Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Today we welcome the prolific Stephen D. Rodgers, author of more than 600 stories and poems. You can read some of them in his riveting short story collection "Shot to Death" published this month.  Stephen is visiting Working Stiffs as part of his month-long "Blog March."

By Guest Blogger Stephen D. Rodgers

The only guy in the packed bar, Joey took one long look and  then snorted in derision. - UNWEAVING THE RAINBOW

So begins one of the 31 stories contained in SHOT TO DEATH (ISBN 978-0982589908). Within that beginning lurks the ending to the story and everything that happens between the beginning and the end. Or at least it seems that way to me.

And the reason I believe that is yet another story.

Back in 1994, I attended the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in Middlebury, Vermont. I think I might have been the only person on campus who read and wrote genre fiction. (A shame, really, since there was a fantastic used bookstore in town where I found many genre treasures.)

Anyway, it's fair to say that I was a curiousity.

The benefit to being outside the culture was that I was free to roam. While others were sitting around chatting about shared interests, I was wandering, eavesdropping, gathering information. (Stephen D. Rogers, PI.)

Then one day I slipped into a lecture that wasn't on my schedule and heard thirty seconds of instruction that changed my life. The presenter (I don't recall her name) used the chalkboard to illustrate how the first line of her story created three threads that came together to produce the end.

I slipped out of the room and spent the next two hours walking through the woods, mulling the implications of what she'd said.

And then I returned to my room and wrote.

For a chance to win a signed copy of SHOT TO DEATH, visit www.stephendrogers.com/Win.htm and submit your completed entry. Then visit the schedule at www.stephendrogers.com/Howto.htm to see how you can march along. And then come back here to Working Stiffs to post your comments! Phew.

Stephen D. Rogers is the author of SHOT TO DEATH (ISBN 978-0982589908) and more than 600 stories and poems. He's the head writer at Crime Scene (where viewers solve interactive mysteries) and a popular writing instructor. For more information, visit his website, www.stephendrogers.com, where he tries to pull it all together. 

SHOT TO DEATH contains 31 stories of murder and mayhem. "Terse tales of cops and robbers, private eyes and bad guys, with an authentic New England setting."- Linda Barnes, Anthony Award winner and author of the Carlotta Carlyle series.

"Put yourself in the hands of a master as you travel this world of the dishonest, dysfunctional, and disappeared. Rogers is the real deal--real writer, real story teller, real tour guide tothe dark side."- Kate Flora, author of the Edgar-nominated FINDING AMY and the Thea Kozak mysteries

"SHOT TO DEATH provides a riveting reminder that the short story form is the foundation of the mystery/thriller genre. There's something in this assemblage of New England noir to suit every aficionado. Highly recommended!"- Richard Helms, editor and publisher, The Back Alley Webzine


PatRemick said...

Welcome Stephen -- and congrats on your short story collection!

Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds like a great collection! :)

Jennie Bentley said...

Welcome to the Stiffs, Stephen, and congratulation on the short story collection. Since I'm someone who can't write a short story to save my life - and since I'd really like to be able to, right about now - I'm very impressed.

Now the 'one sentence, three threads' is going to be buzzing around in my head for a while too. Ve-e-e-ery interesting...

Stephen D. Rogers said...

Hey Pat,

Thanks. There can never be too many opportunities to read short stories.


Stephen D. Rogers said...

Hey Jemi,

Thanks. It certainly has been a learning experience, but then what isn't?


Stephen D. Rogers said...

Hey Jennie,

It seems to me that the short story often centers around structure, whatever structure that happens to work for you and the story.