Peter Sexton is one of the authors that will appear in Fatally Haunted, Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles’ upcoming 2019 anthology.
STORY TITLE: “Darkness Keeps Chasing”
LAPD Detective Bill Laswell’s worst fear begins to unfold when he receives an early-morning call informing him that his thirteen year old daughter has been abducted.
Q: What intrigued you about the theme of FATALLY HAUNTED that led to the story you wrote?
A: The idea that we could embrace any definition of “haunted” for our stories intrigued me, whether it be someone haunted by guilt, or that one case that continued to plague them, or literally haunted as if by a ghost. I thought that opened up a plethora of possibilities.
Q: Is your story a who-dunit, a why-dunit, or a how-dunit? Why did you make this choice?
A: Darkness Keeps Chasing is a cross between who-dunit and why-dunit. To be honest, I rarely find myself writing the who-dunit story. As a reader, the who-dunit has lost much of its luster. I find myself more involved in the story when reading a why-dunit. Learning why someone did that bad thing he or she has done is what keeps me turning the pages.
Q: What is different about writing a short story? What did you learn from this experience?
A: With short stories, you need to know the ending and be writing toward it from the first word. You don’t have the luxury to meander about in backstory or complicated sub-plots. Also, you need to remember you don’t have time to develop a large cast of characters. Everyone needs to have a specific purpose.
I believe we learn something from every writing experience. In this case, the non-linear sequence of events in the first draft of the story made it difficult to follow, so that needed to be addressed and remedied.
Q: How did your editor help you improve your story? What insights did you gain from working with her?
A: My editor helped me to take a step back and look at my story with far more critical eyes. It’s easy to overlook things when we’re too close to them, when we’re living with them every day. Working with my editor reminded me of the need to get away from my story for as long as I could between edits. The longer the better. You see a lot more with fresh, rested eyes.
Q: What’s next for you? What are you working on?
A: I’m currently working on the first book in a series featuring police detective Angela Poole. I’ve been developing Angela Poole and the other series characters for several years now. The book is called Mercy Street and tells the story of a family who is murdered in their home. Nothing is what it appears to be, and the sole-survivor, the eighteen-year-old daughter, seems unwilling to help the detectives. Three months pregnant with her first child, Angela Poole must face demons from her past while pursuing the killer. Mercy Street is scheduled for a 2019 release.
Q: What does your writing space look like?
A: Carefully choreographed chaos. My trusty, hard-working laser printer at one end of my desk, my laptop computer, and whichever fountain pen from my collection I’m currently enjoying. I do all of my edits freehand, so I print all of my work several times along the way. Occasionally, I’ll write entire chapters freehand. Although I type much faster than I write, I truly love the act of putting pen to paper. And I find that writing in cursive is a more intimate, more creative way to write.
Visit his official author page …www.petersexton.net