Wednesday, December 5, 2007

"Wilson's Man" in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

My story "Wilson's Man" is now on the stands (but not for long) in the latest (January 2008) Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine (fondly called EQMM; the digest-size magazine is usually available at Borders, Barnes & Noble, and places with a good periodical selection). The acceptance (and now appearance) of the story was a big boost to my confidence -- and perhaps to my creative productivity. As the image to the right shows, my name didn't make it to the cover -- Dashiell Hammett and Joyce Carol Oates beat me out.

The story was written in October 2003, an indication of how long the submission, rejection, acceptance, and publication process can take. Since that time, I've written a handful of other stories, some of which I think are as good as or better than "Wilson's Man," though they have been rejected from a number of places. I have two other finished stories that I never sent out, and a few unfinished stories (as well as unfinished longer works). Mystery writer Bill Crider, who participates in a blog (Nasty. Brutish. Short.) that reviews short fiction, had some very kind words to say about "Wilson's Man."

For those who don't know, EQMM has a long proud history, publishing notable writers such as Highsmith, Faulkner, Hemingway, Westlake, Mailer, Simenon, etc. I believe EQMM was the first magazine to publish Borges in English. Today, the magazine publishes a mix of crime fiction, including one story in translation each issue, and a fair amount of stories by British and Canadian writers. EQMM has also just added a "Black Mask" revival section. Because no one really makes a living writing short crime fiction, the stories are arguably less constrained by market forces than novels; this translates into a fair amount of strong, original writing.