'n Vrou se Spel

This one has an odd provenance. Late in 2015, Bill Pronzini and I decided to write a story together. We worked back and forth for a while, but ultimately decided that we had two very different visions of the direction our original idea ought to take, so we wound up agreeing to write two separate stories and maybe try a collaboration another time. Bill's piece was published in the November/December 2017 EQMM, and mine, titled "A Young Man's Game," was scheduled for the March/April 2018 issue.

When I received my contributor's copies, however, I saw to my horror that what EQMM had actually published was an early draft that Bill and I had worked on together, not the story I'd ultimately written on my own. Bill was extremely gracious about it. I offered him half or all of what I'd been paid, and with his permission wound up donating what I'd gotten to charity.

That, however, left my story unpublished. Right around the same time, I was translating "Proof," a story by South African writer Francois Bloemhof, for EQMM's "Passport to Crime" department, and I suggested to Francois that he might like to translate something of mine for possible publication in his country. I sent him "A Young Man's Game" and he liked it, but the only possible South African market for short crime fiction, he said, was a women's magazine called Vrouekeur. So I changed the story's protagonist from a male to a female and changed the title to "A Woman's Game." Francois translated it, Vrouekeur's editor liked it, and it was published in the September 28, 2018, issue of the magazine as "'n Vrou se Spel."

There's a little more to this saga, but I'll save that for another time....

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