Category Archives: Interviews

POD or EPUB?

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Pulp Literature #15

The digital digest editors/publishers we spoke to prefer printed copies, but a healthy portion of their readers prefer to read on-screen. Jennifer Landels reports Pulp Literature leverages every sales channel. “Along with print, we make html, PDF, EPUB and mobi versions, all of which are available when you buy the digital issue,” says Landels. “It took us a while to find the right eBook formatter, so the EPUB and mobi versions of issues 1–3 are not quite what we wanted. However, by issue 4 we found Booknook.biz and they are absolutely fabulous: fast, accurate, and great people to work with. They use the InDesign files supplied by our designer and the ebooks look as close to the print version as possible given the format. However, I still feel that to appreciate the graphics, e-subscribers would do well to check out the html or PDF versions as well as downloading the ebooks for their readers.”

Pulp Literature #15 is available now.

The above excerpt, from “Digital Digest Magazines” interviews with the editors, appears in TDE4.

Art Taylor’s “The Care and Feeding of Houseplants”

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EQMM Mar/Apr 2013 with Art Taylor’s “The Care and Feeding of Houseplants”

An excerpt from Art Taylor’s interview in The Digest Enthusiast book four. When asked if he relied on existing knowledge or research for the background of his stories he said this about his story from the Mar/Apr 2013 issue of EQMM:

Art: For “The Care and Feeding of Houseplants,” however, I was in new territory. I know little about plants, and they regularly perish under my own care. But plants—and plants versus animals—seemed a necessary metaphorical element to the story I was working on, so I ended up reaching out to a botany professor here at George Mason University with some questions.

“Funny story there—partly a plot spoiler, I’m afraid. When I emailed her—this was back in 2007 or so, as I recall—I also asked about ricin, and she quickly responded that I should call instead of emailing. When I did get her on the phone, she told me that she’d worked at Quantico for a while and that our email exchange had probably already been flagged by the government because of that mention of ricin. I laughed at the time. Seriously? Like the government is checking through everyone’s emails? Again, this was around 2007, so . . . .”

Art Taylor’s A Drowning at Snow’s Cut

 

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EQMM May 2011 with Taylor’s “A Drowning at Snow’s Cut”

An excerpt from Art Taylor’s interview from The Digest Enthusiast book four:

 

TDE: “Your stories often include a particular interest or experience like sailing, houseplants, prep school, etc. What influences these choices? Do you draw mostly on existing knowledge or research?”

AT: “Some of my fiction draws on my own background and experiences. “Rearview Mirror”—the opening of On the Road with Del & Louise—was inspired by a trip my wife and I took to New Mexico several years ago. Similarly, “A Drowning at Snow’s Cut” was based in part on a boat trip my father and I took down the North Carolina coast. “A Voice from the Past” centers on some hazing incidents very similar to the rat system at the boarding school I attended. All those are pretty heavily fictionalized beyond those core elements, of course, but building from that foundation has helped to fuel the imagination.”Incidentally, the cover of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine with Art’s “Snow Cut” story, features a gallery of EQMM’s esteemed review team by Tom Roberts. From left to right: John Dickson Carr, Allen J. Hubin, Anthony Boucher, Jon L. Breen, and as

Incidentally, the cover of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine with Art’s “Snow Cut” story, features a gallery of EQMM’s esteemed review team painted by Tom Roberts. From left to right: John Dickson Carr, Allen J. Hubin, Anthony Boucher, Jon L. Breen, and as conductor, Howard Haycraft. This issue marked the last regular installment of the review column “The Jury Box” by Jon L. Breen, who would hand the gavel to Steve Steinbock for June 2011.

Art Taylor’s “A Voice from the Past”

eqmm_8_2009EQMM Aug. 2009 included Art Taylor’s “A Voice from the Past,” which he spoke about in this excerpt from his interview in The Digest Enthusiast book four:

“I wrote about half of my story ‘A Voice from the Past’ and then put it aside for several years, not sure where to go next with it. When I returned to it with fresh eyes, I came up with ideas about the rest of the plot, what seemed suddenly not just right but maybe inevitable, given all the seeds I’d planted in the first half.”

Art’s “Parallel Play” from the Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warming anthology, won the Agatha Award for Best Short Story in May 2017.

