ABOUT RICHARD HELMS

A lifelong North Carolinian, Richard Helms retired from active practice as a forensic psychologist in 2005, after working in the field for over two decades. At one time, he was the only court psychologist covering four counties in NC. A court-recognized expert in sex crimes and the psychology of sex offenders, mystery writing was an easy transition and a logical next step after Helms left his professional career to become a college professor in Charlotte. He retired from teaching in the summer of 2016 to become a full time writer.

Helms has nineteen novels in print. His twentieth novel, and his third Eamon Gold title (Brittle Karma), will be published in October 2020 by Black Arch Books. He has been nominated six times for the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award (2003 for Juicy Watusi; 2004 for Wet Debt, 2006 for Cordite Wine,  2014 for The Mojito Coast, 2015 for "Busting Red Heads", and in 2020 for Paid In Spades). He has also been nominated eight times for the Short Mystery Fiction Society Derringer Award, and remains one of only two authors (with John Floyd) ever to win that award in two different categories in the same year (2008, for Paper Walls/Glass Houses, published in The Back Alley Webzine; and for The Gospel According to Gordon Black, published at the Thrilling Detective Website). ​​

In 2011, he was nominated for the Derringer Award, the Mystery Readers International Macavity Award, and the ITW Thriller Award for his Pat Gallegher short story The Gods For Vengeance Cry (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, November 2010), and won the Thriller Award presented at the ITW ThrillerFest in New York City. ​​

 

In 2015, he was again nominated for three different awards, including the SMFS Derringer Award, the ITW Thriller Award, and the PWA Shamus Award, for his Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine story Busting Red Heads.

From 2007 until 2011, he edited and published The Back Alley Webzine, a hardboiled and noir short story site. Stories published in The Back Alley were nominated for the Derringer Award, the Spinetingler Award, and the Bouchercon Anthony Award. ​

 

In 2011 and 2012, he was President of the Southeast Regional Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and a member of the National Board of Directors of MWA. In August, 2017, at the Killer Nashville Mystery Conference, Helms was presented with the prestigious SEMWA Magnolia Award for his service to the chapter. 

In 2020, Helms' short story "See Humble and Die"  (The Eyes of Texas, edited by Michael Bracken, Down and Out Book, 2019) was one of twenty selected for inclusion in Houghton Mifflin's Best American Mystery Stories 2020, edited by Otto Penzler and C. J. Box.  BAMS202o will be released in early October 2020. "See Humble and Die" was also nominated for the 2020 SMFS Derringer Awards, in the Long Story Category. In addition, Helms received a second 2020 Derringer Award nomination in the Novelette category for "The Cripplegate Apprehension", from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. This was the third time Helms has received Derringer Award nominations in two different categories in the same year.

 

Also in 2020, Helms' fifth Pat Gallegher novel Paid In Spades (Clay Stafford Books, March 2019) was nominated for the PWA Shamus Award and won the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award.

Besides writing, Helms loves gourmet cooking, woodworking, traveling, amateur astronomy, and rooting for the Carolina Tarheels and Carolina Panthers. For a peek at his non-writing life, check out his other website at www.rickhelms.com

The parents of two grown children, Richard Helms and his wife Elaine live in Charlotte, NC.

 

AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS

 

2001 Wicked Company Book Of The Year: Joker Poker, Back Alley Books

 

2003 PWA Shamus Award Nominee, Best Paperback Original Novel: Juicy Watusi, Back Alley Books

 

2004 PWA Shamus Award Nominee, Best Paperback Original Novel: Wet Debt, Back Alley Books

 

2006 PWA Shamus Award Nominee, Best Paperback Original Novel: Cordite Wine, Back Alley Books

 

2008 SMFS Derringer Award Winner (8001-16000 Word Category): Paper Walls/Glass Houses (written as Eric Shane), The Back Alley Webzine

 

2008 SMFS Derringer Award Winner (4001-8000 Word Category): The Gospel According To Gordon Black, Thrilling Detective Website

 

2011 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award Nominee: Thunder Moon, Five Star/Cengage Mysteries

 

2011 SMFS Derringer Award Nominee (Long Story Category): Silicon Kings, The Back Alley Webzine

 

2011 SMFS Derringer Award Nominee (Novelette Category): The Gods For Vengeance Cry, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

 

2011 Mystery Readers International Macavity Award Nominee (Short Story Category): The Gods For Vengeance Cry, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

 

2011 ITW Thriller Award Winner (Short Story Category): The Gods For Vengeance Cry, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

 

2012 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award Nominee: The Unresolved Seventh, Five Star/Cengage Mysteries

 

2013 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award Nominee: The Mojito Coast, Five Star/Cengage Mysteries

 

2014 PWA Shamus Award Nominee, Best Hardcover PI Novel: The Mojito Coast, Five Star/Cengage Mysteries.

 

2015 SMFS Derringer Award Nominee, Best Novelette: Busting Red Heads, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

 

2015 ITW Thriller Award Nominee, Best Short Story: Busting Red Heads, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

 

2015 PWA Shamus Award Nominee, Best Short Story: Busting Red Heads, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

 

2016 SMFS Derringer Award Nominee, Best Novelette: Shooting Stars, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

2017 Recipient of the SEMWA Magnolia Award for service to the Southeast Regional Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

2020 Selected for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Best American Mystery Stories 2020, edited by Otto Penzler and C.J. Box: See Humble and Die, in The Eyes of Texas, edited by Michael Bracken (Down & Out Books)

 

​2020 SMFS Derringer Award Nominee, Best Long Story: See Humble and Die, from The Eyes of Texas, edited by Michael Bracken (Down & Out Books)

2020 SMFS Derringer Award Nominee, Best Novelette: The Cripplegate Apprehension ,  Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

2020 PWA Shamus Award Nominee, Best Paperback Original Novel: Paid In Spades, Clay Stafford Books, Nashville, TN.

2020 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award Winner, Best Procedural or PI Novel: Paid In Spades, Clay Stafford Books, Nashville TN.

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© 2013 by Richard Helms