This is the first collection of short stories by award-winning author Stephen Maitland-Lewis. Filled with international intrigue, suspense, mystery, and exotic adventures, escapades take readers to international locales such as Geneva, Paris, Munich, and the French Riviera. The collection’s characters include a fugitive from justice, a frustrated musician, an unscrupulous NYC art dealer, an impoverished banker, and a British schoolboy in Palm Springs via New Zealand. The anthology also chronicles amorous encounters, family greed, and a mysterious tattoo parlor, among many other stories.
Stephen Maitland-Lewis recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his first anthology: MR. SIMPSON AND OTHER SHORT STORIES:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
A further curiosity about the stories.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
How much I enjoyed the re-writes and revisions.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
Harold Robbins: A superb storyteller.
Damon Runyan: Superb dialogue, humor, and character portrayal.
Ernest Hemingway: A great economy of words and character.
Philip Roth: It is obvious each sentence is painstakingly crafted.
O’Henry: His ability to manifest a ‘mood’ and an emotion in his characters.
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
I enjoy reading short stories, so the challenge was to write a collection of them myself.
Without spoilers, are there any genre conventions you wanted to upend or challenge with this book?
The old adage “write what you know.” One of my short stories involves a sheep farm in New Zealand. I know nothing about sheep, agriculture, or New Zealand, but I enjoyed the research.
Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
Eliminating unnecessary verbiage and subplots that slowed down the pace.
What’s the one question you wish someone would ask you about this book, or your work in general? And please answer the question too!
Q: How do you deal with rejections and editors?
A: With the greatest of difficulty but ultimately resignation.
If your book is an anthology, what was the most important criteria in your selection process?
Eliminating similarities and avoiding the same character types, therefore presenting a wide array of individuals, plots, and locations.
Stephen Maitland-Lewis is an award-winning author, a British attorney, and a former international investment banker. He has held senior executive positions in London, Kuwait, Paris, Munich, and on Wall Street prior to moving to California in 1991. He has owned a luxury hotel and a world-renowned restaurant and was also director of marketing of a Los Angeles daily newspaper.
Maitland-Lewis is a jazz aficionado and a board trustee of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York. In 2014, he received the museum’s prestigious Louie Award. A member of PEN, the Palm Springs Writer’s Guild, and the Author’s Guild, Maitland-Lewis is also on the Executive Committee of the International Mystery Writers Festival. In addition, he is on the Advisory Board of the California Jazz Foundation and is a former Board member. He has published short stories in various magazines, and MR. SIMPSON AND OTHER SHORT STORIES is Maitland-Lewis’ first collection of short stories.
His novels have received numerous accolades, and his most recent suspense thriller is Duped. His other novels include Hero on Three Continents; Emeralds Never Fade, which won the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction and the 2011 Written Arts Award for Best Fiction; Ambition, which was a 2013 USA Best Book Awards finalist and won first place for General Fiction in the 2013 Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards; and Botticelli’s Bastard, a 2014 USA Best Book Awards finalist in three categories and winner of the Bronze Award in Best Regional Fiction (Europe) at the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Maitland-Lewis’ short story, “Mr. Simpson,” has recently been developed as a play and has been performed by noted theatre companies in Miami, New Orleans, and Beverly Hills. In January of 2016, Maitland-Lewis was sworn in as a Freeman of the City of London and admitted as a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of City Solicitors. In April of 2016, he became a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society (FRGS). He divides his time between Beverly Hills, CA and New Orleans, LA.
To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.