Monday, February 09, 2009

Reading and Writing

Been reading short stories in the mystery field recently. Mostly from AHMM and EQMM. People sometimes complain about the lack of violence and naughty words in those publications, as though REAL LIFE were nothing but violence and cussing. Still, there is something in these magazines that is worthwhile - some of the stories are true puzzlers which, a) are not easy to write well and b) might just be what saves the mystery industry.

In any event, my reviews of some of those short stories can be found at Nasty. Brutish. Short.

In the world of writing, I've have put together a story I think might well be the best one I've done so far in my life. I sent it off to AHMM and will try EQMM if that doesn't work. If neither of those works, I'll try something else to get it published, but I'm not sure what. It's about what happens when a couple of detectives try to head off a mob war in 1971 NYC. I called it "The Most Dangerous Man in New York City, 1969-1977: Winter 1971." Pretentious? Probably, but I was trying for just accurate. Anyway, the star of the show is a hitman named Ray Cruz. A nasty bit of work, but the story still manages to have a laugh or two in it.

I've decided that I'm quite tired of writing short stories that net no income. A lot of effort. Not nearly as much reward. Not that every piece needs to bring in a paycheck, just that I've published 18 stories and been paid well three times, paid poorly about three more times and paid not at all a dozen times. Of course, of course, I know, I know. That's just the way things are. But does it have to be? Really?

Mercenary me.

Speaking of mercenaries, I'm writing a Viktor Petrenko novel. Man does he kick ass. In any event, I'm 29k in and headed for 70-80k. Will it sell? No idea. If you haven't read a Petrenko story, you might want to try this one.

I'll be sending my agent the first 30k words.

Speaking of sending things to my agent, last week I sent her 43k of another novel - a thrilling thriller so secret, so...secret that I can't even tell you the name of it. I will say this, many of the landmarks you hold near and dear to your heart will explode... That novel should wind up being about 90-100k. Will this sell? No idea.

I'm still in the position of writing on spec. High hopes and all that. Of course, none of this can come out with my name attached as my name is pretty much mud when it comes to people who actually want to shift books off of store shelves.

Next month I'll send my agent the first 30k of another novel. Maybe. This one is 11k in and boring me though it's intended to thrill. That might change. We'll see. Also, Survivor and The Amazing Race are starting up soon and that will cut into my writing time.