ahmm

Look for My Story in the July/August 2017 Issue of Hitchcock's Mystery Mag

Look for my short story, “A Respectable Lady,” in the July/August 2017 issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (AHMM). The hard-copy issue hits newsstands tomorrow, Tuesday, June 20, but digital issues are already available.

I’d describe “A Respectable Lady” as a Sherlockian story that delves in the history of a minor character in the Great Detective's orbit. As one editor said in rejecting it, "Your story is well-written, but giving [redacted] such a sordid past would, I believe, be greatly disliked by our readership, so I will reluctantly have to pass on this one."

Well, AHMM liked it, so we're off to the races, sordid as you please.

You can download a single digital issue via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Magzter, Kobo, and Google Play. Just make sure you are downloading the July/August issue shown here.

Submissions stats: I finished this story sometime in October 2014. I submitted it to AHMM in July 2015, and didn’t hear from them until they bought it in June 2016, nearly eleven months later. It’s appearing a year after acceptance. Payment was $160, plus an additional $40 prepayment against a future AHMM anthology. That came to a total of $200, or about 9.5 cents a word.

Yes, I will eventually release an e-book version of “A Respectable Lady," which I’ll offer free to readers on my list. If you’d rather wait for the free copy, please join my e-newsletter.

 


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Look for My Story in the Nov 2015 Issue of Hitchcock's Mystery Mag

Look for my short story, “The Truth of What You’ve Become,” in the November 2015 issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (AHMM). The hard-copy issue hits newsstands tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15, but digital issues are already available.

I’d describe “The Truth...” as a Good Samaritan story gone wrong.

You can download a single digital issue via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Magzter, Kobo, and Google Play. Just make sure you are downloading the November issue shown above.

Submissions stats: I finished this story sometime in November 2013. I submitted it to AHMM in February 2014, and didn’t hear from them until they bought it in September 2014, nearly eight months later. So it’s appearing a year after acceptance, nineteen months since writing and submission. Payment was $208, plus an additional $52 prepayment against a future AHMM anthology. That came to a total of $260, or about 8 cents a word.

Yes, I will eventually release an e-book version of “The Truth of What You’ve Become," which I’ll offer free to readers on my list. If you’d rather wait for the free copy, please join my e-newsletter.


My story in the July-Aug 2015 issue of AHMM

Look for my short story “Scintilla” in the July/August 2015 double issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (AHMM). The hard-copy issue hits newsstands next Tuesday, May 26, but digital issues are (mostly) available this week.

I consider "Scintilla" to be one of my Italian stories, even though it doesn't feature the detective I introduced in The Marshal of the Borgo. I was trying to duplicate the experience of reading foreign-language mystery stories that had been translated into English. As typically happens with me these days, the story ended up being a paranormal/crime hybrid. I'm kind of surprised AHMM took it, but they sometimes like weird stuff.

You can download a single digital issue via AmazonBarnes & NobleApple iTunesMagzterKobo, and Google Play. Just make sure you are downloading the July/August issue shown above.

Submissions stats: I finished this story sometime in November 2013. I submitted it to AHMM in November 2013, and didn’t hear from them until they bought it in July 2014, eight months later. So it’s appearing ten months after acceptance, seventeen months since writing and submission. Payment was $276, plus an additional $69 prepayment for the right to republish in a future AHMM anthology. That came to a total of $345, or about 7 cents a word.

If you are a fan of the old Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout, you might want to a grab a copy of this issue. It's the annual AHMM that features the winner of the Black Orchid Novella Contest, a competition that challenges writers to emulate the style of the old Wolfe books and short stories.

Yes, I will eventually release an e-book version of "Scintilla," which I’ll offer free to people on my list. If you’d rather wait for the free copy, please join my e-newsletter.

Sneak peak at my story in AHMM's summer double issue

    

 

 

I just got some advance copies of the July/August double issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine in the mail. When the issue hits newsstands, real and virtual, on May 26, it will feature a new short story of mine, entitled "Scintilla." More on that story in a few weeks, but here's a peek at the art they're running with the story.

Picked for Best American Mystery Stories 2015 anthology!

I finally arrived home a few days ago after being away for three-and-a-half months and have been busy trying to dig myself out from under emails and to-dos. Now that the contract's cleared, I can announce something I've kept under wraps for a while: one of my short stories was chosen for the  forthcoming Best American Mystery Stories 2015 anthology. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will pub the anthology later this year, in October 2015. As many of you no doubt know, Otto Penzler is the longtime series editor; author James Patterson is the guest editor who made this year's picks.

The story is "Harm and Hammer," which first appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine back in October 2014. (I first talked about that story here.) I'm happy because I've always been fond of this piece, which is about a woman in witness protection who takes up a strange hobby to atone for her past. If you want to check it out, you can download the ebook for free at this link, which will stay live for only a week. Please grab it while you can.

I received this excellent news back in February but was too mired in family stuff to fully appreciate it. But I am very grateful. My thanks to my editors at AHMM, Mr. Penzler, and Mr. Patterson. See you in October.

 

 

Good News for a Change

Last week I got the nicest note from a reader. This practically never happens, and with all the bad news here lately, it was nice to get this in my inbox:

At the gym today I picked up an Alfred Hitchcock Magazine that somebody had left and I began reading ... I couldn't believe how good the writing was ... one of the best, most enjoyable piece of short fiction that's engaged me since the last blue moon. You were right there with the reader. "Of course it was him." Thanks. President Street, wow.

