Posts Tagged ‘Mardi Gras Murder’

Take the Last Banana by Debra H. Goldstein

January 19, 2015 6 comments

Take the Last Banana by Debra H. Goldstein

When a person comes up to me and says he/she has the perfect idea for a book, if only he/she could find the time to write it, I run in the other direction. The same normally holds true when someone offers me an idea for my writing. Recently, I broke that rule. A friend said, “I have an idea for you. I don’t want a claim on it. You can use it or lose it.”

My curiosity was piqued. This person has a dry sense of humor and from the twinkle in his eye, I knew he felt his suggestion was going to be quite witty. I bit. Holding back a grin, he said, “Take the last banana.”

Apparently, in preparing to leave the beach, his wife realized there was one last banana to pack up. She admonished him to “Take the last banana” and the way she said it amused him. Out of context, it hit me the same way. I don’t know how I’m going to use it yet, but the phrase is simmering on a back burner. At some point, I will come across something in my research or a contest prompt that “Take the last banana” will fit into perfectly.

When I wrote the short story, Who Dat? Dat the Indian Chief! for Mardi Gras Murder, the idea of redemption had been floating around my mind for a long time, but it hadn’t fit anywhere. Researching to find a New Orleans flavored story twist, I read articles about the different Mardi Gras parades, Hurricane Katrina, and the various restaurants. A reference to the Mardi Gras Indian parade caught my attention. More research revealed the Mardi Gras Indians were African-America and the parades occurred, but weren’t scheduled. The idea fascinated me and as I worked to figure out when in time to set it and what would motivate a crime, the thoughts of redemption surfaced again. Suddenly, I knew how to associate all of these ideas.

Published in February 2014 as part of the short story anthology, Mardi Gras Murder edited by Sarah Glenn, Who Dat? Dat the Indian Chief! is the perfect example of how my thoughts and ideas can gel. I can’t wait to find a way to use “Take the last banana.” Any ideas?


March 26, 2014 2 comments
Harriette Sackler

Harriette Sackler


I recently had a short story, Who Dat? Dat the Indian Chief! published in the Mardi Gras Murder anthology. Of the thirteen stories included in the book, Queen of the King Cakes by Harriette Sackler particularly caught my attention so I decided to interview Harriette.

1. Tell me about your writing and your motivation to write.

Harriette: Of my many interests, writing is close to the top of my list. When I began writing short stories, I was motivated to continue when my first story, “Mother Love,” which appeared in the Chesapeake Crimes II anthology, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Short Story.

2. Give me a plot teaser about your Mardi Gras Murder story.

Harriette: “Queen of the King Cakes” is about a young woman who is determined to fulfill her dream of achieving success in an area she is most passionate about. However, one decision changes the course of her life.

3. How did you come to write Queen of the King Cakes? Where did you get the idea for the story?

Harriette: I find that somehow, my stories just come to me. Some of them are based on observations or incidents that have stuck in my mind over time. This story actually revolves around a woman who lived on our block when I was a little girl and the wonderful times I spent with my grandmother who shared a passion similar to my protagonist.MGMFrontCover

4. Did you need to do research for the story?

Harriette: Yes, I did research for this story. I read about the history of King Cakes, the geography of New Orleans, and the Louisiana penal system.

5. Anything else you want to say about the story or the Mardi Gras Murder anthology?

Harriette: I truly hope readers will enjoy my story and would love to hear from them at I also want to give a shout-out to Sarah Glenn and Gwen Mayo for providing short story writers with another venue for their stories.

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Harriette Sackler serves as Grants Chair of the Malice Domestic Board of Directors. She is a past Agatha Award nominee for Best Short Story for “Mother Love,” Chesapeake Crimes II.  “Fishing for Justice,” appeared in the Sisters in Crime-Guppies anthology, Fishnets. “Devil’s Night,” can be found in All Hallows’ Evil,” a Mystery and Horror, LLC anthology. “Thanksgiving with a Turkey,” appeared in a Shaker of Margaritas: a Bad Hair Day; and “The Factory,” was published in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job is Murder.

Harriette is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Sisters in Crime-Chesapeake Chapter, and the Guppies.

She lives in the D.C. suburbs with her husband and their three pups and spends a great deal of time as Vice President of her labor of love: House with a Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary. She is a proud mom and grandmother.  Visit Harriette at: