Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Friday, June 3, 2011

Death of a Magazine

I killed my baby today. At least, that's what it felt like. Joy Sillesen and Joanne Renaud and I first conceived the magazine Dark Valentine in a mall somewhere between Joy's house and our apartments. It was the first time I'd met Joy f2f but we bonded instntly.
We hammered out the details over pasties and pear cider in Glendale and a few months later, Dark Valentine was born.
The incredible Sarah Vaughn put together our website, with Joanne Renaud consulting and Joy and I chiming in on the doowahs. (I was the one who suggtested stylized loteria card images for the logo.)
We conceived it as a quarterly but after we began publishing, we realized we could fill an issue a month. That was briefly considered before we all came to our senses.
I knew some of the writers and artists who contributed to the five issues we published but many were new to me. That's one part of the experience I wouldn't trade for the world.
There were others.
Nothing is ever wasted.
Thanks for your support.


  1. I am sorry to see Dark Valentine close... I have read some of the stories... Wild Caught and The Sin Eater are two of my favorites... also very much enjoyed Sandra Seaman's What Doesn't Kill you and Paul Brazill's Drunk On The Moon. I hope the stories stay archived long enough for me to read them all.

    I am sorry to see the magazine close for another reason. I have been working on a story to submit... which would have been finished a month ago, had I not allowed myself to get sidetracked on flash fiction... oh well, that is my fault. I will still finish it and see if I can't find a "home" for it.

    On a little more upbeat note... I think I have a nice little story for Dirty Noir... right at 1000 words!

    Best wishes with all your future endeavors, Katherine.

  2. Thanks so much for the kind words. The issues will be archived for as long as editor Joy Sillesen has her site, so for years.
    If you enjoyed Sandra's story in the first issue, check out her story in the anniversary issue. And the illustration by our teenage artist.
    Good luck with Dirty Noir.
    And I'm glad you liked Sin Eater. That story stems from actual events. People blurted out secrets to my mother. From the time I was little they did it. And my sister and I inherited that ... ability, I guess. Two of the confessions that people make to the character were made to me.
    And the most shocking thing that I ever heard is probably going to be a story one day too.
    So thanks for liking it!

  3. I am sorry to see the magazine closed.

    I hadn't got to read many of the stories, so thanks for the archives.

    I was about to become part of the family of Dark Valentine. I thank you for the acceptance, but only wish we'd made it there.

    I've put up a notification for all your fans at my blog:

    Best wishes
    Cher Green

  4. Very sad to see DV go! Great publication that was a home for many of my favorite writers. You guys always did such an excellent job creating an aesthetically pleasing issues filled with top-notch fiction.

  5. It was a tough decision for everyone. We really did enjoy putting the magazine together -- and as Katherine said, we really bonded, so I got a new FFL out of it if nothing else -- but in the end it was too difficult to keep going, for a variety of reasons.

    I do love keeping random websites open, so I'm sure the archive at StonyHill will be around for years to come.

  6. I'm very sorry to see DV go. There's a great niche that suits your talents and interests that'll enjoy commercial success. It's just a matter of persistence and perception. I recently read a book "Necessary Endings" that talks about shuttering a startup, firing an employee, or ending a marriage. People can stay stuck in something that's not working and that just delays pivoting to another thing that'll thrive. I have faith in you and your eventual success.