It’s nice to see my name in print again. It’s also bittersweet, since “Dead Black Cadillac” is a story I wrote a couple of years ago, and sold a couple months later, and only now appears in print in what may be the least-read magazine in America. But I’m not complaining.
Well, maybe I am complaining a little. A few months ago I concluded that cooler heads had prevailed at Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and they’d decided to eat the few hundred they’d paid me for it rather than run a piece that, upon further reflection, really didn’t fit the magazine. So I dusted it off and rewrote it, and cut about a thousand words, and ended up with something I thought was quite a bit better. I’d even decided to try selling it somewhere else under a different title. But now that it’s in print, the original prevails.
My advice to all writers: Make sure it’s the best it can be before sending it out to anybody. Otherwise, you may end up like me: Glancing askance at a mixed blessing. You always want to see your words in print, but in the fullness of time you sometimes know you could have done a lot better.