by Phyllis Smallman
We are delighted to welcome back author Phyllis Smallman as our guest.
Phyllis's new mystery — the fifth in her Sherri Travis series — is Highball Exit (TouchWood Editions; October 2012 trade paperback and ebook formats). More good news! We hear she is currently working on the first book in a new series, Long Gone Man, coming in Fall 2013.
Today Phyllis writes about one of the most frequently asked questions of her. And she is giving one of our readers a chance to win a copy of Highball Exit; details below.
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One of the questions I'm always asked is, "Why do you write mysteries?"
Photo provided courtesy of
First of all, I love to read mysteries. Mysteries are epic adventures, life and death struggles to right wrongs, to see justice done and to discover truth. Often reluctant and unprepared, the hero or heroine goes on a quest, taking us with them.
Stories of crime explore the darker side of human nature, greed, anger; jealousy and love … all of these emotions are at the heart of a good mystery. We all fear being the victim of crime. Each of us feels as vulnerable to crime as we do to disease. Money won't protect you … nor does education … nor culture … and while we already know how dangerous the world is without mysteries to tell us, our fear holds us enthralled.
As I grow older a phrase comes back to me … . "things are going to hell in a handcart." From the bible to Star Wars, the fight against evil goes on. In fact the first crime stories appear in the bible … Cain murdering Able … Joseph being sold into slavery … the bible is full of tales of theft and murder, tales of the killing of babies. And you think identity theft is new? Think of Jacob stealing Esau's birthright. These stories tell us things are not getting worse, they were always like this and for me this is a comforting thought. We may not be winning but we're not losing either. It is a struggle that goes on day after day and generation after generation.
Crime is so central to life we name it like the Eskimos name snow, petty crime, blue collar crime, or major crime. I write mysteries because they contain all the drama of life.
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An award-winning author, Phyllis Smallman was a potter before turning to a life of crime. She was the first-ever recipient of the Crime Writers of Canada's Unhanged Arthur award, and was shortlisted for the Debut Dagger by the Crime Writers Association in the UK and nominated for the Malice Domestic Award in the US. Phyllis divides her year between Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, and a beach in Florida.
For more information about the author and her books, visit her website at PhyllisSmallman.com.
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A Sherri Travis Mystery (5th in series)
Sherri Travis is three months behind on her mortgage and it will be last call for the Sunset Bar and Grill if she doesn't come up with some cash. So when Aunt Kay offers to pay Sherri to ask a few questions about Holly Mitchell's death, it sounds like easy money.
But it quickly descends into a dangerous world of drugs, sex workers, and perversion. Did Holly really take the highball exit, or was she murdered? And what happened to her baby?
For a chance to win a copy of Highball Exit, courtesy of the author, visit Mystery Book Contests, click on the "Phyllis Smallman: Sherri Travis Mysteries" contest link, enter your name, e-mail address, and this code — 4390 — for a chance to win! (One entry per person. Contest ends February 12th, 2013.)