That’s good news for me, since short stories are about the only thing I’ve been able to sell in my spotty career as a fiction writer. Last week I got a letter from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, saying they’ve decided to buy another one. “Lost Horse Road” will be my seventh published story in about 10 years. That’s out of 10 submissions. At this rate, I should have enough for a collection by, say, 2023. You smell that? That’s the sweet aroma of instant success, baby!
I joke about it, but I’m not complaining. It’s always better to sell your stuff than not sell it. Yes, the pay is bad and the readership miniscule — kind of like blogging — but somewhere deep in the bowels of the Library of Congress, there are some moldering magazines with my name in them. And soon to be another. As I’m fond of saying: It could be worse.
Right now I’m poring through my old contracts with EQMM, trying to determine whether I foolishly surrendered all rights to republish the stories on the Internet. I hope not. If I can market them at 99 cents a pop, I might earn enough for a dinner out. We’re talking seven bucks at least — assuming Mom buys all of them.