Friday, September 28, 2012

Crime Fiction?

I often wonder how many great novels readers in the crime genre miss because they're tagged as literary or romance.  What got me thinking about this is a book I just finished called "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen.

Yes, it's considered both literary and romance, but at the center of the story is a murder.  And not just one murder, by the end of the book four of the main characters are dead with a trail of innocent bodies piling up along the way.  The characters in this book are straight out of a thirties era pulp novel.  We have a circus owner who will do anything to have the top rated circus including using a paranoid schizophrenic to do his dirty work.  The rest of the cast includes a young femme fatale who's married to that paranoid, a hero who has lost his parents, his home, and his future because of a car accident, a circus full of thugs and whores, plus a menagerie full of animals.  If it weren't for the feel good ending, this novel would be straight up noir.

With all these ingredients why didn't the crime community embrace this novel?  Was it the fact that the novel was billed as a romance?  Did the fact that a ninety-three year old man was the narrator turn them off?  What was it about this book that it didn't hit the crime fiction radar?  And are there other books out there that are fairly straight up crime but still don't get noticed by mystery readers? - New Market Source

While searching for some new anthology calls I stumbled across a new market source called which lists open market calls.

Noir at the Bar 2 - Available for Purchase

The second volume of Noir at the Bar is now live.  Read all about here then go get yourself a copy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fogged Clarity - ezine

This link to a zine called Fogged Clarity, came from Katherine Tomlinson.  It's more a literary zine than genre but the site is beautifully done with a mixture of poetry, short stories, music, and photographs.  This is a non-paying market unless your work is selected for their once a year print issue.  You can check it out here.

Perihelion - New Sci-fi Ezine

Perihelion is a new sci-fi zine that's looking to launch their first issue on November 12.  They're looking for hard sci-fi shorts of 1000 to 7000 words with payment of 1cent a word up to $75.  They're paying the same for articles.  For those of you who write reviews they're paying a flat fee of $10 for 400 word reviews.  You can find all the details here

Off the Record 2 - Charity Anthology Now Available

Off the Record 2 is now available for purchase.  All proceeds go toward child literacy programs in both the US and UK.  You will find all the details and links here

Help support a worthy cause.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bourbon Penn - ezine

This looks like an interesting zine and I love their name - Bourbon Penn.  They're looking for short stories in various genres of 2000 to 5000 words.  Payment is 1cent a word.  You can find all the details on their site.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Some Short Reading Material

eFiction Magazine has published their first Noir issue.
Hat tip to Paul Brazill for the link!

Patti Abbott's flash fiction challenge "Joe, Jr." went live today.  You'll find links to all the stories here  I just plain drew a blank on this one, and believe it not, it's the first of Patti's challenges I've missed.

But you'll find a story of mine over at Crime City Central's podcast  It's very cool to hear someone else read your story to you.  In this case it's Veronica Giguere reading "In God's Own Time".  One of the stories from my Snubnose Press collection Cold Rifts.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Okay, could someone please explain to me the draw of Hemingway.  I just finished reading a Nick Adams short story called "The Killers" and absolutely nothing happens.  I mean two killers walk into a diner, they tie up the cook and Nick in the kitchen, and have the owner turn all the customers away while they're waiting for their target.  And nobody fights back.  Not one customer who's turned away suspects anything wrong.  And when the man they're sent to kill doesn't show up - nothing, they just leave the diner without any violence or threats.

Maybe it's because I just finished reading "Blossom" by Andrew Vachss and started "The Body Lovers" by Mickey Spillane.  The pages of both books are full of action, great descriptions and wonderful dialogue.  Things that don't exist in "The Killers".

So what is it about Hemingway that I'm missing?  Is it wrong to not be impressed by one of great American writers?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Superhero Review

If you're on the fence about grabbing a copy of Beat to a Pulp: Superhero, check out this very cool review.

Yeah, I'm Snoopy Dancin' around the room :) 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Noir Exploring

I dropped by Woody Haut's Blog today to check out what Mr. Haut called Hippie Noir then clicked on a post titled What is Noir and found a piece of noir poetry.

From there I clicked on a site called Figments of Noir that has some very beautiful photographs, scraps of poetry, pieces of movies, and noir quotes.

Always fun seeing noir through other people's eyes.


The other day Michael Bracken emailed this link to me.  As I read the article this morning it reminded me of the plagiarism case from last year where a writer pieced together his manuscript from multiple books by famous authors in the spy genre.  In an Internet world where you can cut paste any sentence you need, this is probably going to happen more and more in both fiction and non-fiction.  And it's very troubling.

