Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Reviewed: "The Uninhabited"

Sandra Seamans at My Little Corner had this to say about "The Uninhabited" (Tough, September 26, 2017):
"What I loved the most is the fact that it reminds you that nothing is ever what it seems."
Read her full comments here.

Reviewed: "The Princess and the Swineherd"

Dee at Love Bytes reviewed "The Princess and the Swineherd" and had this to say:
"If you like being told a tale without the story being heavy on angst this could be just the ticket. However, if you enjoy being pulled in by character development and emotions (The feels) then perhaps you should pick this one up when you’re looking for a quick escape."
Read the the entire review here.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


I received my 32nd acceptance of the year this morning, this time for a piece of flash crime fiction.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


I received my 31st acceptance of the year this afternoon, this time for a story that straddles the line between dark crime and non-supernatural horror.

Friday, September 22, 2017


I received my 30th acceptance of the year this morning, this time for a bit of crime fiction that won't be published until January/February 2019.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


I completed and submitted my twenty-sixth short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 4,400-word bit of crime fiction I started July 19.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Writerboy at 60

Today, I turned 60. This is an unexpected accomplishment. Neither my father nor either of my grandfathers survived their 50s.

A quadruple heart bypass in September 2008 probably added the extra years to my life, but it isn't the only factor in my unexpected longevity. I've set goals for myself over the years, but my overriding objective since bypass surgery has been to be happy.

And I am.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Three new mystery periodicals

At least three new digest-sized mystery magazines launched this year, each with a different editorial focus, but all deserving the support of mystery readers.

Black Cat Mystery Magazine debuted this month. Published by Wildside Press and edited by Carla Coupe, the first issue offers the most diverse selection of fiction among the three magazines, with original stories by Alan Orloff, Art Taylor, Josh Pachter, Barb Goffman, Meg Opperman, Dan Andriacco, John M. Floyd, Jack Halliday, Kaye George, and Michael Bracken; reprints by James Holding and Fletcher Flora; poetry by Josh Pachter; and a single piece of non-fiction, the editorial by publisher John Betancourt and editor Carla Coupe.

The publisher, Wildside Press, is a well-established book and magazine publisher that also publishes Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

Order a single issue or a subscription directly from the publisher at http://wildsidepress.com/magazines/BCMM/.

The magazine has not yet posted submission guidelines but expects to soon and should be open to submissions beginning in October. UPDATE: Guidelines are now posted at: http://bcmystery.com/guidelines-for-black-cat-mystery-magazine-epub-kindle-pdf/.

To learn more about Black Cat Mystery Magazine, read contributor Barb Goffman's interview with editor Carla Coupe at Sleuthsayers.org.

(Note: I have not yet seen the physical magazine. However, I'm a contributor and read uncorrected proofs about a month ago.)

Down & Out: The Magazine debuted this summer. Published by Down & Out Books and edited by Rick Ollerman, Down & Out: The Magazine offers original fiction by Reed Farrel Coleman, Eric Beetner, Michael A. Black, Jen Conley, Thomas Pluck, Rick Ollerman, and Terence McCauly; a reprint by Frederick Nebel; non-fiction by J. Kingston Pierce; and an editorial by Rick Ollerman.

The fiction in Down & Out: The Magazine is less diverse than in Black Cat Mystery Magazine, skewing toward hardboiled.

The publisher, Down & Out Books, is an independent publisher founded in 2011.

Subscription packages are not yet available. Order the first issue at Amazon.

Submission guidelines are available at http://downandoutmagazine.com/submissions/.

Mystery Tribune debuted earlier this year, and Ehsan Ehsani serves as both editor and publisher. The second issue, dated Summer 2017, features original fiction by Rob Hart, Dan J. Fiore, Aaron Fox-Lerner, David James Keaton, and Teresa Sweeney; non-fiction by Elena Avanzas Alvarez, Reed Farrel Coleman, Shawn Corridan, Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks, and an interview with Haylen Beck; photo layouts by Tommy Ingberg and Heather Byington; and an editorial by Ehsan Ehsani.

Mystery Tribune offers an experience beyond the text, visually more like art magazines than traditional fiction periodicals, with extensive color photography throughout. The fiction is the least diverse among the three magazines, leaning toward noir.

Order a single issue or a subscription directly from the publisher at https://www.mysterytribune.com/subscribe/.

Submission guidelines are available at https://mysterytribune.submittable.com/submit/79921/guidelines.


Note: I have a relationship with Wildside Press that stretches back many years. They have published most of my books, including novels, short story collections, and anthologies. I also have a relationship with Down & Out Books. They have published my stories in two anthologies and I am editing an anthology for them. I do not yet have a relationship with Mystery Tribune. I would love to change that.

Withdrawal symptoms

When editors fail to respond to submissions, and then fail to respond to status queries, it's time to formally withdraw ms. from those editors. I've done it several times over the years, most often withdrawing stories from publications that were new or new to me. A few times lately, I've even withdrawn stories from publications where I suspect the editors never saw my submissions (or my withdrawal letters) because they don't monitor their spam folders.

But last night was different.

Last night I withdrew 15 ms. from a pair of markets that have been exceptionally good to me over the years.

Monthly publications, they haven't published an issue since July, haven't paid for several months, and haven't responded to emails from me or from other writers I know. So, even though the publications might be dead, I went through the process of identifying and withdrawing everything in their slush pile.

The two publications represented the last of a dying genre, and the unpublished stories I wrote for them will be difficult to place elsewhere. So, it is time to move on, to write more in other genres while seeking appropriate places to submit these 15 withdrawn stories, and to move forward rather than look backward.