s.m.harding crime fiction


I've spent most of my life as a teacher: sixth grade; art and English in high school; design, photography, and philosophy on the college level. I've also driven a cab in Chicago, been a secretary, an art director, and a chef.

I've been writing for a long time, but primarily academic pieces and special interest articles and essays. About ten years ago, I was living in a log cabin in the foothills of the San Juan Mountains in norther New Mexico. The nearest library, a tiny one in Chama, was 25 miles away, the nearest bookstore, 70 miles over the mountains to Taos. During the winter, the road was closed periodically with snowfall, so I began writing a mystery out of a sheer need to read a new story.

Why mystery? Because it's what I read. Sometime in the mid-sixties I threw a highly praised novel across the room and yelled "I don't care!" Not about the character's mid-life crisis, not about his angst nor his self-analysis. An English major, tired of my grumbling about Literature (notice the "L" -- you know what I mean), gave me a Dorothy Sayers novel and I was off and running, er, reading.

So far, I've had well over two dozen short stories published in various crime fiction anthologies, and in both print and on-line magazines. Easiest to find is in Spinetingler: "Snake in the Grass" in October of 2010. Latest are "A Winter Story" in Wicked Things (a Halloween anthology) and "Spirit of Christmas Past" in Unwrap these Presents (a Christmas anthology), both published by Ylva Publishing.


I teach writing workshops at The Writers' Center of Indiana and edited Writing Murder, a collection of essays by 19 Midwest authors. It's a great read and the book I wish I had in hand when I started writing fiction. Writing Murder can be ordered at Indiana Writers Center: