joseph d'agnese

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.

 


Yes, I am trying to post here more often. Thank you for noticing. If you want to sign up for my newsletter and claim your free ebook, go here.

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 Poem's Up Today on The Five-Two

For those who are interested in such things: A short work of mine is the featured Poem of the Week at The Five-Two, an online poetry weekly devoted to poems about crime. This offering is squeaky-clean and suitable for readers of any age. My thanks to editor Gerald So and reader Joe Paretta, whose reading of the poem (available on the site) imbue this piece with far more gravitas than I’d ever be able to muster. Thank you, gentlemen.

The Story Behind My Derringer Finalist Story

I've been tied up with family stuff or I would have announced this sooner. We were at lunch yesterday when I got the word that one of my short stories had been chosen as a finalist for  the Derringer Award for Best Flash Fiction. The Derringers, you’ll recall, are one of the top prizes for short mystery fiction. This is the second year in a row that one of my pieces was singled out for this honor. The full announcement is here. Members of the Derringer group will read all finalist stories this month, and the winners will be announced March 31, 2015. 

Regular readers will probably remember the story, How Lil’ Jimmie Beat the Big C, which first appeared on the Shotgun Honey noir ‘zine back in May 2014. It’s the story of an incarcerated man’s visit to an oncology center for a chemotherapy session. It’s short, fewer than 700 words, violent, and chock full of profanity. That warning aside, the story’s free to read online, so please do check it out if you’d like.

And yes, the story was inspired by what I saw on several of my visits with Denise’s mom to her chemo sessions or doctor’s appointments last year. Every time I went, and I mean every time, I’d spot heavily armed corrections officers marching shackled prisoners to their appointments. If you stop to think about it, it makes sense. Prisoners are human. They get cancer like everyone else. It’s just that their doctor’s visits necessitate traveling in chains and being accompanied by guards.

I could go on about how everything you experience in life, good or bad, becomes fodder for your fiction—but I figure I’ve said enough.

I’m proud to be a Derringer finalist again, and equally proud to be part of what looks like a trio of successes this year for Shotgun Honey. They’re a great site; if you enjoy reading or writing short noir pieces, you really out to check them out.

The Other Joe D'Agnese

Once upon a time another Joe D’Agnese sold commercial stationery in New York and environs. I have no idea who he was, or if he was a distant relation.

The above ad and announcement come from two different stationery trade publications dated 1915 to 1917. I will only note that Mr. D’Agnese’s place of employment, 75 Spring Street in New York City, is a block away from my former place of employment on Broadway in SoHo. I worked in that neighborhood for Scholastic Inc. for nearly eight years. Maybe I passed his ghost on the street?

He sold blank books. I tend to fill ‘em.

Nobels, Scientists, and a New Paperback—Yay!

It’s Nobel Prize season. I spotted  this article on Slate  the other day that listed potential women candidates for the Nobel Prize in Physics. (No woman has won that award in fifty years, and surprise—one did not win on Tuesday.)  One of the women cited in the article is the American astronomer, Vera Rubin, now aged 86, who is known for her work on dark matter and galaxy rotation.  Ages ago, I interviewed Dr. Rubin briefly for an article I was doing on the three scientists—Gamow, Alpher, Herman—who worked on the Big Bang theory (the actual scientific theory, not, ahem, the TV show). Many in the community felt that they had been slighted because, although the trio won numerous awards in their lives, they never won the Nobel. An award was actually later given to the radio astronomers who  confirmed  the Big Bang.  The story I wrote was really about how one scientist in particular dealt with that snub and perceived others throughout his career. I’ll never forget my talk with Dr. Rubin because she was willing to speak frankly about something scientists rarely discuss: emotions. From the text:  Alpher and Herman’s story raises interesting issues about the personal side of science. Yes, all human beings have feelings. Yes, every person is allowed to reach their boiling point. Scientists just happen to belong to a profession where you are not allowed to show it.  “It was a horrible injustice but I don’t know what you do in such a circumstance,” says Vera Rubin, a friend to both the Alpher and Herman families, and an astronomer who received the National Medal of Science in 1993. “It would have been nice if they had had happier lives. They could have known that they did something very valuable, and they could have been happy with this. I think perhaps injustices are in the eye of the beholder, unfortunately.” And then she says, “There’s no doubt that they could have been and should have been treated nicer by the [Nobel] committee. They really do have a legitimate complaint, but they could have responded a little differently… They had not gotten the recognition they deserved, but if their personalities had been different, they could have been happy with the knowledge of this great thing they had figured out. And they perhaps could have even been treated better by the committee if they had not just been so obviously angry.”  You’ll find that article and others in my nonfiction book,   The Scientist and the Sociopath   ,  which is finally out this week in paperback.

It’s Nobel Prize season. I spotted this article on Slate the other day that listed potential women candidates for the Nobel Prize in Physics. (No woman has won that award in fifty years, and surprise—one did not win on Tuesday.)

