Midst a Manuscript Blizzard: Past and Present

In 1992, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine published the first mystery short story I wrote called The Jane Austen Murder, featuring the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex. The short story was also included in the Murder by the Book anthology, published by Carroll & Graf in 1996.

That first Micky Cardex story was followed by a dozen more, each named after a writer. (Check out http://www.unz.org/Pub/AlfredHitchcocksMM-1994feb where The Oscar Wilde Murder made the cover.) When novelists began following that naming convention, I switched to poetry titles like Lines on the Mermaid Tavern and Cuchulain’s Fight with the Sea. No, Thank You, John was nominated for a Shamus Best P.I. Short Story in 1998. AHMM also published two short stories without Micky, the last one A Spider in Zanzibar in 2010.

It took me ten years to write the SF story Where Old Kings Gather. I submitted it to Amazing Stories, but editor Kim Mohan said the magazine was in hiatus and asked if he could include it in an Amazing Stories’ anthology instead. And pay more. It appeared in More Amazing Stories published by Tor in 2001. Alas, Amazing Stories, after an incredible run, is no more. It was lovely to be included in its last anthology.

In 1999, Neal Shusterman and I wrote an X-Files Young Adult novel called Dark Matter (based on an X-Files episode starring Tony Shaloub), which is still listed at various booksellers under the author name Easton Royce, and published by HarperCollins. We teamed up again last year to write Unstrung, a novella to bridge Neal’s Unwind and UnWholly novels, the latter a New York Times bestseller. Unstrung was e-published by Simon & Schuster in July 2012.

Currently I’m working on a quartet of mystery novellas called Abishag Wife Mysteries. The four will be e-published one at a time (hopefully a month apart) when I’ve completed drafting the fourth. Please God, let it be soon.

Sinking Ships: An Abishag Wife’s First Mystery: When college coeds hire out to be bed-warmer wives to comatose men, romantic rationalist Leslie Greene thinks she’s solved her money woes…till she discovers a murder on her ‘wedding’ night. (Status: professional edit complete, readying for beta readers. Projected publication date: June or July 2013)

Indelible Beats: An Abishag Wife’s Second Mystery: Due to the high cost of dating, romantic rationalist college student Leslie Greene marries another comatose geezer–this time in a sleepy La Jolla neighborhood—where she uncovers art forgery, betrayal, and murder. (Status: professional edit near completion. Tentative publication date: August 2013)

Riddles in Bone: An Abishag Wife’s Third Mystery: Romantic rationalist college student Leslie Greene marries another comatose geezer–this time a pro bono case in Palm Desert for a professor whose box of bones of unknown origin may have targeted him for murder. (Status: final author edits. Tentative publication date: September 2013)

An Eggshell Present: An Abishag Wife’s Fourth Mystery: When a close friend needs an Abishag wife, romantic rationalist Leslie Greene is in danger again—this time of losing her family, her heart and her life. (Status: first draft at 9700 words. Tentative publication date: October 2013)

When the last Abishag has been uploaded, I’ll return to the (hopefully) final revision of Olive Tomorrow, a Golden Girls meets the A-Team mystery novel set outside Temecula, California.

Those are what stand at the front of the blizzard. Another pile waits, quaking in the aftermath.

About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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