Is Caleb and Linda Pirtle Becoming an Online Magazine for Opinion and Fiction?

urlI miss the great old magazines that were scattered around the house during my growing up days.  I knew which days of the month that the postman would arrive with our copies of Colliers and Saturday Evening Post, and I would sit out under the pines and watch for his old car to come bouncing over the crest of the hill behind Wyche’s store and head down the blacktop road toward our mailbox.

These were the days long before niche marketing and niche publishing.

Now you find magazines devoted exclusively to travel or fashion, health or beauty, food or entertainment. The list of themes goes on and is endless.

But Colliers and Saturday Evening Post were devoted to everything.

And in our house, we waited for the fiction: short stories, excerpts from novels, and serials. They made us laugh, made us cry, puzzled us, confounded us, intrigued us, and kept us in suspense until the next issue arrived.

Those kinds of magazines just don’t exist anymore.

They published stories by some of the nation’s most gift authors and gave a legion of new writers a chance to showcase their talent for writing short fiction to a national audience.

The writers caught a break. And so did the readers.

For a long time now, Stephen Woodfin and I have had daily and rambling, round about discussions about the direction of Caleb and Linda Pirtle. The focus has greatly evolved since that first day we went live, and, more and more, we are making a concerted and conscious effort to create the editorial slant and feel of Colliers and Saturday Evening Post.

url-1The blogs have long been the foundation for the site. Author and noted speaker Don Newbury looks at the humorous side of life. So does Jenny McCutcheon when she’s not taking you on trips both inside and outside the United States. It seems as though author Darlene Jones is always making inroads in places we didn’t know was on the map. We can depend on author Patty Wiseman to dish out the kinds of facts that we have never stumbled across and are glad we finally did.

Authors and Poets Jory Sherman and Jo VonBargen take an assortment of words, sprinkle some magic on them, and reveal life and the world around us as we have never seen them before.  Authors Julia Robb and Maria Granovsky provide insights for writers who possess a real determination to turn out prose that sings and dances for the reader. And no one can help a writer create a solid and quality book as well as professional book reviewer Kathryn (Bob) Etier.

Author and historical novelist Gay Ingram takes us down the streets of historic America. Lana Lynne, an author of historical fiction herself, gives us inspiration and the reasons why we really do believe in God we trust. And all Keith McCormick has to do is write the plain facts about his struggles after a medical procedure went awry, and his will, determination, and perseverance are lessons that we all need to learn.

However, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has become a serious home for serious fiction.

Stephen Woodfin and Jack Durish have a knack of turning out short stories that are mesmerizing – small slices of life that both fascinate and intrigue. You don’t know the characters, but you wish you did. As Woodfin so eloquently described it: “Life is so rich that no writer could ever exhaust it. The human drama is in every heart, every joke, every snide remark, each victory, each defeat. If the hero is not every man, he is no one.”

However, the growing heart and soul of the new Caleb and Linda Pirtle are the serials we are presently publishing. There are at least five or six new episodes online every day you wake up.

Woodfin is publishing two serials at the same time: his novel about the trials and tribulations facing the most dangerous man on the planet in Last One Chosen and a rollicking legal thriller about love, murder, and football in The Lazarus Deception.

I have completed three serials. Two were espionage thrillers set during the turmoil and chaos of World War II: Secrets of the Dead, one man’s fight to smuggle back photographs that reveal the genesis of Hitler’s final solution for the Jews, and Conspiracy of Lies, another espionage thriller built around the Russians and the Germans trying to secure the secrets involved with America’s creation of the Atom Bomb. And Acclaimed author Melissa Foster draws the plot for her novel of love from a war as well in Come Back to Me.  A young man is missing after a helicopter crash in Iraq, and his wife battles her own anxieties, melancholy, and depression as she waits for him to come back again. But will he ever return? My Wicked Little Lies looks at a small town smoldering with hate, greed, and more than its share of lust.

Christina Carson describes Where It Began as “living in American from the ’50s to the turn of the century and seeing it through the eyes of a black woman who, I promise you, you will come to love beyond imagining.” Bert Carson’s The Sages: Book one of the Mystic Trilogy is as mystical in its search for universal truth as the title says it is. Author Jim Ainsworth defines the irony of life in Burrowed to the Bone. A man born in poverty breaks away and finds success, but his family steals it and leads him into a life of crime and financial ruin.

Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper reporter Robert B. Lowe has penned a political thriller that’s as raw and disturbing as politics and religion in today’s headlines, Divine Fury. Linda Pirtle, in The Mah Jongg Murders, has blanketed herself a quiet, cozy mystery where people you never suspect keep showing up dead. Sarah Marie Hogg’s The Scavenger’s Song trails two homicide detectives in pursuit of a serial killer.

In FCEtier’s The Presidents Club, a group of retirees and the ex-FBI agent hired to protect them, attempt to solve a murder and uncover the source of ultimate government power. R. S. Guthrie scratches the surface of the supernatural in Black Beast, as a decorated detective fights his own inner demons to track down the evil forces behind a double homicide. And John Crawley’s novel about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, The Man on the Grassy Knoll, probably comes closer to the truth than any other investigation into the murder of a President. Crawley has already completed his VG Serial: Dream Chaser. It, too, is a mind blower. Literally.

Australian author Colin Falconer, a couple of weeks ago, began the serialization of Opium, set against the backdrop of blazing poppy fields in war-torn Laos. A sizzling love affair and illegal opium trade will change together, proving that love is as much of an addition as drugs. British author David L. Atkinson, in I Have To Get It Right, features an investigator battling all odds to right the wrongs of society and facing the forces of organized crime.

Today, we are introducing a new serial, Melinda McGuire’s Nelson & Cora. Nelson McGinnis is next in line to take over his family’s plantation in post-Civil War Kentucky until he meets Cora Ross. The question is: Will they risk everything to start a new life together and defy their families’ labels of Union and Confederate?  Judith Gotwald is also writing a serial, Still Standing, that reflects another time in history. General George A. Custer has died at Little Big Horn, and his wife is doing everything within her power to keep his memory, his name, and his reputation untainted.

Caleb and Linda Pirtle may not be an online magazine. But it certainly reads like one. And if you would like to start writing for us with either a blog or a serial of your novel, just contact me at caleb@calebandlindapirtle.com.

We are always looking for new indie talent.

 

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  • Over in the tiny town of Cabool, MO, I too waited for that mailman. Often I had sent off for some silly thing from the back of a comic book that was taking its sweet time getting there. I was entranced by the photos in both LOOK and LIFE, sometimes lovely, sometimes filled with big drama, or even sometimes portraits of tragedy. The Saturday Evening Post often sported covers done by Norman Rockwell, and yes, I would often try to (secretly) read the contents, although sometimes they had adult (tame by today’s standards) themes. Young girls are interested in romance, although they don’t know why. Finally, Mother let me subscribe to my own magazine. It was American Girl, and seemed so adult at the time. It was sponsored by Girl Scouts of America, but still!. With print media fading away, it is encouraging to know there are other niches out there. We must find them.

    • Short fiction does indeed deserve a come back, and maybe we can help – especially if we have a chance to work with talented writers like you on the site.

  • Many thanks for the mention, Caleb!! Venture Galleries is turning out to be THE place to be on the literary scene! Such a quality site!!

    • Thanks, Jo. As long as we have you out front leading the way, we’ll all get there.

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