Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shot to Death - guest author Stephen D. Rogers

Stephen D. Rogers is the author of SHOT TO DEATH (ISBN 978-0982589908) and more than six hundred stories and poems. He's the head writer at Crime Scene (where viewers solve interactive mysteries) and a popular writing instructor. For more information, you can visit his website,, where he tries to pull it all together.

SHOT TO DEATH contains thirty-one stories of murder and mayhem.

"Terse tales of cops and robbers, private eyes and bad guys, with an authentic New England setting."
- Linda Barnes, Anthony Award winner and author of the Carlotta Carlyle series

"Put yourself in the hands of a master as you travel this world of the dishonest, dysfunctional, and disappeared.
Rogers is the real deal--real writer, real story teller, real tour guide to the dark side."
- Kate Flora, author of the Edgar-nominated FINDING AMY and the Thea Kozak mysteries

"SHOT TO DEATH provides a riveting reminder that the short story form is the foundation of the mystery/thriller genre.
There's something in this assemblage of New England noir to suit every aficionado. Highly recommended!"
- Richard Helms, editor and publisher, The Back Alley Webzine

How long would it have taken me to hammer in that nail?

So begins one of the 31 stories contained in SHOT TO DEATH (ISBN 978-0982589908). Within that beginning lurks the ending to the story and everything that happens between the beginning and the end. Or at least it seems that way to me.

"How long would it have taken me to hammer in that nail?" This is a story that is going to be saturated with regret.

Perhaps when the nail slipped from the wall, a really good picture hit the floor. I don't think so. :) Regret. Could anything cause more regret than a child running into that jutting nail and being scarred on the face?

"How long would it have taken...?" An event in the past that refuses to stay there. After all, how could she ever hope to forget what happened when the scar is so visible?

while the child is physically scarred, he was quick to recover from horror of the event and now, perhaps, does not even particularly remember that day. His mother, on the other hand, has no physical scar to represent how her chronic remembering sears.

No one seeing her could guess what she went through and continues to go through. She feels a disconnect. At some level, she wants to assume that scar, to free her son from its ugliness and to brand herself for what she has done.

What she didn't do.

It's one thing to regret what we've done. We made a decision to do something and with hindsight wish we'd done something else. But with what we didn't do, what do we regret, what we did instead?

That nail might have jutted from the wall for weeks. Every second of every day that she didn't hammer it in she made a decision to do something else instead. How can she possibly regret each of those separate actions? The only thing left to regret is herself.

This woman does not simply have nothing to lose. She has an overriding reason to hurt herself, as if that physical manifestation could lessen her pain. Sadness drenched with sorrow.

All that remains is the writing.

For a chance to win a signed copy of SHOT TO DEATH, click on over to and submit your completed entry.

Then visit the schedule at
to see how you can march along.

And then come back here to post your comments. Phew.