Thursday, October 4, 2012

It’s time for Honey to Change

One wishes they had a crystal ball, to foresee the future. See how the road takes us and to see how, seemingly, at a moments notices things change.  Change happens constantly.

One day Kent Gowran had an idea to start a website dedicated to flash fiction crime stories. The next day he has two willing assistants to get the ball rolling. All of a sudden there is a site with three editors wading an uncertain current of the internet, with the goal of publishing short shots of fiction from authors willing to face the challenge of three individual editors.

We didn’t know if we’d last a month, and I’ll be the first to say I was skeptical with a 3 day schedule. I was afraid we’d run out, that between the three of us we could agree on enough stories to fill the bill. I guess I didn’t foresee the quality of ready to publish stories or the tenacity of our contributors to submit over and over again despite rejection.

Three editors, three days. It seemed to work. A fantastic combination.

Most of you know, though we didn’t make any fanfare about it, that Kent stepped down as editor from Shotgun Honey at our first anniversary mark, and we officially brought on board Chad Rohrbacher to act as our third. Kent filled in from time to time to schedule stories and was an absolute invaluable part of our BOTH BARRELS anthology. Kent is a big man with a big heart. Not only did he let me in as an editor, but he let me in as a friend. I may not raise the doom claw, but we both care about family and fiction, and interests that overlap surprisingly in between.

On Tuesday, Shotgun Honey went from a web magazine or flashzine to a publisher with the release of BOTH BARRELS. That  isn’t the only change to be made this week.

Where Kent was our heart, Sabrina Ogden could be called our hope. Our faith. She kept me positive, as she does everyone, but wasn’t afraid to set things straight on a topic. As you know–or you will now–Sabrina will be having some reconstructive jaw surgery in the next month or so. I figured she would be taking time off–if only I had that crystal ball–but she decide she would need more.  Like with Kent, it is simply time for Sabrina to move on. And like Kent, Sabrina became a friend and not just a co-editor.

So now it’s official, our original editors Kent and Sabrina have stepped down. As friends I wish them the best and expect them to keep me up on all their new adventures. Maybe now I can get Kent to submit a story? Maybe he’ll be good enough to pass the new gauntlet of editors?

For the last couple weeks, behind the scenes two new editors have been reading and deciding the fates of our contributors. Let me introduce former contributors Jen Conley and Joe Myers.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Jen is really familiar with traffic. She lives three miles from the beach, or the Jersey Shore, and loves bagels and pizza. She’s a long-time, rabid fan of the Black Crowes and is obsessed with ID and Mad Men. Jen loves a good crime story, especially ones with characters that pop, and has written some dark tales herself. When not writing or reading, she teaches middle school and hangs out with her son who knows everything about Star Wars.

If you’ve read Jen’s work on our site and other venues, you’ll know you don’t want to ask her if she knows Snooki? She’s got a mean hook.

After growing up watching virtually every episode of Law & Order and The Twilight Zone ever recorded, Joe Myers finally realized that he couldn’t draw his comic books as fast as he came up with the stories and started writing them down. Since then, he wrote his first novel at the age of 17 and his work has been published in Shotgun Honey, The Escapist, and even earned a “not half bad” at a contest one time. When he’s not writing stories or doing freelance illustration, Joe can be found collecting old t-shirts, jackets, and being licked to death by his two dogs.

We met Joe last year at Bouchercon in St. Louis, and he just kind of clicked. It was a great opportunity to include to Joe on the team.

Both have been a valued asset already.

So now with Chad, Jen, Joe and myself we’re ready to see what the future brings. Another anthology for sure, and hundreds of more hard-boiled crime flash fiction.

If only I had a crystal ball, I’d tell you more.

For those attending Bouchercon this weekend in Cleveland, former editors Kent and Sabrina will be on hand with buttons and books. Be sure to get both and wish the two good luck, and give them a pat on the back for outstanding service. Jen and Joe will be at Bouchercon, also. Be sure to glad hand them, buy them plenty of drinks. These guys are helping choose your fate. A little good will, as they say, goes a long way.