Thursday, August 4, 2016

Pearl’s Valley

Good news from the Black Lizard Lounge: I signed a contract the other day for the publication of "Pearl's Valley." “Pearl” is a longish story I wrote more than two years ago. It was a difficult story to sell perhaps because of the length, which is 15,500 words. That was a conscious choice on my part as 15,000 is about the length of some of my favorite short stories by Raymond Chandler, such as "Red Wind" or "Goldfish," or approximately one-quarter the length of two of Dashiell Hammett's finest novels, The Maltese Falcon and Red Harvest, both of which originally appeared as four part serials in Black Mask.

The publisher for "Pearl's Valley" will be Dark Passages Publishing,  which says it "is a New York based imprint that endeavors to publish the best new crime novellas." They plan to bring it out as (I guess) a little stand-alone book and an e-book in March 2017. 

I've been particularly fond of this story, which I sent to about 43 prospective homes in response to which I received 39 rejections. I guess I just had to find the right home. 

Someone--John Gardner, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy or Kinky Friedman--said there are only two plots: a man goes on a journey, and a stranger comes to town. "Pearl's Valley" was my man-goes-on-a-journey story. “New Billy’s Blues,” my current writing project, is my stranger-comes-to-town.