Included in the new collection Dallas Noir is Harry Hunsicker’s story Stick-Up Girl, about an ex-stripper and her sister who take up a life of crime. It has all the hard boiled elements with a disarming touch of humanity. We talked to Harry about his story and his home town.
MYSTERYPEOPLE: How did the idea for your story come about?
HARRY HUNSICKER: I wanted to do a story from a woman’s POV. One thing led to another and I came up with a stripper/hooker trying to go legit by becoming an armed robber. Made sense at the time.
MP: What made you take the area of South Dallas?
HH: There’s a scene in South Dallas but story is really set in West Dallas, the area of town where Bonnie and Clyde got their start. It was pretty impoverished a hundred years ago and not much has changed, great noir territory. Also, the main character is a descendant of Bonnie Parker’s.
MP: You told me this was a much longer story before. How did you approach the streamlining process?
HH: In the original version, believe it or not, there was a love story in the middle–our ex-stripper heroine and a cop. I deleted that and everything fell into place.
MP: Many of the stories in Dallas Noir deal with real estate. As someone who comes from that business, why is land in Dallas more important than it might be in other cities?
HH: One of the main industries in Dallas is real estate. Real estate is the realm of a new city which Dallas likes to think of itself as. No patience for anything historic because that equates to old. Dallas is on a continual cycle of reinvention, tear down the old, replace with the new. Again, a characteristic that makes for great noir stories.
MP: Your short fiction tends to be darker than your novels. What about the form leads you to go in that direction?
HH: That’s a great question. I think with short fiction I don’t worry so much if the characters are likable or not.
Harry Hunsicker, along with other authors featured in Dallas Noir, will be here at BookPeople to talk about his work and the collection on Friday, December 6 at 7pm. The event is free and open to the public.