Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Name Under Alfred Hitchcock's Photo

Today, I received my subscriber's (as opposed to author's) March 2012 copy of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (and by the way, the publication vacillates about that possessive apostrophe; it's easier to just write AHMM), and my latest story, "Sheltered Assets" is included. This is my first story in AHMM, though I have had two in the sister publication, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.

Of course, rush out and get the magazine (or subscribe to it). The best place to find the print magazine used to be, alas, Border's. Now you have to find it elsewhere -- or buy it digitally. (As I understand, AHMM and EQMM are doing well with digital sales, and both magazines are starting to offer ebook collections.)

A few words about the story: it's my first published story to be set in New York City. I've written a couple of other New York stories, but they remain unpublished. I'm glad to have the chance to mine, vaguely, my year living in New York. This story also has a woman protagonist, a matronly society woman, who volunteers at an animal shelter. My previously published story, "Bridget's Conception" (in West Coast Crime Wave), also has a woman protagonist (a young, expecting mother). I don't want to give anything away, but I guess I should say that I just look at the world and think, women should be committing more crimes. The story has the economic crisis as its backdrop, and I'm especially proud of the title itself, "Sheltered Assets," which I hope resonates in several directions.

When I launched this blog (when my first EQMM story was published), I thought I would write more about my writing and the process, and I haven't done that, except to make a few publication announcements. I'd rather write about other people's books (and movies) in my legacy and phantom role of "critic." I don't have a lot of (or any) writing or publishing advice that can't be found elsewhere. But since I'm in a reflective and self-promotional mode, I'll give a short update: My first novel, Jailhouse Pale, remains unpublished. My agent received a fair number of kind rejections (and I felt like I got a fair reading from several notable editors), and he is planning to send it a few more places. I am now about half-way through writing a second novel, with the same heister protagonist. The new book has more complexity and higher stakes than the first, and I hope to finish it some time next spring or thereabouts. And after that, I've threatened to work on my drawing and painting instead.