Three years ago, I decided to write a short story that could serve as a prequel to my soon-to-be-released novel Necessary Lies in the hope the story would whet the my readers’ appetites for the book. I was not a short story writer, having written only one short story in the past, but I took a look at the finished manuscript for Necessary Lies and picked out an event I wanted to know more about (the night Mary Ella gave birth to Baby William, for those of you familiar with Necessary Lies. I loved writing the short story, which I called ‘The First Lie’. It gave me a chance to explore a dramatic event in my characters’ lives that hadn’t fit neatly into the book itself. I was also able to drop a (hopefully) tantalizing hint of what would come in the novel. It was so much fun that I wrote another short story (‘The Broken String’) for my next novel, The Silent Sister.
About eight years ago, I was chatting with my writer friend Mary Kirk when she told me she was editing an anthology of short stories. I’d recently been thinking of trying my hand at a short story, so I asked if I could contribute a story to the book. She seemed delighted, but told me the stories were romances. Okay, I said, no problem. I hung up the phone and began thinking of ideas for a romantic short story that would be in keeping with the more mainstream fiction my readers expected from me.