Michael Nethercott has published stories and plays in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction; Crimestalkers Casebook; Plays, the Drama Magazine; and various anthologies including Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year; Thin Ice; Dead Promises; and Gods and Monsters. He is a past recipient of the Black Orchid Novella Award for traditional mystery writing and has an upcoming novel published by St. Martin’s Press. His website is www.michaelnethercott.com and he blogs at http://michaelnethercott.blogspot.com
Your story in Dead Calm, “Plain Vanilla,” takes place in a very specific time. A lot of the utter fun of it is that’s in written in the style of it’s time. How did you find this story’s distinctive voice?
I knew I wanted a narrator who’d present the tale in a quirky, quick-witted way. That became the Wheelman –this streetwise, cocky, funny low-level criminal type. This was one of those cases where I latched early on to a character who knew what he was about and could babble on relentlessly, and my job was basically to hang on his coattails to hear what the hell he had to say. I don’t know that I did much plotting with this story; I just let the Wheelman say his piece
You also write plays and had one produced this summer. How does play writing inform your short story writing?