This reader is referring to "Button Man," my first story for AHMM, which appeared in March 2013. I talked about the story here and here. President Street refers to my protag’s home address in Brooklyn, New York, of the 1950s. I’ve since published the story on its own.

The day after I got this note, I received a contract via email, informing me that Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine had accepted one of my short stories. I don’t usually take the time to announce here when I’ve sold a story, but EQMM is special. Cracking that market has been a goal of mine for nearly, oh, forty years. I first started reading EQMM as a kid, when I got hooked on the old Ellery Queen TV series, starring Jim Hutton. The Queen novels were among the first adult books I ever read. And the first rejections I ever got as a kid writer were from EQMM. So it means a lot to me to finally appear in their pages. I don't want to talk about the story they bought just yet, but I'll definitely let you know when it runs.

Two great pieces of news in the middle of a bleak winter. Not bad.

My new COVER story in Hitchcock’s Mystery Mag!

This is cool: My short story “Harm and Hammer” is  the  cover story in the October 2014 issue of  Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (AHMM) , on newsstands July 22.  You can find a hard-copy version of   AHMM   wherever magazines are sold. (My local B&N tends to carry it.) Failing that, you can download a single digital issue via  Amazon ,  Barnes & Noble ,  Apple iTunes ,  Magzter ,  Kobo , and  Google Play . Just make sure you are downloading the October 2014 issue shown above. ( Read a preview here. )  Submissions stats: I finished this story sometime back in November 2012. I submitted it to  AHMM  in December 2012, and didn’t hear from them until they bought it in September 2013, nine months later. So it’s appearing ten months after acceptance, nineteen months since submission, and about twenty months after I wrote it. Payment was $340, plus an additional $85 prepayment for the right to republish in a future  AHMM  anthology. That came to a total of $425, or about 7 cents a word.  What’s been your experience with submissions? I feel like anywhere from one day to a few months is typical. Hands down,  AHMM  tends to have the slowest response time of all the places I submit to. So I tend to mail it in, and put it out of my mind.  At some point, I’ll release an e-book version of this story, which I’ll offer free to people on my list. If you’d rather wait for the free copy,  please join my e-newsletter .

This is cool: My short story “Harm and Hammer” is the cover story in the October 2014 issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (AHMM), on newsstands July 22.

You can find a hard-copy version of AHMM wherever magazines are sold. (My local B&N tends to carry it.) Failing that, you can download a single digital issue via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Magzter, Kobo, and Google Play. Just make sure you are downloading the October 2014 issue shown above. (Read a preview here.)

Submissions stats: I finished this story sometime back in November 2012. I submitted it to AHMM in December 2012, and didn’t hear from them until they bought it in September 2013, nine months later. So it’s appearing ten months after acceptance, nineteen months since submission, and about twenty months after I wrote it. Payment was $340, plus an additional $85 prepayment for the right to republish in a future AHMM anthology. That came to a total of $425, or about 7 cents a word.

What’s been your experience with submissions? I feel like anywhere from one day to a few months is typical. Hands down, AHMM tends to have the slowest response time of all the places I submit to. So I tend to mail it in, and put it out of my mind.

At some point, I’ll release an e-book version of this story, which I’ll offer free to people on my list. If you’d rather wait for the free copy, please join my e-newsletter.

The Marshal of the Borgo now on sale

It’s a long story, but when we were first married Denise and I lived overseas in Italy, where she worked covering soccer for sports organizations like ESPN. We first lived in Rome, then moved to a small town an hour north. The countryside was exactly what the travel magazines depict: olive groves and vineyards as far as the eye could see, and quaint thousand-year-old villages filled with fascinating characters.

One day, as we were talking with one of our neighbors, he cautioned us about thinking we had landed in paradise. “The town isn’t exactly squeaky-clean,” he said. “Some of our kids have died of drug overdoses. Mostly heroin. That’s why we just got a new marshal. He’s supposed to clean up the town.”

In small towns of this size, the police function was performed by the carabinieri, Italy’s colorfully dressed paramilitary force. The word marshal in their tongue is maresciallo (MAH-ray-SHAH-lo).

Needless to say, our neighbor’s news came as a shock, but in due time I began imagining a story around these meager facts. The result is The Marshal of the Borgo, the book I’m releasing today. I set out to write a mystery novel, but things took a turn toward the weird and paranormal, just as they did with The Mesmerist. The result is a blend of two or three genres.The book is now available on Amazon, iBooks, B&N, and Smashwords. (Kobo coming soon.) I hope you enjoy it.

Here’s the pitch for the book:

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THE MARSHAL OF THE BORGO: Matteo Scarpone is a man more sinned against than sinning. Once a cool-headed logician and the pride of Rome’s carabinieri, he’s devastated when disaster rocks his world. He’s a lost man: Beaten. Shaken. HAUNTED.

Shunned as an embarrassment, he is exiled to a tiny village in the sticks—a hamlet, a burg, a borgo. But in this land of vineyards and olive groves, life is far from idyllic. Murder, witchcraft and hate taint the soil once tread by the Etruscans. Now the young captain must unravel a series of murders that pit him against a cynical evil and force him to use a power that he has long denied.

The Marshal of the Borgo follows in the tradition of Italian mysteries by Magdalen Nabb, Andrea Camilleri, and Donna Leon—but with a powerful twist.

Part whodunit, part ghost story, The Marshal of the Borgo makes for a very unusual paranormal mystery by a recent Derringer Award finalist.

Italian detective Matteo Scarpone first appeared in a short story in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

Available:

Amazon (US) ebook & paperback

Amazon (UK) ebook & paperback

iPad

Nook

Smashwords