Mystery Shorts?

Jayne here, and no I am not talking about clothing, although I am sure I do have some mystery shorts in my bureau somewhere, ha ha. I write mainly true crime/non-fiction, but in the past I have written short stories, primarily sci-fi/fantasy (yes, I did!). My first six books were about Okinawa, Japan, with three of them fiction (one a children’s book). Although I am researching my new book on cyberbullying, I had an idea for a book of short stories that are mysteries – cold case files type of thing.

Is there a market for a book of short stories like that, or should I consider fleshing them out as possible novels? I have three done already (well, in my head, but all thought out and ready to type). Before I go crazy typing them up, I’d like some feedback.

What are your thoughts on short stories? Better as standalone in a book filled with other author’s short stories, sold to a magazine or other publication, as an e-book, or better as a full novel?

On a side note, by the time you read this I will have been on a panel at UCONN (go Huskies!) about a very interesting case: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/supreme-court-case-tests-the-limits-of-free-speech-on-facebook-and-other-social-media/2014/11/23/9e54dbd8-6f67-11e4-ad12-3734c461eab6_story.html.  This is definitely testing that line between online harassment and freedom of speech, as was a recent incident at UCONN: https://www.reddit.com/r/UCONN/comments/31sul9/ras_for_social_justice_allege_their_antiracism/. It should be an enlightening and lively talk.

I know I’m keeping this short, but it’s an almost three hour drive for me. Wish me luck!

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4 Responses to Mystery Shorts?

  1. dragons3 says:

    Personally, I don’t care much for short stories, with a few exceptions (an author I like and short stories that use established characters). Otherwise, they mostly leave me frustrated and wanting to know more. I rarely buy a book of short stories and often don’t even download the free ones. I’d much rather see a full-length book, or at least a novella.

    Hope your panel went well.

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  2. Deb B says:

    It’s difficult to find a good collection of short story mysteries…I would say go for it!

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  3. karla says:

    Hi Jayne.
    You brought up short stories and car rides but didn’t mention audio books among potential format options for your shorts. I listen to tons of books while traveling, and wish for more short story and non-fiction collections on audio. I would definitely grab a sci-fi, true crime short story collection for a road trip. Short stories are perfect for audio.

    Programs featuring short story on radio, for example, ‘This American Life’, ‘Story Core’, and ‘Selected Shorts’, are appealing because, while doing something rote, the variety of themes and readers transport the listener to someplace unexpected, in a brief space of time.

    I don’t know anything factual about the business side of this, but I wonder if there are publishers particularly interested in promoting audio books, and if that might be an option for your collection?

    Good luck at your conference!

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  4. Netcrimes says:

    Thank you for the comments. I may try to flesh out the first one into a book, then decide from there. The panel went very well and traffic to and from Connecticut was smooth and sunny!

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