Thursday, January 31, 2013

An Obscure Credit of Mine

You never know what you're going to find when you go poking around the Fictionmags Index. In 1979 I sold a story to a men's magazine called DAPPER, never having seen an actual issue and going strictly off their listing in Writer's Market. The acceptance came pretty quickly, as I recall, and was accompanied by a check for a hundred bucks or so, pretty good money for a story I wrote in a day or two. But they didn't send contributor copies and I never knew when or even if the story ever appeared. I checked the newsstands in Fort Worth for a while, hoping to come across it, but no luck and after a while I forgot about it.

But what do you know? The FMI has a listing for the October 1979 issue of DAPPER, and there's my story, "Test Drive", under the pseudonym I used for most of my men's magazine stories, Jay Morris. Not just a listing, either, but a cover scan, too, which you can see here. So after more than 32 years, at least I can see what the issue looks like. How about that? Just don't ask me what the story was about, because I don't remember. It was probably a crime story, but I can't even be sure of that.

9 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

lol. cool. fascinating where things turn up!

Todd Mason said...

One of the least enticing cover come-ons ever. No wonder it didn't get particularly good distribution, at least in your area...

Walker Martin said...

I wasn't going to say anything about this cover of DAPPER but Todd has broken the ground. For a magazine called DAPPER to have this girl, in this pose on the cover, well that's not too dapper.

Frankly, I'd chew off my arm to get away from her...

Neil Waring’s –Western Ramblings said...

Maybe they still owe you some money

Todd Mason said...

http://www.philsp.com/mags/dapper.html

With a few competent, and a very few modestly adept covers, this magazine never did have much luck in that arena...nor did they make the wisest of initial title-choices, going by HARLEQUIN against the already established paperback (and occasional magazine) publisher for three issues, then HQ (out of the HARLEQUIN logotype) for five, and then DAPPER from '65-'82. Some of the early issues had some impressive literary content promised...I wouldn't be surprised, James, even if that short story was the worst thing you ever published by some distance, that it still shone bright in the magazine by 1979...tempted to seek out a copy?

James Reasoner said...

There's one copy I found for sale on-line, but it's $25 plus shipping, which is more than I think it's worth to me. So I'm a little tempted but I probably won't buy it. I might check eBay now and then for a cheaper copy, though.

Juri Nummelin said...

I didn't know you were M.R. James! All these years I thought it was this British guy...

Todd Mason said...

Well, there's this other James Reasoner who published in a late issue of MANHUNT when the present JR was a kid...Mike Ashley misconstrued that entry in an essay once...

Todd Mason said...

Sorry I missed the November 1978 issue of MSMM...my father, Robert Mason, has been mildly amused by SOLO/WEAPON/CHICKENHAWK Robert Mason's career and name in print, and might've been amused again to see a slightly less explicit reference...any memorable reason you took that pseud for that story, James?