This place is in my blood

It’s a dark and rainy night, when Kate Williams finds an injured stranger on the Highway. She pulls over to help him, not knowing that she will be soon in danger.

That’s how Marcelle Dubé’s short story Night Shift starts. Dubé has recently published her short story collection Night Shift (Falcon Ridge Publishing).

Readers who are familiar with her books may know the character Chief of Police Kate Williams well. Dubé has written a mystery series about her and continues to write about the detective.

“I just finished a draft of a short story in the Mendenhall-series,” she said. “My Mendenhall is a fictitious town between Winnipeg and Brandon, in Manitoba. Kate, the 50-something female chief of police, has to contend with a resentful police force when she first comes on board (The Shoeless Kid is the first in the series), but she’s stubborn and determined and won’t let anything keep her from doing her job.” There are four novels in the series and three short stories.

Dubé has published ten novels but this is her first short story collection. Will there be more short stories to come? “Yes, of course!” she said enthusiasticly. “I always have a short story or two on the go. I’m hoping to collect previously published stories along various genres. For instance, the next collection will probably consist of fantasy short stories, followed by a science fiction collection.”

The stories in Night Shift are suspensful with main characters that are tough and strong like Jules who had an accident at Miles Canyon and can’t remember what happened after waking up in the hospital. “I like spending time with characters in interesting settings,” Dubé said about her writing. “I am definitely more of a novelist than a short story writer. Writing a novel feels like settling down to a full meal, as opposed to the light snack of a short story. It may be a disservice to the short story, because a well-written short story packs a wallop in very few words. Not an easy feat!”

Dubé writes mainly mystery, fantasy and science-fiction, but the reader can find hints of love in the stories, for example in “Jules”, where the main character develops a relationship with Peter, her nurse.

“The focus of the books is always on the investigations, but the relationships of the various characters wind their way through the stories, and apparently into readers’ hearts.” she said. On the request of her readers, Dubé plans to write another Mendenhall mystery-novel about Kate Williams.

“Over the course of the series, through various investigations, Kate and Bert come to love each other, but by the end of the last book, they are in trouble.”

For Dubé, writing is also a little nerve-wracking, she said. “I don’t know where I’m going until I get there. And very often, in my mysteries, I won’t know who the “bad guy” is until I’m close to the end. It keeps the story interesting for me since I don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

It also makes it interesting for the reader to explore her stories.

Jules is the only story in the book which is set in the Yukon. But the territory inspires Dubé

“Even when the story isn’t set in the Yukon, the Yukon permeates the setting. I can’t help it—this place is in my blood.”

Night Shift is available as an e-book only on Amazon. It is free until the end of October.

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