If you are a fledgling mystery writer and you get a letter from Otto Penzler wanting to buy one of your stories, it can make your day, for sure. This just happened to me, when I received a request from Penzler for the “The Promise,” a flash fiction piece to be included in an anthology he is putting together called Kwik Krimes. The book, which will appear this spring (Amazon/Thomas & Mercer), will be a collection of flash fiction mystery stories. The great people at Every Day Fiction, to whom I was contractually obligated for “The Promise,” graciously gave me permission to sell to Penzler. I’m hoping my other flash fiction piece with EDF, “To Catch a Wolf” will be selected for EDF’s next anthology, which will issue in the fall of 2013.
Who is Penzler, you might ask? He’s been called by many the Dean of the American Mystery genre. He was founder of the Mysterious Press, which published such authors as Kingsley Amis, Isaac Asimov, Raymond Chandler, P. D. James, just to name a very few. He was also the President of the American Mystery Writer’s Association for years and owns the Mysterious Book Shop in Manhattan. The bookshop is the largest and oldest mystery bookshop in the world. When visiting my son Greg in Tribeca, I spent many an hour browsing in his shop, never once thinking our paths might cross!
So, you can imagine how I felt receiving a personal letter from Otto, even if it was for just a 1,000 word short story. Moments like that make all the work involved in writing well worth the effort…