"John Floyd is one of the top voices not just in Mississippi mystery fiction, but in American mystery fiction.--Tom Franklin, author of Poachers and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
John Madison Floyd was raised in Sallis, Mississippi, and attended Kosciusko High School and Mississippi State University. After graduating in Electrical Engineering, he joined IBM Corporation, spent four years in the U.S. Air Force on a military leave-of-absence, and then returned to IBM, where he worked as a systems engineer, marketing representative, and finance industry specialist. He and his wife Carolyn live in Mississippi.
John began writing for publication in 1994. Since then, three of his stories have been chosen for inclusion in Otto Penzler's annual Best American Mystery Stories anthology (the top 20 mysteries of the year): "Molly's Plan" from Strand Magazine in the 2015 edition (here's the Kirkus Review and the Publishers Weekly review), "Gun Work" from the anthology Coast to Coast: Private Eyes in the 2018 edition, and "Rhonda and Clyde" from Black Cat Mystery Magazine in the 2020 edition. Also, five more of his stories have been named in B.A.M.S.'s "Other Distinguished Mysteries" list (top 50 mysteries of the year). Four of John's stories have won the Derringer Award; one was nominated for the 2015 Edgar Award; one appeared in the anthology After Death, which won the 2013 Bram Stoker Award; another was a finalist in The World's Best Mystery and Crime Stories 2; and John's work has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. In 2018 John was the recipient of the Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer Award for lifetime achievement, becoming one of only 22 authors to receive that honor. Previous recipients include Lawrence Block, Loren Estleman, Bill Pronzini, John Lutz, and Ruth Rendell.
John taught fiction-writing courses at night in the Continuing Education Department at Millsaps College for seventeen years, and was a regular (weekly) columnist for four years at the Criminal Brief mystery blog. After CB completed its run in 2011 he and several fellow CBers formed SleuthSayers, where he now writes a column every first, third, and fifth Saturday.
In addition to his hundreds of standalone short stories, John has written and published five different "series" of mystery shorts. One features bossy retired schoolteacher Angela Potts and her former fifth-grade student Charles "Chunky" Jones, who is now the sheriff of their small southern town. Another series stars amateur crimefighter Frances Valentine and her single daughter Lucy, also a local sheriff. More than 100 Angela/Chunky mysteries have appeared in Woman's World magazine over the past twenty years, and more than 80 Fran and Lucy stories (better known as the "Law and Daughter" series) have been featured in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Flash Bang Mysteries, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, Mysterical-E, and other publications.
The first three stories in a mystery series about Pine County sheriff Ray Douglas ("Trail's End," "Scavenger Hunt," and "Quarterback Sneak") have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and one ("The Daisy Nelson Case") in Down & Out: The Magazine. Three more of the Sheriff Douglas adventures have been accepted and are upcoming at AHMM--one of them in the Mar/Apr 2021 issue. . Also, the second story in a series starring Old West private investigator Will Parker was featured in the 2017 anthology Coast to Coast: Private Eyes, and that story was selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of Best American Mystery Stories. John's fifth mystery series features former accountant Katie Rogers and her younger sister Anna, who's a police chief. Their adventures have been published in several issues of Woman's World.
In 2006 John signed on with Dogwood Press, which has now published seven collections of his short stories: Rainbow's End (2006), Midnight (2008), Clockwork (2010), Deception (2013), Fifty Mysteries (2014), Dreamland (2016), and The Barrens (2018). His eighth book, a collection of humorous verse called Lighten Up a Little, was released by Dogwood Press in spring 2020 and his ninth, Selected Stories, is scheduled for release by VKN Publishing in Moscow in 2021.
In summary, John's work has been published on five continents, printed in Braille, taught in high schools and colleges, optioned for film production, and translated into Russian. His books and stories have been praised by James Patterson, Jan Burke, Douglas Preston, Marcus Sakey, Bill Fitzhugh, Nevada Barr, Steve Hamilton, Carolyn Haines, Bill Crider, Tom Franklin, Jon Breen, O'Neil De Noux, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Doug Allyn, and many others.