East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Of Corsairs and Masks


corsair firt proof coverI mentioned too many projects.
Some new, some old, some halfway in between.
To wit…
The third Corsair story has been long overdue.
I miss Leo Martin, and who knows, maybe my readers miss him too.
The third and fourth stories in the series had been outlined and researched, but then I never got around and never wrote them.
This is an old project.

5d18194e0b0408cf2132f3dcb901665bAnd then there is Black Mask.
The legendary crime pulp magazine, the one that first published stories by Dash Hammet and Ray Chandler and Erle Stanley Gardner and Paul Cain and Fredric Brown and all the greats. I’d love to get a story of mine in Black Mask – because yes, it still exists.
They publish hard-boiled and crime, of course, and I want to have a story of mine on their pages.
This is a brand new project.

And I guess you can see where this is going.

The Repentant Magdalen is a caper story featuring Leo Martin, aka The Corsair.
It’s set in rain-soaked Venice, soon after the 14th Movie Festival. The one in which the judges were unable to assign a Golden Lion.


Martin is in Venice to see an old friend, a girl he met in ‘44, during the partisan war in Italy, and that now is married to a successful lawyer.
220px-Vittore_CarpaccioAnd then there is a priceless painting of Mary Magdalene, by Vittore Carpaccio, a 16th century Venetian painter1.
And a Nazi war criminal.
And an old lady.
And a cat.

I’ve put 3000 words in the can today, and plotted a watertight (aha!) heist.
I plan to have the story closed by early tomorrow morning.
No more than 10.000 words the guidelines say, and I usually stick to my guidelines.
Insomnia is back, I better put it to work.
I am aiming for a lean story, one that will fit the Black Mask guidelines.

Really, I do not even know how much they pay, but really, to have a title in Black Mask?

Of course, I can’t be sure they will buy it – all I can do is write the best story possible.
I have already hired a few beta readers. I’m taking as few chances as possible on this one.
It’s going to be a long night of writing.
Wish me luck.

  1. and one that has a connection, believe it or not, with the Silk Road… so we’ll be talking about him sooner or later. 

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

4 thoughts on “Of Corsairs and Masks

  1. You know, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine is still in business. I bet you might be able to get a story printed in there.


  2. They even have a special section in every copy of stories written by non American and non British writers. It’s called Passport To Crime. They usually run 2 or 3 stories like that every issue (currently monthly, but switching soon to bi-monthly).


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