Tony Chiarchiaro is one of the authors that will appear in Fatally Haunted, Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles’ upcoming 2019 anthology.
STORY TITLE: “The End Justifies the Means”
An abused employee seeks vengeance against his tyrannical employer, only to be faced with the ultimate question: is sweet revenge worth the ultimate toll?
Q: What intrigued you about the theme of fatally haunted that led to the story you wrote?
The word, “haunted,” inspired me to develop my main character’s extreme and ongoing frustration with his boss, the latter, who had hounded him unceasingly. The ultimate act upon his employer was indeed a fatal solution. Hence, the phrase, fatally haunted, amply describes my character’s state of mind just prior to his unspeakable crime.
Q: Is your story a who-dunit, a how-dunit, or a why-dunit? Why did you make this choice?
My story is a how-dunit. It’s complete fantasy, but demonstrates the length an individual may go to resolve an untenable situation. There certainly were other alternatives to his problem, but not for him. He believed there was no choice other than to go forward with the act committed.
Q: What is different about writing a short story? What did you learn from this experience?
With a short story, one can produce a complete tale in a scant number of words. Yet, there’s still plenty of time to set a mood and create something that may touch the reader in a way that can be powerful. I learned there may be a significant amount of “reading between the lines,” or speculation on the part of the reader, but that in fact may add to the overall value of the genre.
Q: How did your editor help you improve your story? What insights did you gain from working with her?
My editor, Sheila Lowe, provided an experienced set of eyes and the generosity to assist me in the honing of my story into a more concise work. Her able suggestions showed how I had missed some salient points with police procedures, among other things. This enabled me to complete a better story. I am grateful for her insights and appreciative of her valuable suggestions.
Q: What’s next for you? What are you working on?
I’m currently working on a sequel to my first novel which is yet unpublished. My initial novel entitled, “The Most Likely Suspect,” is about a young man who is wrongly accused of murder. He and his two friends work hard toward solving the crime and establishing his innocence.
The sequel, presently entitled, “Murder on P Street,” follows the same characters as in the first novel who have now established their own detective agency. Numerous crimes, including a murder, are scrutinized by the trio of youthful investigators whose lack of experience is made up for by their tenacity and unorthodox methods.
Finally, I have approximately a dozen more short stories that I am hopeful of having published.
Q: What does your writing space look like?
My writing space is the den of my home in east Pasadena. I have a lovely view of a wide street lined with ancient Jacaranda trees which are always gorgeous but especially so when in bloom. The oak desk in my den is surrounded by three tall bookcases filled with a wide variety of books. There are several French doors and windows in the room, leading to the side and back of my home where the blue sky above is in plain view. It’s a comfortable setting which helps foster many enjoyable hours of writing.