When I picked up my first copy of The Strand magazine yesterday, I had two initial thoughts. First, my, what glossy paper they use! Must cost a bundle. Second, my, what a ton of ads for upcoming mystery and crime/detective novels! Must pay for the glossy paper.
I bought it anyway, since I had learned that way back in the day, The Strand published a breakout writer from Scotland whose first story was about a quirky detective named Sherlock and his sidekick, named Watson.
Just shy of seven US dollars later, I admit it was money very well spent.
In this issue, the editor/staff had found an unpublished short story by Dashiell Hammett. Maybe you have heard of him? If not, ask Sam Spade or Nick & Nora Charles next time you see them. What a cool little story. I especially loved Hammett’s technique of character development and use of dialogue. If you can find the magazine, get it. Worth the cash just for that one story, plus there is much more. I just haven’t had time to read it all yet. (It’s my lunch time diversion at work.)
So I am liking the hard boiled detective more and more. The graphic, serial novel has taken a new twist. This week’s goal: develop the overall universe of Blackie Sheridan, private eye, living in 1940’s Chicago. Also, set up the first story arc. Nate-Dog (the artist) is creating some character sketches, trying to visualize Blackie, as well as his sidekick, Gustav, the strongman from the local circus.
Strand, pick it up, if possible. “Blood and Daggers” – coming soon to a cloud near you!
Enjoy your weekend. Keep writing!