The power of the short story. Why I like to read and write them. #AmWriting #AmReading

I’m a fan of Wikipedia for general research, not quotable text. It’s a great place to start, as it usually has a great compilation of information from other sources. Often, when I Google a question, Wikipedia is the first page to pop up. So I’ll begin my search and then dig deeper based on my findings, and in the case of my mysteries, especially where cause of death and ways to die are an essential part of the story, I seek out scientific journals and experts in that specific field. Therethat’s my disclosure. On to my blog post. :)

Today, I had a quick question on the popularity of short stories. I was with Wikipedia until I read… “Sometimes, authors who do not have the time or money to write a novella or novel decide to write short stories instead…” Wikipedia


Ummno… How on earth does a short story cost less? Most authors spend the same dollar amount on their cover, and it doesn’t cost anything to upload it to Amazon. Time... maybe… but even that seems silly, as authors who write short stories, usually write many of them. I think authors write short stories because they enjoy writing short stories, especially in between large projects or while waiting for their editor or publisher to finish reading their current project.

“Short stories date back to oral storytelling traditions which originally produced epics such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey circa 7th or 8th century – Wikipedia, again (I didn’t see the need to research further. J) For that matter, Jesus told parables so that his followers could better understand his teachings.

Charles Dickens and Washington Irving--who were famous for novels and biographies--wrote short stories, and of course, Edgar Allan Poe argued that a literary work should be short enough for a reader to finish in one sitting. And yet, when I went looking for advertising, I found it almost impossible to find a website that was willing to promote my short storieseven if I was willing to pay the same amount as I would for a full novel. I also noticed many publishers refuse to publish short stories, which as far as money goes, I can understand that. They would have to shell out money for a cover for little return.

And now for the craziest thing, I wrote my short stories, knowing I was going to give them away. Yep. My first short, The Pit Stop was to have fun with my readers, which a lot of them happened to be authors. We’d write five hundred words a week on my website, and when we finished, I informed them I’d publish it and pay tribute to my top contributors.

But then something happened… Readers demanded more--I love it when that happens. Per readers’ requests, I wrote The Depot. And nowbased on those two short stories, again per readers’ demands, I’m writing a follow-up novel.

And with no awesome book advertising, but because of word of mouth from some great readers, The Pit Stop and The Depot hit #1 in Mystery Short Stories and have spent plenty of time in the top 100 in the last two years. I received my rights back from the publisher last week, so I had to re-upload them. Yesterday...they hit #1 and #2 again! 

My thoughts on short stories… An average movie is one and a half to two hours long, and yet, it can still convey a full life, from birth to death, of a character, we can solve a ten-year-old murder mystery, view a first date as it matures to marriage and kids, so why wouldn’t I like a quick escape when I’m sitting at the DMV, waiting in the doctor’s office, and a hundred other places where we waste hours of our time. The answer is… I do like that; in fact, I love it! I’ve read many short stories on car trips across the state, flights, and waiting while my car gets serviced.

Short stories are a great way to meet an author without a long commitment or a nice release when you need just a little escape before going to bed, since there’s no risk of staying up too late to finish the story, as most short stories take less than an hour to read.

Wellthat’s it… Just my thoughts on why I write and read short stories. And so you know...I would never think to compare myself to the 'greats' I pictured above; they were just my point that short stories can be great and are an art. I have a long way to go, but my little short stories do have close to one hundred reviews averaging four-plus stars just on Amazon, so if you want to try on one for size, you can download The Pit Stop and The Depot absolutely FREE from Amazon here or from one of the other eBook retailers listed below. I hope you enjoy the quick escape from reality!

As always, happy reading, friends.


Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember, these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer.  If you’re curious about what I write, please visit one of my author pages, where you can read all about my novels and short stories. And hey, I’ll even give you a free book just for stopping by.

If it isn’t available free in your area, use…


  1. Excellent post, Carmen! There are sites which publish shorts, even pay for the right to use them. and for starters. The competition is almost fierce, though. There are so many new writers, and most are hidden by the massive population of "wanna-be's".
    I applaud your decision to follow this path of do-it-yourself publishing, and that you have the guts to give your stuff away.
    Speaking of which, I just procured your "Pit Stop" offering. Now, let us delve into the story...

    -- John

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, John! I'm glad you enjoyed. And thank you very much for the links and the download. I hope you enjoy my short escape. :)