05 September 2017

Introducing Black Cat Mystery Magazine

by Barb Goffman

It's not everyday you get to blog about the premier issue of a new magazine, especially on the very day it's scheduled to launch. And it's especially exciting when the magazine is coming from a publisher that's been around for nearly thirty years, so you can feel confident that the magazine should have staying power.

Well, this is that day. Welcome to the world, Black Cat Mystery Magazine!

The brainchild of Wildside Press publisher John Betancourt and Wildside editor Carla Coupe, the magazine is expected to come out quarterly. The first issue features new stories from fellow SleuthSayers John Floyd and Art Taylor, as well as one from me. (More on that below.) The other authors with new stories in the issue are Dan Andriacco, Michael Bracken, Kaye George, Meg Opperman, Alan Orloff, and Josh Pachter.

Editor Carla Coupe was kind enough to answer some questions about this new venture.

Why did you decide to start this magazine?
To provide an outlet for great short fiction, which we love. We decided to launch Black Cat when certain other mystery magazines cut their publication schedules in half. 

How do you hope to distinguish BCMM from other mystery magazines?

We're focusing on edgier, noir-tinged, character-based short storieswhich happen to contain a crime of some sort. (A crime is essential, or it isn't mystery fiction.) We don't want fantasy, horror, science fiction, routine revenge stories, or sadism. We do want stories with characters who feel real, in situations that are possible (and plausible), and of course great writing.


 


Do you have a minimum or maximum word count? How about a sweet spot?

We’re looking for contemporary and traditional mysteries, as well as thrillers and suspense stories. We hope to feature stories by established and new authors, and will include a classic reprint or two in each issue. We aren’t looking for flash fiction, and our sweet spot is for stories between 1,000 and 8,000 words. We will look at material up to 15,000 words in length—but it better blow us away to take up that much of an issue!


 

Where will the magazine be available for sale? Bookstores?
It will be for sale at our website (http://wildsidepress.com/magazines/black-cat-mystery-magazine/), on Amazon, and hopefully some independent bookstores. US readers can buy a four-issue subscription, so they won't miss any.


You're aiming for it to come out quarterly?
Yes, but as with all our publications, we're not wedded to a strict schedule.
 

When will submission guidelines go up?
Hopefully this week.

When will you open for submissions?
We'll start accepting submissions at the beginning of October.


Do you make the acceptance decisions alone or with John?
We make the decisions together, and so far have agreed on almost every story!


What do you pay?
We pay 3 cents/word, with a maximum of $250.

Is there anything you'd like people to know about the magazine that I haven't asked?
John thinks the response times are often unreasonably long in the short fiction field. Our goal is to respond to most submissions within 2 weeks. (We're going to try for "all submissions"but in rare circumstances we may take longer.) We also will look at poetry ($5 for short poems, more for longer ones) and cartoons.

Thank you, Carla!


So, readers, here's your chance to read some great fiction in this brand new issue, which is already available for sale on the Wildside website (http://wildsidepress.com/magazines/black-cat-mystery-magazine/), and which should show up any moment now on Amazon, if it isn't there already. My story in the issue, "Crazy Cat Lady," is a tale of psychological suspense about a woman who comes home and immediately suspects there's been a break-in, even though everything looks perfectly in order. Go pick up a copy of the magazine. I hope you enjoy it!

Art, John, and all the other authors with stories in this premier issue, I hope you'll comment with information about your tales. I'm so glad to be sharing this moment with you.

37 comments:

Kaye George said...

Great interview! I am, of course, excited about the new magazine and am confident it will be a major player in the short story field.

joshpac said...

Nice job, Barb! My story, "Eb and Flo," is set down in John Floyd country. It's a contemporary take on the classic dying-message story, and the two title characters are a tribute to my dear Uncle Ben and Aunt Florence.

John Floyd said...

Thanks for posting this, Barb--interesting interview with Carla! Looking forward to seeing all the stories. (Josh, "Eb and Flo" is a great title.)

My story, "Rooster Creek," is sort of a western murder-mystery love story, about a woman who interrupts a cross-country journey to visit her childhood home.

Michael Bracken said...

"Dixie Quickies," my contribution to the debut issue of Black Cat Mystery Magazine, is the latest in a series of loosely related southwest Texas stories that includes "Quarryville, Texas" (Fifty Shades of Grey Fedora), "Smoked," (Noir at the Salad Bar), and a handful of other stories awaiting publication.

The Dixie Motel in Chicken Junction, Texas, rents rooms by the hour on Friday and Saturday nights, for what are known locally as "Dixie Quickies." When a maid find a dead man in one of the rooms, she and the night clerk must deal with it and with the consequences of their decision.

Paul D. Marks said...

Congratulations Barb, John and Art and all the other writers. And good luck to the magazine! It's always nice to have a new and paying market.

janice law said...

