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.
Sometime in the early 2000s as I was happily working on one of my novels, I got a call from my friend Mary Kilchenstein, aka author Mary Kirk. She was about to begin editing an anthology of short stories. At that time, I had never written a short story and thought it would be fun, so I asked if I could participate and she happily agreed. It had to be a romantic story, though, she added before hanging up.