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Interviews

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Edd Vick’s First Principles

Asimov’s Sep 2003
Asimov’s Sep 2003 with Edd Vick’s “First Principles” Cover by Michael Carroll

Excerpt from the Edd Vick interview, conducted by D. Blake Werts, from The Digest Enthusiast book six. This segment covers part of Edd’s path to going pro:

My first step was to dust off a couple of my old stories and submit them with an application to the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Workshop, which I attended in 2002.

Clarion is a six-week course, with a new instructor every week. To get in, prospective students send in two stories and an application fee. The workshop’s coordinators read the stories, looking for students with potential, but also will rule out anybody whose stories are so good they probably wouldn’t get
as much out of Clarion. Accepted students pay their tuition, put their affairs in order, and escape the real world for a month and a half.

At the time, there was Clarion, and then there was Clarion West, which is in my home town of Seattle. My wife, who graduated Clarion West in 1984, said I should choose Clarion, because if I stayed in town I’d be too tempted to deal with mundane life, including helping parent our daughter, who was three at the time. So, I applied, I was accepted, and I went to the University of Michigan for six weeks.

Our instructors were Patricia Wrede, Terry Bisson, Leslie What, Geoff Ryman, the editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Tim Powers, and Karen Joy Fowler. That adds up to seven, and I said one instructor per week. Patrick was an extra added attraction for week five, and Tim and Karen shared the last two weeks. The first teacher or two cover the basics, and each succeeding one adds to the writer’s set of skills.

The day before I went to Clarion, I sent a story to Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. I got a response accepting it from Gardner Dozois while I was there. That was for a fairly short story called “First Principles”.

AHMM or EQMM?

AHMM May/Jun 2018 coverIn May 2017, I asked author B.K. Stevens about the differences between Alfred Hitchcock’s and Ellery Queen’s mystery magazines. Here is her response from her interview that appears in The Digest Enthusiast book six:

“I don’t see sharp differences between the two digests—they’re both excellent mystery magazines, and I enjoy them both and have friends who write for each. Some people say AHMM is more open to stories with paranormal elements; I’ve never done a careful comparison, but that rings true. It hasn’t really been a consideration for me, though, since I didn’t write my first story with a paranormal element until recently. (It’s called “One-Day Pass,” and I’m happy to say AHMM accepted it a couple of months ago. But it’s an old-fashioned ghost story, rather than a story featuring trendier creatures such as zombies or shape-shifters—I think either magazine would be open to that sort of story.) It may also be that AHMM is more open to over-the-top humor, which I love. Again, though, I’ve never made a real comparison.”

Stevens’ “One-Day Pass” appears in the May/June 2018 edition of AHMM.

Edd Vick’s Defender

Magic: The Gathering Distant PlanesExcerpt from the Edd Vick interview, conducted by D. Blake Werts, from The Digest Enthusiast book six:

“I co-edited and published Comics Fandom Examiner for a few years with Jeff Wood, Hal Hargit, and Wade Busby, all primarily small press creators. Through Comics F/X I met a lot of really great cartoonists, and published alternative comics from 1990 through 2005. Brad Foster convinced me I had to use the same name for the company as my first fanzine, so it became Miscellania Unlimited Press, more commonly known as MU Press. The sales plummeted in the last five years of MU’s existence, and I got re-interested in writing again. My wife, the SF author Amy Thomson, was invited into an anthology of stories set in the Magic: the Gathering universe, and I sort of invited myself along for the ride, writing a short story called “Defender” that the editor thought good enough
 to include. That anthology was published in 1996.”

Bibliographies

BK Stevens interview

B.K. Stevens published over 50 short stories, primarily in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Eleven are included in her collection, Her Infinite Variety: Tales of Women and Crime. She’s the author of Interpretation of Murder, a traditional mystery offering insights into Deaf culture and sign language interpreting, and of Fighting Chance, a martial arts mystery for young adults. Nominated for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards, and a Derringer award-winner, Stevens taught English for over 30 years and wrote full time until her death in 2017.

At the time of her interview for The Digest Enthusiast book six, she sent a copy of her bibliography which is now available on this website. I’ll continue to update Bonnie and Joe’s biblios in the days ahead.

Speculative Fictioneer

cover
Analog May/Jun 2017 “Tenéré” with Manny Frishberg Cover design by Victoria Green

From the introduction to Edd Vick’s interview, conducted by D. Blake Werts, from The Digest Enthusiast book six.

“Edd Vick works for the University Book Store, and buys so many books that his library is a stuffed three-car garage. He published The Comics Fandom Examiner in the early 1990s, which reviewed thousands of creator-controlled comics, then started issuing them under the name MU Press and its imprint AEON. The publishing company lasted fifteen years into the mid-2000s, printing well-received work by Donna Barr, Cathy Hill, Matt Howarth, and others. Edd’s stories have appeared in Analog, Asimov’s, The Year’s Best SF, and many other magazines and anthologies. He was a founding member of the website The Daily Cabal, an early online outlet for flash fiction. He lives in Seattle with SF novelist Amy Thomson, their adopted daughter Katie, three chickens, a dog, and a cat.”

