// you’re reading...


John Raab

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. This issue features interviews with publisher of Suspense Magazine John Raab, and the creator of the color science fiction webcomic, Outsider, James Francis. Outsider is a tale of warring aliens and a young Terran caught in the crossfire. By the way, the Lifeline Bookfest is on again in Brisbane, Australia. It’s one of the largest sales of second-hand books in the world. Two million second- hand books will go on sale at the Brisbane Convention Centre from Saturday, January 19 to Monday, January 28.

In suspenseful stories, the reader worries and wonders about a character. There is an undecided or undetermined story question. Will the monster catch him? How will she get out of this one? Will my team win?
As the hero, or anti-hero, gets in deeper and deeper trouble, questions follow questions. Finally, somehow, he or she resolves the whole troublesome situation they’ve found themselves in.
Since 2007, the monthly Suspense Magazine has published suspenseful short stories and put suspense fans in touch with the latest suspense novels.
In December, publisher of Suspense Magazine John Raab posted a free Best of 2012 issue of his excellent online magazine at suspensemagazine.com. There are also older free issues on the site.
“Suspense Magazine was started because we couldn’t find a place where readers could discover new authors without searching all over the internet,” publisher John Raab said. He said a couple of magazines that covered suspense only came out four or five times a year and they missed a lot of news stories.
Traditionally suspense stories were in the espionage and crime genres, as in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and an earlier Suspense Magazine in the 1960s. But since 2007, John Raab’s Suspense Magazine has featured stories from horror, thriller and fantasy genres, too.
In addition to the suspenseful stories, a standout feature of the magazine is its regular how-to-write articles. There is also a Suspense Magazine radio show which interviews authors about their work and techniques.
“Eighty per cent of horror readers want to be writers, and ten per cent actually do it,” said Mr Raab. “We cater to both.”
Suspense Magazine is now totally online and paid for by subscription. It receives about 1000 short story submissions each year.
Mr Raab takes note of the types of stories people submit. Submissions showed him what sort of subject matter to include in future editions. “People read what they write,” he said.
The magazine caters for people wanting the return of quality, entertaining short stories. If you are interested in submitting a story to the magazine, Mr Raab offers this advice to writers.
“Writers need to make sure they edit their stories,” he said. “Don’t just have Mom read it; they need to have an outside person look at their work and critique it honestly. Too many times we get stories that are very poorly written, even though they might have a good plotline. And work on your characters, as that is what really makes a story shine.”
As for his favorite books, Mr Raab liked whodunits and horror, particularly Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile, and Stephen King’s The Dark Half. He liked the earlier books of Dean Koontz, John Saul, and the Rizzoli & Isles novels of Tess Gerritsen.
See suspensemagazine.com for lots of free stories, articles and interviews with authors.

-copyright Simon Sandall.