Many thanks for the link, Michael!!

Angie's Desk - Anthology Calls

Angie has posted her monthly anthology calls.  One that might appeal to readers here is an anthology called "Queering Edgar Allan Poe" (near the bottom of the list).  Though this is a call from erotica press, Lethe, the story doesn't have to be erotic, they only ask that you "think Gothic and gay".

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dread Time Stories - Anthology Call

Alter Press has issued a call for short stories that put a "splatterific bent" on your old fairy tales.  The ebook anthology is called Dread Times Stories.  4000 to 8000 words, a flat payment of $10, with a December 31 deadline.  You'll find all the details here

Charles Beckman - Interview

David Cranmer has an excellent interview on his blog with old time pulp writer, Charles Beckman, Jr.

Blood Bound Books - Submission Calls

Horror Publisher, Blood Bound Books, has an open submission call for novellas, novelettes, and novels.  10,000 to 80,000 words.  The deadline is October 31.

Then on November 1 they open for submissions to the third volume in their popular anthology series "Night Terrors".  The deadline for this call is January 1, 2013.

You'll find the details for both calls here

Noir Nation - New Issue

Issue 2 of Noir Nation has launched.  You can check out the lineup and see some of the beautiful artwork here

Or you can just jump on over to Amazon and get yourself a copy.

Legends of the Buckeye State - Anthology Call

Editor, S. Clayton Rhodes, is seeking submissions for an anthology called "Legends of the Buckeye State".  Woodlawn Press is the publisher for this anthology of horror or dark stories based on the myths and legends within the state of Ohio.  Up to 2500 words with a November 30 deadline.  Payment is 5cents a word.  You can find all the details here

I found this call over at Horror Tree which is a great source for both anthology and zine calls for submissions.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Grim Corps - New Ezine

Grim Corps is a new zine looking to get off the ground with a Kickstarter pledge drive (still deciding how I feel about this Kickstarter business).  Anyhoo, they're looking for dark short stories in a variety of genres for their first issue.  Payment will be 1 to 4cents a word depending on how well their pledge drive works.  If you click on their about link you'll find that they're also looking for an assistant editor.  You can check them out here.

An Introduction to Fantasy

Over at LitReactor Rajan Khanna has put together a list of fantasy writers and zines that will be of great help to anyone interested in writing in the fantasy genre.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Old Pulp Masters Speak

Brian Lindenmuth emailed this link yesterday about the ten commandents of detective fiction which takes a look at how some of the pulp masters thought detective fiction should be.

I have a link to the right to VanDine's 20 rules for detective fiction but there's also a link there to Lester Dent's Pulp Master Plot which lays out how Dent wrote pulp stories.  His piece is on a site called Dirty 30s! and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you'll find links to all sorts of pulpy goodness from the 1930's.  It's a great place to start your research if you're looking to set a story in the thirties.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Writing Shorts

Libby Hellman gives us six reason to write short stories over at the Top Suspense blog.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Crossed Genres - Anthology Call

Yes, it's one of those days when the market links keep tumbling in  - which makes it a great day!  This time it's an anthology for "Oomph: A Little Super Goes a Long Way".  They're looking for stories where your superhero has limited powers to save the day.  2000 to 8000 words, payment is a flat $20, and the deadline is January 15, 2013.  You can find the details here

And be sure to check out the site because Crossed Genres also publishes a magazine (with themes) and has other anthology calls still open.

Washington City Paper - Call for Fiction Submissions

The Washington City Paper is preparing for a fiction issue in 2013 and they've put out a call for stories set in the DC area.  What kind of stories?  Well, they've suggested that you take a look at DC Noir 2 for inspiration.  The deadline is November 1, 2012 and there is payment but they say how much.  You can find all the details here

And another thank you to Katherine for the link!!

Dark Galaxy Press - Anthology Call

Dark Galaxy Press is a new e-publisher.  They have put out an anthology call for "Body Snatchers and Chest Bursters:  An Anthology of Sci-Fi Horror".  They want stories up to 3000 words with "horror that has a scientific explanation".  Payment is 5cents a word.  You'll find all the details here.

A big thank you to Katherine Tomlinson for the link.  And guess what?  She found the call on Craig's List.

UPDATE:  May 29, 2013  Looks like this isn't going anywhere.  Nothing has been posted on the site since October of 2012.

On Editors

From  Michael Bracken we have a link to another editor weighing in on how to submit to an open call anthology.