Bill Crider’s Blog Bytes

EQMM August 2007 cover
EQMM August 2007 with Bill Crider’s first Blog Bytes column

The Jan/Feb 2018 issue of EQMM may have been the last issue to feature Bill Crider’s long running column: Blog Bytes. Here’s what he said about it in our interview for The Digest Enthusiast five:

“I’m not sure how ‘Blog Bytes’ came about, as I inherited the column from Ed Gorman, who called me and asked me to take over for him. I suspect that the column was the idea of the EQMM editor, Janet Hutchings, who wanted to start making some connections with the online world, but it could have been Ed’s idea. When I agreed to do the column (in 2007; hard to believe it’s been almost
10 years), Ed sent me some of his columns to look at. They were all between 400–415 words, so I’ve stuck to that with my own column.

“The only thing that worried me about doing the column was whether there would be enough new blogs and websites to keep it going. I needn’t have worried. Another thing that occurred to me a few years ago was that some blogs deserved a repeat mention because people might have missed the first one or might have forgotten about it. So I now lead with a repeat each time.”

EQMM cover image from Galactic Central.

Bill Crider 1941–2018

Social media and the blogs of Bill Crider’s friends and fans celebrate the life of the gifted writer with tributes and recollections upon the news of his passing yesterday. Like many, I first met Bill through his wonderful blog Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine.

In 2015, I was fortunate enough to meet him in person at Bouchercon in Raleigh, where he signed a copy of his—at the time—current novel Between the Living and the Dead. A year later, he graciously agreed to be interviewed via email and responded to general questions about his career, and highlighted some of his short stories and articles for magazines and zines like The Not So Private Eye, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, New Mystery, Hardboiled, and Ellery Queen.

The Spider Chronicles cover

When asked about his terrific story, “The Marching Madmen,” starring The Spider, he shared the inside information:

“I was invited to write a story for The Spider Chronicles, and the invitation came at a time when I’d been reading a lot of Novell Page Spider novels. I’m easily influenced by the writing style of other authors, so it seemed as if it would be easy to sit down and write a story like the ones I’d been enjoying. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, so I’m glad you think it turned out well. Writing the story kind of burned me out on The Spider, and I haven’t read any other Page novels since then.”

Rest in peace, Bill Crider, your stories and kindness, that touched so many lives, lives on.

Ellery Queen March/April 2014

An excerpt from the interview with Bill Crider, from The Digest Enthusiast book five:

Bill Crider: “At an Armadillocon some years ago, I was on the “Apes” panel, along with Joe Lansdale, Rick Klaw, Mark Finn, Chris Nakashima Brown, and probably some others I’m forgetting. The talk turned to a legendary pulp cover for a story called “Gorilla of the Gas Bags” in a pulp called Zeppelin Stories. As anyone knows, there are only a couple of copies of the magazine still around, so nobody had read the story. Joe Lansdale challenged the panelists to write a story based on the cover. He sold his, and I sold mine. I don’t know if anyone else wrote a story.”

Ellery Queen April/March 2014 cover
Ellery Queen March/April 2014 with Bill Crider’s “Gorilla of the Gasbags” with Hollywood detective Bill Ferrell

Attn. Writers: Sandra Seamans reminds us Switchblade magazine is open for submissions.

Ellery Queen March 1998

An excerpt from the interview with Bill Crider, from The Digest Enthusiast book five:

Ellery Queen March 1998
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine March 1998

Bill Crider: “I’ve published only two stories in EQMM, and “The Case of the Headless Man” was the first. When I wrote it, I used a couple of my series characters, Bo Wagner and Janice Langtry. They’re a writing team, like Ellery Queen, and they write about impossible crimes solved by their amateur sleuth, Sam Fernando. Now and then the cops call them in and ask for their help with impossible crimes, like one committed by a man without a head. I really had some some fun with these stories, of which there are two or three. Maybe I should collect them into an eBook, except that I can’t locate the eCopy of “The Case of the Headless Man.”

“I’d tell you where the story idea came from, but I can’t do that without giving too much away. What I can tell you is that I’d been rejected by EQMM a couple of times, and I really wanted to be published there. When I came up with this story idea, I thought it was perfect for the magazine, and sure enough, the editor bought it.”

SMFS logoHat Tip: The new Pulp Modern with Robert Petyo’s story “Sacrifice” is highlighted today by Kevin R. Tipple on The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog.

Joe Wehrle, Jr.’s Fawn the Dark-Eyed

In Joe’s own words:

“For thirty-six weeks I drew a Sunday page for the all-comic paper, The Menomonee Falls Gazette, based on my earlier fanzine character, Fawn the Dark-Eyed. This character also appears in a short story published in the first anthology from the famous Clarion Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop. I think there was some good art in those pages, and the story was coming along, but I’m sure the strip suffered to some extent from my difficulty in doing finely-detailed work in any quantity to tight deadlines. It’s also true that most strips need time to become what they might, and the Gazette went out of business too soon for that.”