Malice in Memphis was formed several years ago to offer local mystery writers an opportunity to write and discuss mysteries in an atmosphere where nobody thought we were crazy (or dangerous). Malice was originally formed as a chapter of the National Organization of Sisters in Crime to promote and advance women crime writers. The group has since left the Sisters in Crime organization to branch out on our own. Membership has grown exponentially and we now have an increasing male participation.
As many organizations of this kind do, it eventually became moribund. We still enjoyed one another’s company, but fewer of us were actually writing, so like McArthur, we faded away.
But we never actually gave up, and four years ago we reincarnated ourselves. This time, we have attainable goals, great enthusiasm, and some real worker bees. Anyone who writes mystery or simply enjoys reading it should join us. At our monthly meetings, the speaker may be a Secret Service agent, a homicide detective, an expert on using media for promotion, or the author of great villains.
Three years ago we produced an anthology of crime stories set in well-known Memphis locations. Strictly a writing exercise. As someone famous once said, it’s harder to write a short story than it is to write a novel. Why? Everything has to be tighter. Characters, location and plot must mesh tighter and faster when you’re looking at ten thousand words rather than War and Peace. We figured we’d have our anthology done in six months.
But in the lengthy process we not only learned to write better (our first goal), but Dark Oak Press wanted to publish the book. They did. And it is a success.We’d hardly seen this first baby on the shelves and held our first book signing, when we started our second anthology, a series of ghost stories that take place in West Tennessee and environs.
Now that book is close to appearing on the shelves, and guess what, we’ve already started the third anthology, which will revolve loosely around Memphis in May, the annual celebration of all things Memphis.
So, some of our never-before-published members are now published, and we’ve all learned a bunch about writing. Come to Malice in Memphis. Join us to learn about crime and law enforcement, and about writing.
We’d love to have you.