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Wednesday, June 3, 2020


Crossing Borders is an anthology featuring fifteen stories that capture moments before, during and after characters cross borders and find themselves stumbling around strange lands that abound with saints, sinners, and monsters. Today we welcome three characters from three of the stories to chat with us All three answer the same set of questions but with very different answers.

Our first chat is with Tanya, from “Manipulations” by Barrie Summy.

What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings? 
So completely different. I was working at Costco and living with my ex-boyfriend in a divey one-bedroom apartment. We’d been broken up for almost a year, but neither of us could afford to move out. Basically, I was enjoying my going-nowhere life. Once Barrie got involved, I ended up behind bars for murder.

What's the trait you like most about yourself? 
Weirdly, because I never had much practice, I’m a good friend. I met Machelle one rainy night when I walked right into her. Turned out she lived across the pathway from me. We hit it off right away. I’d paint her nails and clean her apartment and sometimes run errands for her. Anthony, my ex, called me a pathetic doormat, but his idea of friendship was playing videogames with a guy from work. In the end, it didn’t work out so great with Machelle. I mean, here I am behind bars while she’s free, living a normal life. 

What is your greatest fear?
THAT I WON’T GET OUT OF HERE! I’m innocent. Yeah, I know every prisoner says that, but I really am innocent. I was framed. Deviously framed. I have a plan, but those can backfire.

Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her blog/website?
Honestly, I was a little nervous about getting involved with Barrie. She writes middle-grade mysteries. Middle grade! She’s the author of The Disappearance of Emily H. (now featured on AppleTV+’s Ghostwriter show) and the I So Don’t Do mystery series. “Manipulations” is her first foray into (writing) adult crime. Anyway, she’s a hard worker, and I feel like she got my story right. Now I’m reading her kid mysteries. Good stuff. Learn more about Barrie and her books at her website.  

Our second chat is with Antonio from “I Killing in Bogotá —1995” by Carl Vondereau

What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
I am twelve years old. I’ve been living on the streets since I was ten. Mama’s new man used to beat me so the street is better. That's where I met Piojo and the others in our pandilla. It’s cold in Bogotá so we sleep together on newspapers or in the sewers. The shop owners and cart vendors hire police to take gamines into the mountains at night. That’s where they shoot us. Sometimes I see Mama. Once I stole an orange and gave it to her when her man wasn’t home. She cried. But I didn’t.

That gringo author, Carl Vonderau, gave me a chance. He introduced me to Gustavo, who gave me the gun. All I have to do is shoot a man in an ugly foreign car and Gustavo will buy me new clothes. Someday Mama’s man will be afraid of me. All the shopkeepers will be afraid. Even the police will be afraid.

What is the trait you like most about yourself?
I am a good person. Mama’s man said I wasn’t. But Mama cried when he yelled that. She cried when he took off his belt. Mama knows I’m good.

What is your greatest fear?
That something will happen to Mama. Other than that, I don’t have fears. Maybe, if Gustavo lets me stay with him, I’ll still be alive at twenty. Then the girls will see my suit and nice shoes and I can be afraid. I’ll have something someone wants to take.

Tell us something about your author. Where can readers find his website/blog?
My author is some gringo banker who's decided he wants to be a writer. He wrote down my story like a movie. It’s called "A killing in Bogotá: 1995.” He also wrote some book called Murderabilia, whatever that is. In the future, Gustavo says you’ll find my author on something called the Internet and a website. If I’m still alive then, tell everyone you know that you’re afraid of me.

Our third chat is with the demigod of Flu from “One Flu Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Kathy Krevat.

What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
I’m a demigod of Flu so our definitions of life are very different. I’ve existed for centuries, causing varying amounts of havoc wherever I find myself. I travel extensively, as you might expect. I analyze human behavior – the good, the bad and the incredibly ugly. It used to entertain and horrify me in equal amounts, but I’ve grown so bored lately. Luckily, I now have a mystery to solve. 

What's the trait you like most about yourself?
There are just so many – it’s very difficult to choose. Perhaps my leadership capabilities. I successfully marshal billions of my kind to follow my directions without much effort. You might not like my goals, but my ability to achieve them is quite remarkable. 

What is your greatest fear?
Clorox. The very thought makes me shiver. 

Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her blog/website?
She’s the bestselling author of the Chocolate Covered Mystery series and the Gourmet Cat Mystery series. When she’s not writing, she’s volunteering for youth arts education organizations or performing stand-up comedy. You can learn more about her and her books at her website

Crossing Borders
Good stories start with characters crossing borders and finding themselves in worlds filled with hurt, harm, and danger. In Crossing Borders, the first anthology from Partners in Crime, the San Diego Chapter of Sisters in Crime, fifteen stories capture moments before, during and after characters cross borders and find themselves stumbling around strange lands that abound with saints, sinners, and monsters. 

Crossing Borders explores that liminal space—the place where people cross from not just from one place to another, like national boundaries, but the dividing line between life/death, stability/insanity, or innocence/guilt. This anthology contains stories that look at the duality of our lives, as we cross borders between people, values, and beliefs. 

Join us as we explore crossings, where a character, involved somehow in a crime, must pass over a border, literally or figuratively. As Rachel Howzell Hall says in our foreword: “Be prepared to hold your breath” as we enter that special space of crossing, transitioning, change, and death. Welcome to the border. 

Contributors: Lauren Avenius, Greta Boris, Pam Clark, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Cornelia Feye, Cheryl Garrett, B. J. Graf, S.J. Haworth, Kim Keeline, Kathy Krevat, Melinda Loomis, Gerald Martin, Jo Perry, Barrie Summy, and Carl Vonderau.

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Kathy Krevat said...

Thanks so much for having us on your blog!


You're very welcome, Kathy!

Carl Vonderau said...

Thanks from me , too, Anastasia. It was fun entering my character's life again.