Authors, S.A. Cosby, Kellye Garrett, Gar Anthony Haywood and Cheryl A. Head discuss the history of Black writers of crime fiction and the future of Black writers in the genre.
S.A. Cosby is an Anthony award-winning writer from Southeastern Virginia. His short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines His story Slant-Six was selected as a Distinguished Story in Best American MysteryStories for 2016. His short story The Grass Beneath My Feet won the Anthony award for best short story in 2019. His writing has been called “gritty and heartbreaking” and “dark, thrilling and tragic.” His style and tone is influenced by his varied life experiences which includes but are not limited to being a bouncer, construction worker, retail manager and for six hours a mascot for a major fast food chain inside the world’s hottest costume.
Kellye Garrett is the acclaimed author of the Detective by Day mysteries about a semi-famous, mega-broke Black actress who takes on the deadliest role of her life: Private Detective. The first, Hollywood Homicide, won the Agatha, Anthony, Lefty and Independent Publisher “IPPY” awards for best first novel. The second, Hollywood Ending, was nominated for both Anthony and Lefty awards. Prior to writing novels, Garrett spent eight years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for Cold Case. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Sisters in Crime and is a co-founder of Crime Writers of Color. Her next project is an #ownvoices domestic suspense novel about a woman looking into the overdose death of a one-time reality star found within blocks of her house—her own estranged younger sister.
Gar Anthony Haywood is the Shamus and Anthony award-winning author of twelve crime novels, including the Aaron Gunner private eye series and Joe and Dottie Loudermilk mysteries. His short fiction has been included in the BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES anthologies and Booklist has called him “a writer who has always belonged in the upper echelon of American crime fiction.” He has written for network television and both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He and his wife Donna currently make their home in Denver, Colorado.
Cheryl A. Head is originally from Detroit, and now lives on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where she has navigated a successful career as a writer, television producer, filmmaker, broadcast executive and media funder. Her self-published debut novel, Long Way Home: A World War II Novel, was a 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist in both the African American Literature and Historical Fiction categories. Her award-winning, Charlie Mack Motown Mystery series (Bywater Books) is set in Detroit featuring a Black, lesbian private investigator. When not writing fiction, Head consults on a wide range of diversity issues. She is a Senior Associate at Livingston Associates, a member of the Bouchercon Board of Directors and former Director of Inclusion for the board of the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS).
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