Friends and readers know that I had resolved to get an agent in 2009. Sadly, missed that one, but I did get lots of extremely nice feedback from agents who blamed the economy and the tightening publishing market for not picking up Character-Driven, my first-in-series mystery featuring former actress Paula Berger. Kind of took the wind out of my sails for the second book in the series, In Scene.
But, by working with Addy, Michele, and Claire to found a new writing group, I gave myself a kick-start and things are humming nicely, with about 80 pages complete that I’m pretty happy with and the next few chapters all outlined. It’s fun and you’ve got to have faith, right? If you’d like to read the first chapter of this book, here it is: InSceneChapterOne.
And I’ve been dragging my feet on sending short stories out. I’ve got some literary shorts and then some mysteries/crime stories, many of which feature a Chicago detective named Kathy Martinez. It’s tough to decide where to send them after Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen reject them. But then, out of the blue, I got an email from author Robert Friedman, thanking me for my reviews of his short stories on the audio shorts web page, Sniplits. (Go there! It’s awesome! You can fill up your iPod and enjoy your treadmill time much more.)
He suggested I might enjoy his story, The Actor in the Family, published in Story Quarterly Online. (I did. He’s a great storyteller and there’s always a little something extra by way of character development.) We emailed back and forth a couple of times, and wow! He turned me on to a new resource. Authors in search of publishing options, check out Duotrope’s Digest.
Duotrope is more than just a listing of publications, it’s interactive with a snazzy search feature. Pick your genre, pick your theme, pick the length of your fiction, pick your payscale… and you end up with a list of publications that might want to buy/publish your work. Searching for mystery short stories, any theme, token payment or up netted me 30 publications (including Hitchcock and Queen, of course). There’s a separate search function for poetry. Fabulous!
It seems like the fates are conspiring to keeping me living the literary life in 2010… and that’s just fine with me. Unlike resolving to eat healthfully, exercise faithfully, and become fluent in French, resolving to live literarily is like resolving to hug my pugs…easy to do, and rewarding, too.