I have a hardboiled crime story up at Tough Crime, called The Third Jump of Frankie Buffalo. It draws on my years at Port Newark and a Korean War vet I knew named Bill, and I hope you like it.
I really like what Rusty Barnes is doing over at Tough Crime. One story by Matthew Lyons, “The Brothers Brujo,” was chosen by Roxane Gay for inclusion in this year’s Best American Short Stories. And it’s a paying market. There will be a print edition later this year. The crime fiction scene has lost some great mags recently, but Tough Crime and Down & Out Magazine are helping fill those shoes. Let’s do our best to make sure they aren’t concrete.
Don’t you hate it when those ballots show up and you can’t remember everything you read this year? Maybe you’re like me and keep a list. But if you don’t, here are the stories and books of mine published this year, eligible for awards and anthologies and whatnot:
Crime and Mystery:
Bad Boy Boogie, a paperback original.
“Russian Roulette,” in Killing Malmon, an anthology to benefit the MS Society.
If you’re a fan of science fiction, fantasy, or horror as well as crime you might notice that there are fewer markets for short fiction for the crime genre than the others. Many come and go, even if they consistently publish stories chosen for yearly awards, they can’t seem to survive.
And a reminder, Life During Wartime: 21 Stories by Thomas Pluck is now available for pre-order. I know I just told you yesterday, but now I have this snazzy image that evokes the song from which the collection gets its title story. Remember to use code 25dob2017 to get 25% off!
I know, I lost you when I said “Ottendorfer.” The Ottendorfer Branch isn’t a secretive government agency, despite how it sounds. It’s the original branch of the New York Public Library, donated in 1884 by Oswald Ottendorfer, who ran a German-American newspaper. And holy cats, look at those muttonchops. They’re practically full-grown sheep:
The panel is titled Self-Publishing: Is it Right for You? and Curtis and I will be discussing that decision and answering questions, as we have both had our books published traditionally and self-published them:
Have you considered self-publishing as an outlet for your work? Can’t decide whether to do it yourself or wait for an agent or a publisher to help you? Laura K. Curtis and Thomas Pluck, who have written short stories and novels in multiple genres, and who have both published independently and with traditional presses, discuss the pros and cons of self-publishing. What questions should you ask yourself before deciding to send your work out into the world yourself? What strategies will give it the best shot at success? They’ll answer all your questions about the brave new world of publishing!
As these debates get “lively,” it should be a good time. I’ll have copies of my traditionally published crime thriller Bad Boy Boogie, and my self-published adventure novel Blade of Dishonor on hand for taste tests.
The Ottendorfer Library, 135 Second Avenue, Manhattan
Weird NJ is one of my favorite magazines. It only comes out twice a year, in full color, and is full of the weirdness that makes the Garden State unique. I’ve been reading for decades, and I’ve had a few articles published, but none recently. Check my publications list for what I had in their past issues.
Until I found an abandoned ballpark in the Meadowlands on one of my rambles. You can read all about it in issue #48, the one with a big Mighty Joe Young on the cover (one of my favorite old Ray Harryhausen flicks).
You can pick up Weird NJ at local bookstores like the Montclair Book Center, and Barnes & Noble stores across the state, or at their website www.weirdnj.com
I’m over the moon that my story “The Big Snip” was chosen by John Helfers and Kristine Kathryn Rusch for inclusion in The Year’s Best Crime and Mystery Stories 2016 with Megan Abbott, Joyce Carol Oates, Mary Higgins Clark, Jedidiah Ayres, SJ Rozan, and more. Thank you to the editors for choosing me, and to Lawrence Block for getting me to write it, and Peter Carlaftes and Kat Georges for originally publishing it in Dark City Lights at Three Rooms Press (where you can read it in print, if you prefer).
This was my brutal bullying story for the Noir at the Bar: Trump edition on 11/6/2016. It’s pretty brutal but nothing different than what I experienced as a student. With Pence in power, it may become a reality. He is pro “gay conversion therapy,” where sometimes half the kids forced into them commit suicide. He wants to roll back protections for LGBTQ citizens. And kids have reported being taunted about “getting deported” whether they are legal or not, once Trump is in power, so this is no fantasy.