In July 1997,
Lynn Kaczmarek and Chris Aldrich announced the formation of Black Raven
Press, a partnership that shortly thereafter acquired Mystery
News, a publication dedicated to mystery reviews, interviews
and previews of upcoming books. Amazingly, we're celebrating our 10-year
anniversary of publishing Mystery News and we're still
first came on the scene in the early 80s, and for more than 10 years,
Harriet and Larry Stay published it. In early 1997, the Stays decided
that it was time to change the focus of their lives. With a home in
a wonderfully scenic area in Washington State, they decided to devote
their energy to their mystery dinner business.
Lynn and Chris are
longtime mystery readers who met in early 1995 in a spirited discussion
of food in mysteries in the Mystery section of the CompuServe Literary
Forum. Up to that point, Lynn had published reviews on-line on CompuServe
& other Internet sites, and on paper in DAPA-EM and Mystery
News. Chris had been an enthusiastic reader and fledgling collector
of mystery fiction. Lynn lived in the northwest suburbs of Chicago,
while in the past 10 years Chris has lived in San Francisco, New Jersey,
and now in the New York City suburb of Levittown.
We finally met face-to-face
in June of 1995, at EyeCon ’95, in Milwaukee, and our friendship was
furthered during panels, signings and repeated visits to the book dealer’s
room. Over the next couple of years, we met often at mystery conventions
and corresponded by email in between. If we lived in the same city,
we’d probably open a mystery bookstore together, but instead we looked
for a way to create a small business involved with mysteries. As you
can imagine, the partnership relies heavily on email & phone conversations
and we are big supporters of the US Postal Service, UPS and FedEx.
When the Stays offered
us the opportunity to make the transition from “Mystery Readers” to
“Mystery Fans”, we decided to form Black Raven Press, choosing that
name to keep the door open for future publishing ventures. We’ve published
Mystery News for more than 10 years now, and we’re still
having fun. Now when we meet at conventions, you can usually find us
in the book dealers’ room signing up new subscribers and greeting old
We continue to work
to further our goal -- to revitalize Mystery News while
continuing the tradition of bringing insightful interviews, concise
and unbiased reviews, and timely previews into the homes of hundreds
of mystery readers. We’ve updated the look of Mystery News
with a new layout and graphics, and we’ve gotten high marks from longtime
readers, as well as new ones. We added an Internet site and in late
2000, started to beef up the content on the site. In June 2001, Mystery
News was nominated for the 2001 Anthony Award in the Best
Fan Publication category. To
our great surprise and pleasure, we were awarded the Anthony for Best
Fan Publication of 2000 on November 3, 2001. In 2004 and 2006, we were
again nominated for a Best Fan Publication Anthony Award, and in 2007,
we were nominated for the Special Services Anthony Award.
One of the most
significant factors in our success is the team of reviewers, interviewers
and columnists who write for Mystery News. We are fortunate
to have a really terrific crew of contributors. Our reviewers and interviewers
include: Helene Androski, Reed Andrus, Colleen Barnett, Mary Helen
Becker, James Clar, Tim Davis, Frank Denton, Leslie Doran, Sally Fellows,
Ted Hertel, Virginia R. Knight, Pam Lawrence, John Leech, Lisa Lundquist,
Dave Magayna, Thomas McNulty, Stephen Miller, Gary Warren Niebuhr, W.E.
Reinka, Dick Saxe, Janie Shimer, Harriet Stay, Cindy Tambourine, Bill
Turner, Maddy Van Hertbruggen, Diana Vickery, Gayle Wedgwood, Chris
Aldrich and Lynn Kaczmarek.
Our regular columnists
are Marv Lachman, Dave Magayna, Stephen Miller and Roger M. Sobin.
From time to time,
we have published guest reviews including some by Bill Crider, Joe Guglielmelli,
and Michelle Babicz. Edgar winners Jan Burke and S.J.Rozan have contributed
interviews. Sharon Zukowski has contributed mystery-related travel articles
from time to time.
Check out our photo
pages where you can see some of our contributors. And us, and the
Lynn Kaczmarek recently
retired from her job as a Senior Marketing Manager for a major medical
products company in the Chicago area, and serves as Managing Editor
for Mystery News. Mack Bonk, Lynn’s husband, manages
distribution. Chris Aldrich, who currently works as a product manager
for a software company specializing in international regulatory compliance,
is the Business Manager and webmaster.
News is a 36-page tabloid-style paper, published every 2 months
(in the middle of each even-numbered month). Each issue features 3-5
interviews and articles, 2-4 columns on a variety of mystery-related
subjects, about 70-80 reviews and dozens of previews of upcoming mysteries.
We also include a convention calendar in each issue.
Black Raven Press started
publication in August 1997, with Volume 15 issue 4 of Mystery
additional information about Black Raven Press or Mystery News,
contact Chris Aldrich by e-mail at: email@example.com.
Find us on the web at www.blackravenpress.com.
Our submission guidelines can be found here:
mailing address is :
State Hwy 42
Harbor, WI 54209