Here is a bit about today's guest, VJ Schultz
VJ wanted to write books ever since she could read them by herself. Her latest book is a collection of romance short stories, Undercover Love & Other Tales. She enjoys writing in multiple genres including mystery, romance, and fantasy. She and her husband live in Missouri with three spoiled inside cats, one less-spoiled outside cat, and one happy parakeet. When she isn’t writing or teaching writing, she takes photos, reads, and does Tai Chi. A member of Sisters in Crime, VJ is also a founding member of Sleuths' Ink, a mystery and suspense writing group.VJ, what is your all-time favorite short story and why?
Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart is my favorite short story. Poe wrote it with a wonderful psychological angle and the story is packed-full of suspense.
When writing many of my own stories, I tend to employ suspense and psychology. I love to throw in a twist.
What is the most difficult part of writing short fiction?
I don’t really find it difficult to write short fiction, so this question is a hard one to answer. But I guess it would be keeping a story short that decides it wants to be long. The reverse is true for writing novel-length and finding it hard to make the story longer when it naturally comes to a shorter ending.
What piece of advice would you give to a prospective short story writer?
In one word, “Start.” If you don’t start a story, you won’t tell the tale, and you certainly won’t end it.
Which of your short stories should we read first and why?
This is one of those “It depends” questions. If you like mystery and suspense, then pick up my collection, Death of Bigfoot & Other Tales. The title story Death of Bigfoot is a fun tale to read.
If you like weird, odd and the paranormal, then try on Truth or Dare & Other Tales for discomfort. My favorite within this volume is “White Lightning” because it has a distinct Ozark Mountains flavor, a bit of history, and...well, I’m not going to ruin it for you.
If you like sweet romance stories, Undercover Love & Other Tales is for you. The story that means the most to me in this collection is Dancing Down the Aisle because one of the characters, Opal Brewster, is loosely based upon my mom.
How can readers find you, VJ? After this enticing interview I'm sure they will want to!