26 December 2021

The Advantage of Networking

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but this topic is important enough that I believe it bears mentioning again. You just never know when networking will bring you an unexpected gift or boost at just the right time.

In a previous blog, I told about Brian Thornton (a fellow SleuthSayer) and me taking an MWA Board Member to the Russian Vodka Room in Manhattan for Baltika #3 beers and finding out later that particular member was an editor. This little outing subsequently led to me getting talked into a non-fiction book contract written under an alias. And yes, that was good beer.

Okay, so several years later, I'm on a short story panel at a Bouchercon in Dallas where Barb Goffman is the panel moderator. While waiting for the panel to begin, we start chatting and she happens to mention that she likes my short story "Black Friday" (the 10th story in  my Holiday Burglar series) which was published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine Nov/Dec 2017 issue.

Then, a couple of months ago, Barb looks me up in an e-mail asking if she can reprint "Black Frida" in Black Cat Weekly of which she does the Barb Goffman Presents section and is an Associate Editor of the magazine. (And no, no beer was involved.) But yes, not only does this e-mail come at a good time, Barn also wishes to pay me in good, solid U.S. American Dollars. So, you see this networking thing does pay off in the end.

NOTE: Black Cat Weekly #13 is an e-format, 479 page publication of good reading put out by Wildside Press LLC. Maybe you should buy a copy of this publication and see if it is a good market for you and your work. At least you'll enjoy the reading, if nothing else.

And While you're at it, you too should try some of this networking stuff at critique groups, writers' conferences, chapter meetings, readings, library gatherings, getting involved in writing organizations and/or whatever works for you. Get you and your stories and your name out there by being there.

And, don't be shy. Let us know how it all comes out.


  1. Nice serendipity, RT! I love my favorite SleuthSayers working together.

    And today is Boxing Day! Or unboxing in this case. Merry post-Christmas, Barb, RT, and Brian.

  2. Your blog is spot on. I have been pleasantly surprised at the benefits of being associated with Sleuthsayers even though those contacts have been strictly on line and via email.

  3. Short and sweet, but great advice, R.T. My experience has always been that mystery/crime writers go out of their way to help each other more than other genres. My first few sales all came about because someone who knew somebody else mentioned me...or mentioned them to me. And those early connections led to my being invited to this blog, and that led to...well, you get it.
    Merry post-Christmas, everyone.

  4. I love sending out emails requesting reprint rights. It makes me feel like Santa, dropping out of the sky to tell an author that I liked his/her story enough that I want to share it with the world and pay them for it. It's fun! It's even better when it's someone I know, like you, R.T. It was a pleasure to reprint your funny story.

  5. As you know, R.T., I love the burglar stories and Black Friday is my favorite. Barb has good taste - and I don't say that just because she is going to reprint one of my Shanks stories.

  6. Networking has been an important part of my work since my earliest involvement in the crime fiction world in the 1980s. I've found publishers, editors, co-writers, and colleagues (most of all colleagues) by going to conferences, workshops, joining committees, and setting up readings. The mystery community is the best. Thanks for the reminder, R.T.

  7. Before the internet, living in rural America made networking... difficult. But wow, since the internet, and since SleuthSayers, like Susan, I've found publishers, co-writers, colleagues, and editors galore. And thanks Barb, for being my Santa, too, for "The Four Roasters"!

  8. Thank you one and all. I appreciate and enjoy your comments.


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