MondaysDespite it being Monday, I have some happy news to share. My short story “The Jewel Box” has found a home in Best New England Crime Stories: ROGUE WAVE (Level Best Books). The 2015 anthology will be released in November. Of course I will mention the release again as we move closer to the date because that’s the sort of person I am.

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“The Jewel Box”

It’s summer in New Orleans, and Willa Sonnier yearns to escape her run-down, unairconditioned apartment in St. Bernard Parish. She moves into the jewel box, one half of a beautifully restored double shotgun house on the residential end of Bourbon Street. Willa finally has a new home, and it’s perfect—or would be if only she could quit thinking about the jewel box’s gruesome past and those rumors the place is haunted.

The Jewel Box 2

Immediately after “The Jewel Box” was accepted for ROGUE WAVE, I ran across a stack of old snapshots of the inspiration for this story. It was a bizarre find because I didn’t recall having any photos of the house. Anyway, this is me on the steps of the “real” jewel box. Because there have been no murders in the house (that I’m aware), and because I never once ran into a ghost while staying there, I blurred the house numbers to protect the innocent. Don’t ask what I’m wearing. It appears to be a suede jacket over a nightgown that I hope is a dress. Of course, it’s New Orleans, so anything is possible.

BarkowskiBlanchard

2012: Accepting the Al Blanchard for “Out to Sea”/Photo by Mo Walsh

AN ASIDE: One of my earlier stories, “Out to Sea,” appeared in Level Best’s 2013 anthology: BLOOD MOON. “Out to Sea” was set on an island off the coast of Maine and was written from my desk in Atlanta. Now that I’m a real life [transplanted] New Englander—here comes the funny part—my story for the 2015 anthology is set in the South. Ahh, the irony and the wrinkly of it.

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How about you? Any news to share?
What’s on your plate for the week ahead?

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