It’s no surprise that the majority of my published short stories are in Level Best Books anthologies. After all, I submit to them more often than anywhere else because I love their books and they have a book signing at the New England Crime Bake every year. I’m thrilled when they accept one of my stories and disappointed if they don’t. Of the ones they’ve published over the years, I’ve received my share of compliments and good reviews. On the few occasions when someone has recognized my name as an author, I’ve even received a perplexed expression or two to go along with his or her question, “You’re Sharon Daynard… the writer?” But I must admit the best reaction I’ve ever received to one of my stories was “How could you?”
The answer of course is simple—a vivid imagination and years of writing, writing and more writing. It’s not like I set out to be shocking or offensive when I start a short story. It’s just where my dark sense of humor sometimes takes me. If you don’t believe me, buy the latest Level Best Books anthology, Noir at the Salad Bar: Culinary Tales with a Bite, and read my latest story, “Black Coffee in Bed.” Unless you’re depraved like me, you’re bound to find something distasteful.