Art Taylor’s “White Rose of Memphis”

needle_fall_2011Award-winning author Art Taylor gave us a terrific interview for The Digest Enthusiast in book four. His story “The White Rose of Memphis” appeared in Fall 2011 edition of Needle Magazine.

Art summarizes the story on his website.

The last entry at the Needle Mag website is dated, but through the magic of the digital press, freshly minted back issues of Needle are still available through Lulu.com.

Art Taylor’s “Blue Plate Special”

barrelhouse10_500Crime fiction writer Art Taylor’s stories have appeared in quite a number of digest magazines. Foremost, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, but he also made his way into the special Crime issue of lit mag Barrelhouse, issue 10 in 2011, with an unsettling “Blue Plate Special.”

Read our extensive interview with award-winning author Art Taylor in The Digest Enthusiast book four.

The Grift that Keeps on Giving

grift_2One of the original crime fiction digests out of the early digital age of POD was Grift Magazine. The creative vision of John Kenyon, Grift Magazine has appeared twice. The first in April 2012, the second in July 2013. It’s been a long haul for No. 3, but as recently as August 2015, Kenyon posted on his Facebook page, “Life gets in the way sometimes, but it will be worth the wait.”

I interviewed John in mid-2016 for fourth The Digest Enthusiast and asked him about the origins of Grift.

“I started Grift because at the time there were few print venues for crime fiction. Plenty of online outlets, but the opportunities to publish in print were lacking, I thought. At the same time, the sensibilities of the publications that did exist—both in print and online—seemed at odds with what I and others I knew liked to read and write. While it seemed as if other publications leaned toward the ultra-violent, I wanted something more cerebral. No less hard-hitting, but just with less gore. I also wanted to offer a forum for nonfiction work, independent scholarship that would help to expand readers’ understanding of the genre.”

The first two editions of Grift Magazine are outstanding. While we’re waiting for the third, the originals are available thanks to the magic of POD at Lulu.com.

The origins of Pulp Literature magazine

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Why start a magazine? I asked Jennifer Landels, one of the founders of Pulp Literature, what she and her co-editors set out to accomplish:

“We felt there was a gap in the market for well-written multi-genre stories. Literary magazines tend to ignore genre fiction, and other fiction platforms tend to be narrowly genre-specific. We wanted to create a smorgasbord where all genres are welcome, and the only criteria are good writing and good storytelling.”

Pulp Literature #14 is coming soon.

The above excerpt, from “Digital Digest Magazines” interviews with the editors, appears in TDE4.

Art Taylor’s first story for EQMM

EQMM Dec. 1995

“My first paid publication, however, was my first story in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine—“Murder on the Orient Express” (December 1995)—a story that wasn’t originally intended as a mystery at all. Instead, it focusses on a couple honeymooning aboard the Orient Express and fumbling along a little from mishap to mishap, while the husband builds stories in his mind about the other passengers—all of it imaginary, fueled by the spirit of Christie’s novel of the same name. The story is about that imagination and how imagination suddenly helps the new marriage click, and— spoiler alert—ultimately there’s no real crime in the story at all.”

Excerpt from the 14-page interview with Art Taylor in The Digest Enthusiast book four.

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Producing Big Fiction

bf_4Editor Heather Jacobs talks about her production processes for Big Fiction with D. Blake Werts in their interview in TDE3. Here’s an excerpt:

“I had a great designer, DoubleM-Ranch Design, do the original layout for the interior text of Big Fiction. I still follow their design, though I actually do the layout myself (cutting and pasting) in InDesign. Lots of proofreading, etc., etc. I have had some excellent volunteer proofreaders over the years, and I thank you all—you know who you are!

“The cover art and design is one of my favorite aspects of producing Big Fiction. There isn’t a submission process for the artwork like there is for the writing. I need to work with people locally, so I just work with who I know. My letterpress printer, Lynda Sherman, at Bremelo Press, has connections with a lot of wonderful artists who understand the printing process, and that’s really important. I usually meet with the printer and artist a couple of times—once to get some basic directions for the design, and again to choose colors and do a press check. All of our covers have been done with original artwork, either linoleum cuts, or hand- or laser-cut wood. The cover layout and text design is all done by Lynda, by hand!”

Big Fiction magazine and their partner Dock Street Press