This has been a year in the making and almost four since I was in a position like this so...
Welcome to the All-New A Twist Of Noir.
It's been a while and I'm ready to get going again.
For those of you that remember the old place, you probably recall a lot of really fresh, really awesome (a word I seldom use) crime and noir fiction stories written by perhaps the greatest crop of writers I have ever had the pleasure of publishing and getting to know.
I need to stop and take a moment to acknowledge that there was one eerie moment looking back at the old site: the last story that I published that wasn't a story by the late, great Bill "AJ" Hayes was from O.M. Grey and the title was...wait for it...The Final Word.
Shivers? Yeah, me, too.
But I digress...
There are going to be a few key differences this go-round and I will explain in just a moment. I'm basking in how wonderful this opportunity is and how much fun and ass-kickery is going to go down with A Twist Of Noir 2.0.
The key differences...man, someone needs to hire this guy an assistant to keep him on track.
The key differences: at ATON, I was the sole publisher. That will not change in this version of ATON. I like having my hands on the throttle and the steering wheel and I'm not going to give that up for anything or anyone. Back then, however, I had a good amount of time on my hands (I wasn't married; wasn't in school; wasn't working a full-time job, it was part-time; wasn't doing a lot of things) so I could handle the volume that went with a site that took off almost immediately after launch.
As mentioned, I don't have that same amount of time. Being married is wonderful, being in school is just a wonderful. The job is the job and pays the bills and I'm writing my butt off some days and others, not so much, but I'm always, as we writers tend to do, thinking about the next thing that I'm going to write.
So this time, we're not going to have the word count limit as high as last time. Last time, it was 2,500 words and sometimes I stretched that for my friends and colleagues, especially if it was a hell of a story they were writing.
The word count will be 1,000 flat. No 1,001 or "Can't I just end it when I end it?" If it doesn't end by word 1,000, get out the axe and start chopping. If, on the other hand, you have something that's six words long and tells a story (and I will be able to tell if it's acceptable or not, trust me), by all means, send it on over.
So...word count capped at 1,000. Are we agreed? Doesn't matter if we're not; 1,000 words is where we're capping it. Besides, if you're at all familiar with the phrase "Kill Your Darlings," you probably have had to excise and cut and trim stories before. I'm a big believer that less is more and streamlined stories read really, really well. It'll help you be creative. You'll be fine.
Next key difference. There will be one to three stories published each week. No more than that. If, in the future, I find myself with stories that beg to put up ASAP or a little more time on my hands, that may change. But, for right now, one to three stories per week. I will let you know whether or not your story is going to see the light of day (and when) so you're not waiting around for it to be posted. If that's not acceptable, you can take your story back and go elsewhere with it. My policy, as most of you know, has always been that the writer retains the rights to the story. The only thing that I ask is that if I place your story on this site, you don't go and put it at another site the same day or before it sees publication here. It's kind of a trust system that seemed to work really well last time and I hope it works this time, too.
Third key difference. I never wanted A Twist Of Noir to turn into a vanity project so I very rarely placed any of my own stories on the old site. I had a section on the side links that directed you where you might find some of my writing but I shied away from taking space from deserving writers with my own stuff. While I believe that every writer that sends something in my direction is at least deserving of having me look at their story or stories, I no longer believe that I should keep my own stories off this or any other site that I might be the publisher of for the simply fact that writing is writing and if I want to share it with the world, why not on my own site as well as any other that will have me? So be prepared to see some of my own stories mingling with all of yours. I think you can handle that as well.
Last key difference. While this is called A Twist Of Noir or, more precisely, The All-New A Twist Of Noir, the stories that I am looking for can range from erotica to horror to bizarro to romance...only as long as you include some sort of crime or noir element in the story. And, again, trust me on this, if the story doesn't give me that, if I don't feel like it's leaning in the right direction, if it's just sex for the sake of sex being portrayed or people going around and cutting off each other's heads just to raise the body count, then we're going to have a problem and your story's not going to make the grade.
Okay. Which is how this started. I think we're ready for the particulars.
You can send your stories to BseeingUFive@aol.com. Mark your subject line with ATON Story. Keep it 1,000 words or less.
And, most importantly, have fun.