuckles” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
Tara Laskowski — “The Long-Term Tenant” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
Lia Matera — “Snow Job” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
Twist Phelan — “Fathers-in-Law” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

I don’t often like my short stories after they’ve been published–I mean, I like them ok, but I mostly just see errors or things I could’ve fixed. But I’m particularly proud of “The Long-Term Tenant,” and I’m so pleased that it’s been recognized in this way. It was a really fun story to write–I’ve always found the desert a spooky place where anything can happen.

If you’d like to read the story, you can buy a back issue of EQMM (while you’re at it, subscribe!) or you can hear me reading it on the EQMM podcast right here!

Thank you to ITW and to the judges for this honor, and congratulations to all the finalists in all categories! I look forward to tuning in for the winners in all the categories in July.