Unlike most writers I know, many of whom turned to writing well into their adulthood, I was quite young when I became a writer. As an eighth-grader I wrote a short story, showed it to my mother, and told her what I wanted to do with my life. Soon after that, she bought me a typewriter.
My first published piece—a poem in my junior high school literary magazine when I was in ninth grade—was followed by contributions to my high school literary magazine, terms as staff writer and later editor of my high school newspaper, and publication of a science fiction fanzine that ultimately featured work by several writers who were then, or later became, well-known science fiction, fantasy, and horror authors.
So, while other young men tossed baseballs, threw footballs, and dribbled basketballs, I collected rejection slips from magazine editors, finally making my first professional short story sale while still a teenager. Since then I’ve authored more than a dozen books, several hundred articles and essays, and more than 1,000 short stories. I’ve been published in nearly every genre but have been most successful writing crime fiction and women’s fiction, two genres that couldn’t possibly be more unalike. Along the way I’ve also written a fair bit of erotic fiction, much of it intended for a male readership.
My crime fiction—published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, and many other publications—features high-octane heroes who are cops, private eyes, and spies, as well as many not-so-heroic characters from the other side of the law. My women’s fiction—published regularly in True Confessions and True Story—features strong women from all walks of life who juggle careers, family, and relationships. My erotic fiction—published in Penthouse Letters, Playgirl, and many anthologies—features various combinations of men and women engaged in carnal congress.
I had the opportunity to blend all three genres in “Big Guns,” my contribution to High Octane Heroes.
When I read the anthology’s Call for Submissions, I suspected most potential contributors would focus on obvious heroes—men in uniform such as soldiers, police officers, and fire fighters—so I went a different direction. I wondered how a woman might deal with her inner conflict if she found herself attracted to a man who was everything she knew shouldn’t attract her: a drug dealer’s “muscle.”
Before the protagonist can reconcile her emotions, things turn violent and she finds herself pointing the business end of a sawed-off shotgun at the chest of the man she’s been lusting after.
Find out what happens next when you read “Big Guns” in High Octane Heroes.