“There are stories in everything.  I’ve got some of my best yarns from park benches, lampposts, and newspaper stands.”  O. Henry

Everyone has a first love.  It could be the boy next door, a Spiderman comic book, collecting stamps, or … you name it.

I had a first love, too.  Mine was O. Henry.

Time passed, I grew up, and I moved on to other things:  My adventurous jobs (private detective and arson investigator); my wonderful late husband; my newspaper columns; my books.

Yet a first love is the manifest destiny of the soul, so it was inevitable that eventually, I would want to emulate my hero and write short stories, too.

Long before I became a writer, though, the magazines that had launched so many brilliant careers went out of business: Saturday Evening Post; Collier’s; Woman’s Home Companion; Scribner; The Story Press, and more.

My heart was pure, but my timing was off.   So I taught myself how to write novels, and being fickle, I learned to love what I did.

But first cannot be denied, and several years ago, I woke up with the idea for a short story in my head.  Without thinking, I reached for a pen.

Nothing had changed.   There was still no market for short fiction.  I just didn’t care!  I talked my editor at The Forensic Examiner into using one of my stories in each issue of their magazine.  Then I convinced my editors at The Evening Sun that their newspaper would sparkle if, other than my monthly column, their readers could read my short fiction a well.

Which brings us to my new collection:  Dabbling in Crime.

Once, in a deliciously conspiratorial mood, O. Henry wrote:

I’ll give you the whole secret to short story writing. Here it is.
Rule 1: Write stories that please yourself.
There is no Rule 2.

I have followed O. Henry’s advice for Rule 1.  It is my great hope that my stories will also please you.



Praise for Shelly Reuben:

An adroit storyteller with a gift for creating quirky and compelling characters.  The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Characters…are so combustible that you keep expecting them to go up in flames.  New York Times Book Review

You’re being seduced by a very capable writer…a master of suspense and dramatic structure.    Jules Brenner – Critical Mystery Tour

Great characters, and just thinking about them now brings a smile to my face.  You don’t often meet people this good.  When you do, you don’t want to let them go.   The Drood Review.


Edgar-Award Nominated Author, Private Detective, Fire and Arson Investigator