A Question

How important is an Amazon author's page to your Kindle sales?  I don't join a lot of sites on the Internet because I've seen people's email addresses snatched then used for spamming, so I hesitated about signing up for a page.  Plus I'm not sure if I trust Amazon all that much not to use my info for nefarious purposes like constantly sending me spam which B&N does since I used a gift card there.

Pros and con, anyone?  I'm probably not the only one wondering about this. :) 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2013 Nelson Algren Award - No Fee Contest

Every year the Chicago Tribune sponsors the the Nelson Algren Award for short stories that best reflect the writings of Algren.  The contest is open to US citizens only.  There is no fee to enter.  The deadline is February 1, 2013 for stories of up to 8000 words.  There is one grand prize of $3500, four finalist receive $1000 each, and $500 to goes to each of five runners-up.  You can find all the details here,0,5633846.story

Big Pulp - Special Themed Issue

Big Pulp has opened to submissions for a special themed issue, "The Kennedy Curse".  There's no deadline listed but their reading periods are usually a month long.  Payment is 1cent a word up to 2500 words.  Stories can be longer but payment stops at the $25 mark.  Stories can be in any pulp genre.  You will find all the details here

Untreed Reads - Anthology Call

I found this call via Hellnotes.  Untreed Reads has posted a call for submissions for a new anthology titled "Year's End".  They're looking for horror shorts of 1500 to 5000 words that center around New Year's Eve.  The deadline is October 15, payment is shared royalties.  You find all the details here

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Harper Voyager - Open Novel Call

Harper Voyager is hosting an open call for novel submissions for their spec-fiction e-book line.  The submission period is October 1 to the 14th.  70,000 to 120,000 words.  You can find all the details here

Near to the Knuckle - Anthology Call

Online ezine Near to the Knuckle is looking for dark, gritty stories of 1000 to 3000 words for a new e-anthology to help support their zine.  This is a non-paying market.  You can find the details here

Hat tip to BV Lawson over at the In Reference to Murder blog.

Wild Moon Press - Anthology Calls

Wild Moon Press is an imprint of erotica publisher Storm Moon Press and they have four anthology calls listed.  They're looking for erotic stories in various genres.  Word counts vary but the pay is $50 per story plus royalties.  The calls are listed here

UPDATE:  September 24, 2013  This press seems to have gone off the grid.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Editor Interview - Eddie Vega

If you haven't discovered the Six Questions For blog you're missing out on a great resource for finding out what editors are looking for.  This morning you'll find an interview with Eddie Vega, editor of Noir Nation.

On Editing

A great look at the hazardous editing process that brings an anthology to life.!/2012/09/a-guest-post-by-richard-salter.html

Looks like has gotten things under control after being hacked yesterday  Happy to see that both Noir Nation and Beat to a Pulp are back up.

What I can't understand is why hackers feel the need to do things like that.  What earthly reason is there to destroy other people's work?  It's rather like going out and shooting someone just because you can.  There's nothing good or noble in the act.  With such mad computer skills they could be building something beautiful instead of tearing things down.  But what do I know?  I'm just old lady who fumbles around with a keyboard.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Noir Nation?

I was checking to see if Noir Nation's new issue had been published yet and found the website had disappeared into the ether.  Their Facebook page is still up though.  Anyone heard anything?  Perhaps just a glitch in the system?

UPDATE:  Their server is down but the zine is still alive and well with a new issue available in about a week.

Go Deeper Press - Anthology Call

Go Deeper Press is (surprise!) an erotic publisher with an anthology call for "Femme Fatales".  They want stories of 1500 to 4000 words.  Pay is a flat fee of $25 per story.  Deadline is October 31.

Kasma SF - Submissions Open

Canadian online ezine, Kasma SF, is open for submissions.  They're looking for stories of 1000 to 5000 words in the sci-fi genre.  Payment is a flat rate of $25 per story.  You can find all the details here

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Beat to a Pulp - Submissions Open

Beat to a Pulp is open for submissions until October 15.

Beat to a Pulp: Superhero

The new Beat to a Pulp anthology Superhero came out yesterday and I'm proud to say that I have a story in it called "Moon Mad".  I know it's silly, but I feel like the odd woman out here because I'm the only female writer included.  Yep, old lady me surrounded by all those handsome, talented guys.  Guys who know all about superheroes.

My superhero is Molly, a shopping cart lady who lives on my fictional Mulberry Street.  Oddly enough this story started when I read one of David Cranmer's tweets that included the line, "a home not my own".  Something about that tugged at me and I scratched out a bit of flash then decided that it might make a better poem.  Well I'm not much of a poet but this is what I came up with.


Alone, on the floor.
Another town, not my own.

