Daniel Moses Luft has written numerous reviews for Mystery Scene Magazine and mostlyfiction.com, and was formerly a copy editor for sovlit.com. Excluding a few quotations he made up for his college newspaper, “Boxed” is his first published fiction.
Your story in Dead Calm, “Boxed,” is about a man named Skinner who is trapped literally and figuratively. How did you come up with this idea?
Men’s adventure paperbacks from the 70s and 80s all had tough guy names like The Penetrator or The Executioner. I’d like to use my character again and wondered what name could be used and re-used in titles that might feature puns. I will eventually write one called “Skinner Alive.” The story in Dead Calm takes place in a small room with the character reacting to his conditions, so here he’s “Skinner Boxed.” I dropped his name out of the title because I thought it was just too goofy.
“Boxed” is your first published short story. Congratulations! How long have you been writing? Submitting? Tell us a little about your journey.
I have been writing since I got out of college 20 years ago but mostly I’ve been noodling in my spare time. I wasn’t sending out. About three years ago I decided to write some book reviews and that worked out so last year, after my first Crime Bake 2010, I decided to write some short stories. I’ve had two other stories accepted since Dead Calm came out and they will be published online at PowderBurn Flash, and Beat to a Pulp.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on a longer story about a middle-aged guy who moves out of the suburbs back to Allston while he’s getting divorced. Of course horrible things happen—it’s Allston and he’s middle aged.