More than a decade ago there was a wonderful on-line publication called Hardluck Stories published by Dave Zeltserman. I’d had one story published there already, and when he called for stories with a Western Noir theme, I decided to try my hand at one.
I had written maybe three noir stories, and no Western stories, so I took some time to decide on how I could write something that was different, but also publishable. I knew there were a lot of prostitutes back then. I thought that probably not a lot of other women were writing for this call for stories, and that if a male writer had a prostitute in his story, she probably was not the main character. I picked San Francisco as the setting because it’s a great city with a wonderful history and would be easy to research if I needed to.
After that, I’m not sure how I came up with the story—I never am. I did decide that something had to happen right away, so I chose to have the man Rita Mae arrived with in San Francisco get murdered and all their money lost. Once I began to write, the story just came to me, as it usually does, and I had fun with the characters, the setting, the details (I even researched a cocktail that Rita Mae drank), and of course, the plot.
Dave really liked the story, and so it was published in Hardluck Stories.
But there was more. Dave had been in contact with Ed Gorman, and Ed agreed to put an anthology together with the stories from that Hardluck issue plus ask for more submissions from some very popular writers he knew. And he got them. Here’s where to find a whole list of who was published in the anthology, On Dangerous Ground (unfortunately now out of print). Isn’t that a great cover?
But there’s more! Now, twelve years later, I was Googling around and put my name into search, plus the word “review.” And that’s when I found a wonderful review at Spinetingler, which I knew nothing about. So, I checked my contract with the anthology’s publisher, Cemetery Dance, and found that I have ebook rights. Of course, I immediately thought of the folks at Untreed Reads who have published all my Artie Crimes stories, and I sent it off to them. And they decided to publish the story as a stand-alone ebook. So, now it’s available again, and since On Dangerous Ground is out of print, I am, of course, ecstatic.
You can find “Going Where the Wind Blows” at just about any bookseller on-line you can think of, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the Apple Store (iTunes), etc. But you can get it directly from the publisher in all formats much easier.
I hope the story behind the story interested you. You just never know where the wind, or a spark for a story, will take you.
Congrats, Jan! What an encouraging story for writers. Good stuff deserves to be kept alive–one of the benefits of e-book publications.
Thanks, Jacqueline. I’m now thinking of other stories that were published years ago and no long available anywhere. How about you?
Good luck with the story, Jan. I love the title.
Thanks, Gail. I found out there’s a song with that title, except they use “Goin'” instead of “Going.” I think they used the title after my story was published, though. Of course, I know you can’t copyright titles, so makes no difference. I just found it interesting. And when I think about my story, the phrase “blowing in the wind” comes to mind.