One of the women cited in the article is the American astronomer, Vera Rubin, now aged 86, who is known for her work on dark matter and galaxy rotation.

Ages ago, I interviewed Dr. Rubin briefly for an article I was doing on the three scientists—Gamow, Alpher, Herman—who worked on the Big Bang theory (the actual scientific theory, not, ahem, the TV show). Many in the community felt that they had been slighted because, although the trio won numerous awards in their lives, they never won the Nobel. An award was actually later given to the radio astronomers who confirmed the Big Bang.

The story I wrote was really about how one scientist in particular dealt with that snub and perceived others throughout his career. I’ll never forget my talk with Dr. Rubin because she was willing to speak frankly about something scientists rarely discuss: emotions. From the text:

Alpher and Herman’s story raises interesting issues about the personal side of science. Yes, all human beings have feelings. Yes, every person is allowed to reach their boiling point. Scientists just happen to belong to a profession where you are not allowed to show it.

“It was a horrible injustice but I don’t know what you do in such a circumstance,” says Vera Rubin, a friend to both the Alpher and Herman families, and an astronomer who received the National Medal of Science in 1993. “It would have been nice if they had had happier lives. They could have known that they did something very valuable, and they could have been happy with this. I think perhaps injustices are in the eye of the beholder, unfortunately.” And then she says, “There’s no doubt that they could have been and should have been treated nicer by the [Nobel] committee. They really do have a legitimate complaint, but they could have responded a little differently… They had not gotten the recognition they deserved, but if their personalities had been different, they could have been happy with the knowledge of this great thing they had figured out. And they perhaps could have even been treated better by the committee if they had not just been so obviously angry.”

You’ll find that article and others in my nonfiction book, The Scientist and the Sociopath, which is finally out this week in paperback.

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.

My Paperbacks Are Out!

My Paperbacks Are Out!   Took me long enough, but paperback copies are finally available of my three fiction titles. For now, you can snag them via  my Amazon page . If you buy a paperback via Amazon, you’ll get the ebook for free.  If you’d rather not deal with Amazon, or you don’t want a paperback, well, have I got a celebratory deal for you:  I  can  offer you a free e-book of any of these titles. Snag the correct file for your device via  my Smashwords page , using one or all of these coupons, which expire April 1, 2014. You’ll need to enter the coupon codes when you checkout, then download the file that’s right for your e-reader. And don’t forget: A mobi or epub file will work with whatever reading device you have, whether a Kindle, Nook, iPad, or Kobo. If you don’t have a device at all, you can still read ‘em with the right app on your computer. Ask me if you need help.   Arm of Darkness  (short stories): CM87N   The Mesmerist  (novel): MJ34Q   Jersey Heat  (novel): KH57T  I’m told that these paperbacks will migrate eventually to Ingram and thus be available to indie bookstores. I have no experience in that arena, but I’m curious to see if that actually happens.  If you’d like a signed copy of any of these titles, just  contact me via my website , and we’ll make shipping and payment arrangements as soon as my first shipment comes in.  My thanks to those of you who reviewed these books in the past. A belated thank-you gift is on its way.   * * *   Other news: Denise is on the road for three weeks doing talks and conferences, and I’m home alone listening to the creaks of a settling house. Her paperback and audio book are out March 11. If you think you’d like a signed copy of either of these, contact our local bookstore,  Malaprop’s ,  by phone  and they’ll take of you.

My Paperbacks Are Out!

Took me long enough, but paperback copies are finally available of my three fiction titles. For now, you can snag them via my Amazon page. If you buy a paperback via Amazon, you’ll get the ebook for free.

If you’d rather not deal with Amazon, or you don’t want a paperback, well, have I got a celebratory deal for you:

I can offer you a free e-book of any of these titles. Snag the correct file for your device via my Smashwords page, using one or all of these coupons, which expire April 1, 2014. You’ll need to enter the coupon codes when you checkout, then download the file that’s right for your e-reader. And don’t forget: A mobi or epub file will work with whatever reading device you have, whether a Kindle, Nook, iPad, or Kobo. If you don’t have a device at all, you can still read ‘em with the right app on your computer. Ask me if you need help.

Arm of Darkness (short stories): CM87N

The Mesmerist (novel): MJ34Q

Jersey Heat (novel): KH57T

I’m told that these paperbacks will migrate eventually to Ingram and thus be available to indie bookstores. I have no experience in that arena, but I’m curious to see if that actually happens.

If you’d like a signed copy of any of these titles, just contact me via my website, and we’ll make shipping and payment arrangements as soon as my first shipment comes in.

My thanks to those of you who reviewed these books in the past. A belated thank-you gift is on its way.

* * *

Other news: Denise is on the road for three weeks doing talks and conferences, and I’m home alone listening to the creaks of a settling house. Her paperback and audio book are out March 11. If you think you’d like a signed copy of either of these, contact our local bookstore, Malaprop’s, by phone and they’ll take of you.