Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Bad Day at the Falls of the Cuyahoga


Some days it doesn't pay to roll out of bed in the morning. June 18 started out OK but it has been all downhill since my first sip of Irish Breakfast Tea. With Jackie away shopping I did the thing I hate most, answered the telephone. It was my step-daughter in Indiana saying her husband was in the hospital for a heart cauterization - a word I can't spell and am not about to look up.
Then Jackie fell as she was about to enter our building's back door. A cut finger was the worst of the damage, although she did hit her mouth on the pavement, but hearing about it shook me up. I'm the one who is supposed to fall, not her. If there is one thing an old infantryman knows it is how to hit the dirt - and it's not face-first.
I couldn't settle to work after that so I checked some sales figures. A book I did on the Normandy invasion ranks 39th of the 24,689 books released by the publisher. This was annoying because at one time it was 15th on the list. On the other hand, when I checked a few months ago it was 127th.
Then I looked at the Amazon Shorts. These are short stories selling for 49 cents. The writer gets 20 cents for each sale so it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. I have five short stories there, all ones that no one else would buy. With them is one of leftover chapters from the Normandy book. It ranks 726th out of 3,559, hardly a noteworthy feat. At number 728 is the first of the short stories, The Old School Yell.
Ahead of my stories are such classics as How to Make Love Like a Zombie and Me and My Bitch. Then there is one by someone named Lauren Baratz-Logsted. Talk about adding insult to injury.
I did, however, finish ahead of 108 Plain Lame Pick-up Lines. That's nothing; in my youthful days I could have supplied the writer with twice that many.
But I wonder who buys these things, including my six that have the selling power of ice at the arctic circle. Some of the leading mystery writers in the country fare as badly or even worse than I do - full-time novelists like John Lutz, Ed Gorman and Linda Barnes. Leading short story writers such as O'Neil De Noux and John M. Floyd. There are others, too.
So if it isn't fame that sells them, what is it? Don't ask me because I'm having a bad day and there are still eight hours until bedtime.


1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the Author of How to Make Love like a Zombie, I also wonder who buys these things. Not Mysteries or Zombie novels, but electronic "books" in general. It seems that this idea should appeal to the young, those who haven't already fallen in love with the weight, smell, sense of bound books the way that I have. But then, do the very young actually read? Do they buy books (actual or ethereal) anymore? I just don't know.

Nathan Tyree
nathanctyree@yahoo.com

12:27 PM  

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