Wednesday, May 01, 2019


I received my 5th acceptance of the year this morning. This one's my second collaboration with Sandra Murphy (we're two for two!), a bit of crime fiction set in the late 50s/early 60s.

Sunday, April 14, 2019


I completed and submitted my sixth short story of the year this evening, a 2,300-word mystery/ghost story I started writing September 3, 2017.

Sunday, March 31, 2019


I completed and submitted my fifth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 5,600-word mystery co-authored with Sandra Murphy. We sold our first collaboration on first submission, and we're hoping this one sells just as quickly.

Thursday, March 28, 2019


I completed and submitted my fourth short story of the year this evening. It's a 5,100-word bit of crime fiction.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Premiering in July from Down & Out Books …

Down & Out Books is thrilled to announce that in July 2019 GUNS + TACOS: SEASON ONE will premiere. Created and edited by Michael Bracken and Trey R. Barker, the series will consist of six episodes published monthly, with each written to be enjoyed in a single sitting.

“At Bouchercon 2018 in St. Petersburg, I spent a great deal of time hanging out with a revolving group of editors and writers affiliated with Down & Out Books,” said Bracken. “Over the course of the convention, a joke Trey and I shared developed into the genesis of an idea for a series. Frank Zafiro and other writers made suggestions that expanded the scope into something Eric Campbell, publisher of Down & Out Books, liked so much he asked for a formal proposal.”

“I’m a huge fan of television and streaming crime serials, especially those that have an overarching theme but with single episodes that are self-contained,” said Campbell. “Applying this concept to books is a natural extension of this interest. I was so excited by the outline Michael and Trey shared with me for Guns + Tacos that I immediately put the project on our production calendar.”

Here’s how Bracken and Barker describe the series. “There’s a taco truck in Chicago known among a certain segment of the population for its daily specials. Late at night and during the wee hours of the morning, it isn’t the food selection that attracts customers, it’s the illegal weapons available with the special order. Each episode of Guns + Tacos features the story of one Chicagoland resident who visits the taco truck seeking a solution to life’s problems, a solution that always comes in a to-go bag.”

Two subscription options are now available on the Down & Out Books website.

• A print subscription, which entitles you to receive all six digital episodes before their official publication date plus two print copies consisting of Episodes 1-3 and Episodes 4-6 plus an exclusive subscriber-only short story;

• A digital subscription, which entitles you to receive all six episodes before their official publication date plus the exclusive short story.

Titles and authors for Season One are:

Tacos de Cazuela con Smith & Wesson by Gary Phillips,
Three Brisket Tacos and a Sig Sauer by Michael Bracken,
A Gyro and a Glock by Frank Zafiro,
Three Chalupas, Rice, Soda and a Kimber .45 by Trey R. Barker,
Some Churros and El Burro by William Dylan Powell, and
A Beretta, Burritos and Bears by James A. Hearn.

We look forward to having readers join us on this new adventure. Click here for more information about subscribing, or contact us at

Saturday, March 02, 2019


I received my 4th acceptance of the year this morning, but this one's a bit of a cheat: I'm co-editor of the project that accepted it.

Saturday, February 23, 2019


I completed and submitted my third short story of the year this afternoon. It's an 1,800-word bit of crime fiction.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


I received my 3rd acceptance of the year later last evening. This one is for a time travel mystery.

Monday, February 18, 2019


I completed and submitted my second story of the year this evening. This one's a 3,300-word mystery I started January 1 in response to an anthology invitation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


I completed and submitted my first short story of the year this evening. This one's a 5,400-word collaboration I started July 17, 2014, and it remained as little more than notes, rough plot, and some partially written scenes until late last year. I found a collaborator with knowledge of football—which was required to complete the story—and we knocked out a submittable draft in less than two months.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

1, 2

I received my first two acceptances of the year this morning, both for audio rights to previously published stories—one is erotic crime fiction, the other erotica.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

2018 in Review

Each year around this time I post a review of the prior year and plans for the coming year. Because I'm now a regular contributor at SleuthSayers, this year I post my year in review there: Take a look.