SPOTLIGHT ON … Sandra Seamans

 

Sandra Seamans is 
a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a writer. 
But not always in that order.

‘Sandra’s dedication to the craft of short-story writing is infectious. She is one of the finest practitioners of the form. David Cranmer, Author & Editor of Beat To A Pulp.
‘There are many things I admire about Sandra Seamans‘ stories: the elegant and lucid prose, her firm grasp on the trajectory of the story, her succinct manner in telling it. But most of all I admire her adventurous spirit in attempting to go to new places with her work. 

A good example of this is “Brothel Justice” at Beat to A Pulp, a science fiction story. And whether its horror, science fiction, a western or a traditional crime story, she infuses it with the details that make it completely credible. 

Another favorite was in a flash fiction challenge on my blog. Her story called Rabbit In A Trap was truly terrifying. Meticulous is how I’d describe her writing. She’s amazing.’ Author and Editor, Patti Abbott. 

 

PDB: Here’s a Sophie’s Choice. Which of your stories is your favourite?SS:I like to think that each new story is the best I’ve ever written, then I try to do better the next time. With every story I try to do something different. Sometimes I like to see if I can break a rule or two and get away with it, that resulted in “Cold Rifts”. With my story “In God’s Own Time” I wanted to set a dark story against a background that screams, ‘things like that don’t happen around here’. With “The Testing”, which I wrote for a flash challenge, I wondered if you could mix fantasy with a noir tale and make it work. So, there’s no favorite, just stories that make me proud of what they’ve achieved.

PDB: What is your writing routine, if you have one?
SS: There’s no real routine like sitting down and forcing myself to write everyday. Usually I get an idea and just run with it until it’s exhausted then I start jotting notes on a legal pad to see where it might go, and how I can flesh it out. Most of the true story comes in the rewriting, in finding what the story is all about.

PDB: Which of your stories would make a good film?

SS: All of them, of course! I’m just waiting for Hollywood to realize that and come knocking on my door. J

PDB: When did you start writing?

SS: I’ve been making up stories in my head since I was a kid but about twenty years ago I decided to start putting them down on paper. Not very good ones, I might add. I discovered that there was a whole lot I didn’t know and started studying About five years or six years ago I started submitting my stories on a regular basis instead of just one a year then quit for a year because it got rejected. Staring that rejection in the face, then sending that story back out is the hardest part of writing.

PDB: How did your essential blog My Little Corner come about?

SS: I wanted a place to post my stories for Patti Abbott’s flash challenges and it just sort of evolved from there. I posted links to markets and zines that I wanted to submit to so I had everything in one place and could find them easily, then let a few people know that they were there.

I was also tired of being told that just writing short stories wasn’t good enough, that you had to write novels to be an actual author. But there’s so much talent out there in the short story field, and especially online, that I decided to share what I loved about shorts, the writers who pen them and the zines that publish all those great stories. So, the Corner became a place to celebrate short stories.

PDB:Who writes flash fiction well?

SS: Are you looking to set me up for an attack in a dark alley, Paul? There are just too many good flash fiction writers out there to just name one or two. If you’re looking for names, Christopher Grant is running a series of 100 flash pieces over at A Twist of Noir that are just amazing. You can pick any story there and find a writer who can write flash well.

PDB: Is there a novel on the horizon?

SS: There’s always a novel on the horizon, but that damn horizon keeps moving. I’ve tried my hand at novel writing but I always wind up with a short story. I don’t like adding side stories and extra threads to my basic story and I get in too big of a hurry to know how the story is going to end to succeed at writing a novel.

PDB: Could you tell us a little about the Short Mystery Fiction Society ?

SS: The Short Mystery Fiction Society was created in 1996 as an email discussion group. Their mission statement states that “The Short Mystery Fiction Society seeks to actively recognize writers and readers who promote and support the creative art form of short mysteries in the press, in other mystery organizations and through awards.” The awards being the Derringer Awards which are presented every year for differing lengths of short stories.

That’s the formal statement. Basically we’re a group of writers who love to discuss every aspect of short mystery/crime stories, from writing to publishing. We cover cozy vs noir, ezine vs print publication, then we toss in craft discussions.

We have members who have been writing and earning a living from that writing for their entire adult lives and newbies who don’t have a clue of what goes on in the business end of writing. Now that makes for some lively discussions.

But basically we’re there to support each other, to help each other with our writing and marketing. We’re that shoulder to lean on when a writer is feeling all alone in a world that doesn’t understand what writing is all about.

Thanks, Sandra!
Bio: Sandra Seamans has had over a hundred short stories published, in print and online, in such places as A Twist Of Noir,Dark Valentine Beat To A Pulp, Crimefactory, Needle, Out of the Gutter, Powder Burn Flash and The Thrilling Detective

She has written non-fiction in the form of a humor column and slice of life essays that appeared in various local newspapers and regional magazines. Her first published poem appeared in the new crime poetry chapbook, The Lineup

Her flash story “Home Entertainment“, which was published in the now defunct ezine A Cruel World, was short listed for a Derringer Award by the Short Mystery Fiction Society in 2007. 

She was also co-editor with the late K.R. Mullin who published the quarterly chapbooks A Flasher’s Dozen and The Lone Flasher.

Her writing is also avalable in anthologies such as  By Hook Or By Crook, Discount Noir and The Gift Of Murder.

MY LITTLE CORNER, Sandra’s essential blog, is HERE

THE SHORT MYSTERY FICTION SOCIETY is HERE