Monday Morning Digest Magazine: Espionage, February 1985
Like MYSTERY MONTHLY, which I wrote about several weeks ago, when I saw the digest magazine ESPIONAGE on the magazine rack at one of the local grocery stores, my first thought was that here was another market I could send some stories to. The mid-Eighties were a dry time for me as far as writing goes. I ghost-collaborated on a couple of men's adventure novels with a friend of mine. I wrote short stories and letters for the porno digests (and was damned glad to get those 40 or 50 buck sales, too). I wrote novel proposal after novel proposal in a variety of genres, all unsold and lost now, except for one or two. I was still a year or so away from getting the job writing Westerns for Book Creations Inc. that eventually allowed me to become a full-time writer. So I immediately wrote a slew of spy stories and bombarded the magazine with them. Never even came close to selling any of them, of course. They all came flying back with form rejects. I don't know if any of them were actually any good or not. They're all lost, too. But I still picked up the magazine when I found it and read the stories, and most of them were pretty good. This issue includes stories by Dan J. Marlowe, Ron Goulart, Edward D. Hoch, Michael Bracken, Bill Knox, and John Lutz. That's a top-notch line-up. The other issues I read were good, too. Several of them feature stories by Joe Lansdale. Despite its quality, the magazine lasted only a year or two, victim of the fact that even in the mid-80s, people just didn't read fiction magazines much anymore.