That's certainly good news and congratulations to you and the other Sleuthsayers authors!

Steve Liskow said...

Congratulations to everyone who is in the debut.

I'm thrilled to hear about another possible fiction market as so many others dry up or--as Carla points out--are cutting back the number of issues.

Excellent interview, Barb.

O'Neil De Noux said...

Ah, ha. The ususal suspects are included. Cool. A new market. All right.

Alan Orloff said...

Nice job, Barb and Carla! I'm excited to have a story in the first issue! "Getting Away" is about a specialized travel agent, ready to move on to his next adventure. Looking forward to reading all the other stories in this issue (and the upcoming issues, too--I've already ordered my subscription!).

Ramona said...

Congrats to John and Carla, and to all of the Black Cat authors! What a great new opportunity for mystery writers.

Mary Sutton said...

This sounds great! I can't wait!

Mary/Liz

Robert Lopresti said...

THanks for the news, Barb. I look forward to reading it.

Thomas Pluck said...

Fine interview, I just ordered the first issue. We need more professional crime markets, and if we don't support fledgling magazines such as this one, we won't get any.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Carla and Barb,

Great interview, full of valuable information for those of us who write mystery fiction. A new magazine for mystery readers and writers is most welcome. Wishing you much success, and congrats to my fellow writers who appear in the debut issue.

Barb Goffman said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by! I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview and found it informative and helpful.

Art Taylor said...

Thanks for announcing the new magazine, Barb, and for the great interview with Carla too. So pleased to be part of the debut issue as well!

My story, "Fairy Tales," begins with an old(er) man feeling annoyed with the local high school kids who are walking down the street instead of on the sidewalk. (Not quite "Get off my lawn!" but with the same attitude, I guess.) Quickly, things escalate between the man and the kids--a turf war, of sorts, and with potentially troubling consequences. I hope people will enjoy.

And look forward to reading the rest of the stories too--such a great bunch of writers here!

Patricia Dusenbury said...

Welcome to a new mystery magazine and congratulations to all with stories in the debut issue. I'm off to order a copy.

John Boland said...

I've never been able to sort out when Wildside is actually publishing a magazine or just putting up an interesting cover. There was an adventure title, the old Weird Tales, something called Cat Tales (if my memory serves), an H.P. Lovecraft title. The irregularity of their products' appearance doesn't help, and their website, which freezes at a sneeze, is dreadful. Black Cat sounds good. I hope it's here to stay.

keenanpowell said...

How very exciting! I've been looking forward to the first edition ever since I heard of it.

Coco Ihle said...

Thanks for letting us know, Barb. I'm excited to read your story and those of the other authors. Great news!

KM Rockwood said...

That's a great list of authors! Looking forward to reading it!

Sherry Harris said...

I'm so excited there is a new source for great short stories! Congratulations Carla, John, and the authors! I can't wait to read this!

Mary Stojak said...

It is wonderful to see a new mystery magazine. Look forward to reading it! Congrats to everyone and nice post, Barb!

Doctor Dan said...

This is Dan Andriacco, known to Google as Doctor Dan, and I'm thrilled to be in such great company in the inaugural issue of Black Cat Mystery Magazine. My tale, "Murder at Madame Tussaud's," is set in London in 1888. I hope this is the beginning of series about Prof. Carlo Stuarti, whose profession as a stage magician is not the least mysterious thing about him.

Shari Randall said...

Thanks for sharing this exciting news, Barb! I've subscribed and cannot wait to read the stories - many terrific authors here. It's wonderful that Wildside is giving this opportunity to short story writers. Congratulations!

Eve Fisher said...

How great that there's a new venue for short mysteries! Can't wait to read them. And to submit. Thank you Carla, and Barb, and congratulations to all who are in the very first issue!

Julie Leo said...

Wonderful news & great interview! Good luck with BCMM & congrats to those in the maiden issue.

Neil Plakcy said...

Great interview, Barb! I'm looking forward to the magazine.

Jeff Baker said...

Yes! Thanks for sharing this! We can always use another mystery magazine!

A.F. Heart said...

May I post information from this on my blog? I think my readers would like to know about this new magazine.

Barb Goffman said...

Basic info, sure. Please list this column as your source.

Barb Goffman said...

I wanted to thank everyone once again for stopping by and for your kind words about Black Cat and this column and my new story. May the magazine have many years of success.

GM Malliet said...

Wonderful to hear that the short story format is thriving. Best wishes on this venture!

Bill Curatolo said...

Thanks for this interesting interview! I'm looking forward to reading Black Cat, maybe even publishing there!

Tina Kashian said...

How exciting! Looking forward to it.

Gretchen Archer said...

Just read it, cover to cover, BRAVO!!!!

Gretchen Archer said...

Just read it, cover to cover, BRAVO!!!!