We are six.
In a room, not our own.
In a place, we don’t belong.
Praying for the night to end.
For the monsters to go home.

The others are huddled.
A curl of sleeping puppies.
On a bed, not their own.

But I can’t sleep.
Not there, with them.
I find no comfort in their arms.
I want my mommy, but she must be dead.

Tears flood the room.
The sobbing brings the monsters back.
And one by one, we’re gone again.


Other rooms, not our own.
Comes the pain, tearing flesh.
And we’re left bleeding.
In a body, not our own.

Not dead, only wishing. 

The thing is this girl kept haunting me and I wondered what happened to her.  Of course, when David invited me to submit a Superhero story to his new anthology, she immediately popped into my mind - all grown up.     I know this sounds silly, but I reread my story this morning and tears filled my eyes as I read about this little girl's life.  She no longer haunts my thoughts, her story has come full circle.   If you love superheroes you can pick up a copy of Beat to a Pulp: Superhero here   Oh, and all those cute guys who share pages with my Molly, well here they are.  A very cool lineup and great company to be in.

James Reasoner
Jake Hinkson
Kevin Burton Smith
Garnett Elliott
Liam José
Jerry Bloomfield
Thomas Pluck
Keith Rawson
Court Merrigan
Benoȋt Lelièvre
Chad Eagleton
Steve Weddle

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Crimefactory - New Issue

Issue 11 of Crimefactory has hit the virtual streets.  All the juicy details and links here

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sock Puppet Thoughts

The past week has been filled with posts around the 'net about sock puppets, but what amazes me about the posts I've seen is that everyone seems shocked that authors are actually doing this.  Don't get me wrong, I know what they're doing is reprehensible, but it doesn't surprise me.

Writers don't just write anymore.  They're expected to be marketing geniuses.  If you get a book deal the first thing your agent and publisher tells you is to set up a website, a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and oh yeah, when you've got a minute dash off a few short stories and get them in some of the online zines.  And don't forget to squeeze in that second book.  Well, CRAP.

With everyone screaming at you to brand yourself, build a platform, and prostitute yourself in order to build a giant wave of word of mouth publicity, it's no wonder writers are taking short cuts.  What happened to writers writing and the people purchasing the work actually doing their job and promoting the product they've purchased?

Is it any wonder that more and more writers are publishing their own work?  If you have to do all the publicity and selling yourself, what's the point of having an agent or a publishing company?  It's no wonder writers are going crazy mad and buying reviews and using other identities to promote their work.  It's exactly what publishers do and it's pretty much reached the point that all writers, even those with a book contract from a major publisher, are on their own.  They're desperate to hang on to what few crumbs the publishers are throwing their way, because they have bills to pay, just like everyone else.

Do I like what they're doing?  No.  But I can understand why they're doing it.


Cat Rambo has a great post over at the SFWA site about mentors.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Big Click - New Issue

The newest issue of The Big Click has hits the streets!!

Spellbound - YA Fantasy Zine

YA print fantasy zine, Spellbound, is being relaunched as a quarterly electronic zine.  They're looking for fantasy stories up to 2500 words, poetry, and artwork.  Payment for shorts is 2.5cents a word.  There are themes and reading periods.  The first being Rings and Other Magic Things which has a September 30 deadlines.  You'll find all the details here

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Grey Matter Press - Anthology Calls

Grey Matter Press has two anthology calls up, "Dark Visions" and "Splatterlands".  Both have a December 21 deadline for dark stories of 3000 to 10,000 words.  Payment is a flat fee of $100.  You'll find the details here and more when you click on the submit link below each project description.  This is a new press.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pulp! - Anthology Call

Twit Publishing has opened submissions to the Winter/Spring issue of their semi-annual anthology called Pulp!.  They're looking for short stories in all genres that reflect the pulp era.  Payment is a royalty split.  Stories must be 4000 to 9000 words.  The deadline is November 30.  You can find all the details and check out the press here

Last Editor Standing - Helpful Blog

If grammar and punctuation are your downfall when writing, the Last Editor Standing blog is for you.  The gentleman who runs this blog is an editor and knows what he's talking about.  Check it out here

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mining Our Memories

Here's a very interesting article on how our memories inform our writing using the life and writings of JG Ballard.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Protectors - Charity Anthology Now Available

The charity anthology "Protectors" is now available.  And what a lineup of authors!!

Duotrope - Open Submissions

I love the first day of the month.  Duotrope has a list of 163 markets that have opened for submissions today!  Just scroll down the page you seekers of markets.

Blood and Tacos - New Issue

The third issue of Blood and Tacos is out today!!