I was honored when Joyce Carol Oates invited me to contribute a story for this collection of noir tales. The first thing she asked was, “Do you have a connection to New Jersey?” and I do. For one, I am married to a Jersey girl. And two, after graduate school I rented a studio in Hoboken (Frank Sinatra’s home town) and lived there for many years. That studio plays a part in the story that I wrote for this anthology, “Lola,” which is one of my favorite stories.
My short story for New Jersey Noir anthology called “Lola” was reviewed at Little Big Crime Blog. “I didn’t think this story was going to be my favorite of the week. It felt like a pretty ordinary piece at first. But stories, like people for that matter, can surprise you. The narrator is a would-be portrait artist who makes his living preparing stretchers for more successful painters. One day riding the PATH trains back to Hoboken he becomes attracted to a young woman. Pretty soon he is obsessed with her, and this is obviously not the first time he has gone down this path. I was pretty sure I knew where this journey was headed. Well. Can’t say much more without giving away the store. Let’s just say Santlofer has some surprises in store for his characters, and for us. A perfect ending is one that leaves the reader saying: “I never saw that coming, … Read more