When I first started submitting stories to magazines back in high school, there was a handful of publications I would have killed to get into: THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION MAGAZINE, ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE and HARDBOILED. (CEMETERY DANCE would be on this list, but I hadn't discovered them yet.)
Today, I am down to three on that list of four. When I got home from work, I had my contributors copies of HARDBOILED #47 waiting for me in the mail.
Of all the editors I've been sending stories to, Gary Lovisi is the one guy I've been going after the longest. (Editors at the other three when I first started are gone now, or someone else is reading their slush pile.) I lost count of how many rejection letters he sent me, but he's probably the one editor who has sent me the most over the years. (Gordon Van Gelder is a close second.)
I still can't believe I finally cracked HARDBOILED. It's the best crime fiction magazine on the market, in my opinion. It's a shame, though, since this is the final issue.
It's funny. I got the acceptance letter a long time ago, and I was so proud of myself. Then, Hurricane Sandy came along, and I heard that it really fucked things up for HARDBOILED. I hate to admit it, but I figured the magazine would go under before my story appeared in its pages. To have nearly made it! But thankfully, I did make it. And hey! Look at this! I'm in there with a posthumous story from C.J. Henderson! How cool is that?
I haven't found a link online, but when I do, I'll pass it on to you all. My story is called "Daisy, Jeppke, and the Kid." It's about a couple of meth-heads who decide to sell their baby for drugs in a chain store parking lot. Things do not go well for them or anyone involved.
RIP, HARDBOILED. I will miss you. Thank you for letting me in just before the doors closed.