Susan Kennedy … another SNHU MFA graduate has some works in the pike, baby. "Nightly Music" placed third in the romance category of the Ninth Annual Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards. The contest was held last fall and the winners were announced in November. Susan was told that it was an honorable mention and would be on the list of winners, which would be announced this spring. She didn't know it had received third place until she found the webpage.
Since the story itself wasn't being published by Writer's Digest, she sent it out and Romance Magazine accepted it for the April issue. Here's the link to the issue:
A synopsis of the story goes like this: "Nightly Music" follows protagonist Lynette Dunne, a woman in her thirties with shattered dreams and a haunting passion for ballroom dancing. Before the story begins, she leaves competitive dancing amid the scandal and shame of public betrayal by her professional dancing partner. When readers meet her, she has curled into an obscure, and what she thinks is a responsible, life that consists of a reliable day job in New Hampshire's Queen City (Manchester). But, it leaves her heart empty and her soul aching, and the betrayal has left her terrified of romantic relationships. In the apartment next door to hers lives high school history teacher Keith Nelson. His knack for seeing through facades, his honesty, and his refusal to give up finally win her trust and teach her that being "responsible" does not equal denying oneself of life's joys.
Susan’s bio as it appears in Romance Magazine: Susan E. Kennedy holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction and Nonfiction from Southern New Hampshire University. Her work has appeared in several publications, including the literary magazines Amokseag and The View From Here. Her short story "Portsmouth Propriety" is forthcoming in Love Free or Die, an anthology of fiction, in June 2014. She is a freelance editor, proofreader, manuscript reviewer, and writer. She is at work on a historical novel set in 1773 New England.
Susan’s first short story was published when I was a fifteen-year-old high school student.
The debut novel by one of Susan’s freelance editing clients is going to be published by Harper Voyager Impulse on July 22nd.
Country Noir … a wonderful article by author, Court Merrigan, in Electric Literature, comparing some classic southern and gothic noir with the new kid on the block—Country Noir. Merrigan does a wonderful job of introducing some of the best modern writers of noir around (Benjamin Whitmer, Scott Wolven, Frank Bill and Percival Everett). Some of my favorites are given kudos in the piece as well, including Larry Brown, Cormac McCarthy, James Cain and Erskine Caldwell (not to mention Faulker, Flannery O’Connor and Jim Thompson). Hey, it even comes with an organizational chart (see below) that brings it all back to a book I’ll have to read first chance I get—The Sovereignty and Goodness of God, by Mary Rowlandson.
Madrid 1987 … an interesting movie about the pairing of a cultured older man and beautiful young student. Wonderful dialogue start to finish. Miguel (José Sacristán), a famous columnist, was interviewed by a journalism student Ángela (María Valverde). She’s the beauty the professor can’t ignore. They wind up in his friend’s flat and wind up locked in the bathroom for two days. Interesting as it gets.
Muscle Shoals … a wonderful documentary about the legendary recording studio(s); how they came about and how they persevered. An all-white rhythm band? Who knew? It’s a wonderful film. Check it out. Hits up the kazooooooo!
Percy Sledge, for the Principessa Ann Marie … When A Man Loves A Woman …
A younger Mr. Sledge singing the same song.