Re: RARA-AVIS: Mike Shayne Month!

From: James Reasoner (
Date: 06 Dec 2000

----- Original Message ----- From: "William Denton" <> To: <> Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2000 11:15 PM Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Mike Shayne Month!


> What was in a regular issue? A Shayne novella and a couple of non-Shayne
> short stories?

The Shayne novella, at least one novelette, and five or six short stories. At one point in the magazine's history, back in the late Fifties and early Sixties, the Shayne stories were only about 10,000 words. In those issues, there was usually a novella by some other PI writer of the time, often Frank Kane. Some of his Johnny Liddell novels were expansions of novellas that appeared in MSMM. This is about the time that Lynds started writing novelettes about a PI named Slot-Machine Kelly, the prototype for Dan Fortune. In the last year or so of my run as Halliday, I also wrote some shorter Shayne stories due to lack of time.


> How did you feel about ghosting in Halliday's name? Any sense of stepping
> into the shoes of the writer's who'd gone before? Do you ever meet other
> writers who were Halliday and reminisce?

I'd been reading Shayne novels for years, so I really enjoyed having the chance to write about the character as Brett Halliday. For a long-time fan, it was quite an honor. I've never had a problem writing about other people's characters or under other names. I've spent a large part of my career doing just that. (Of course, it's nice now that most of my work is published under my own name, I won't dispute that.) While I was writing Shaynes I was also corresponding with Mike Avallone and Dennis Lynds, and then later after I stopped I was in contact quite a bit with Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet, who took over the series. Earlier this year on the Internet, I happened to run into a writer named Mike Taylor, who did one of the Shaynes after I left. It was fun talking about those days with him. It may be a little stretch to call MSMM the last pulp, but in many ways it was, and I'm glad I got to be part of it.

Best, James

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