Tattoo Savage, a once proud tattooing and piercing, international glossy magazine.
My first professional writing piece (paid $300, which was sorely needed at the time) was for the publication, but it wasn't written for it. Instead, I had written a piece about getting my septum pierced for Sassy. That magazine rejected, and then, going against the advice of my journalism teacher, I submitted it to a market I had written for and it was accepted.
A few weeks later the editor, I'll just call her FC, contacted me. She knew from my query letter that I had experience in writing music reviews. Savage was starting a music section, and they wanted me to help kick it off. I accepted, of course. It would be dumb not to.
Things went well for a few years. Credit card bills were paid off. I only had one death threat against me published. (Oddly enough, it was from a guy in Crescent City, a place near where I lived, who was livid over a death metal review I did. He said he was going to find me, cut off my head and shit down my throat. I thanked the magazine for publishing it. In fairness, I think Film Threat got far more hate mail because of me over the years.) Then things went to Hell.
I was doing music, movie, and book reviews. I was doing band interviews. Artist interviews and profiles. I was in every issue just about, and I was making some good money. And then FC accepted a job with a bigger magazine. Would I stay on? Yes. After I accepted, I found out that a new editor was found by looking for a show of hands out in the bullpen. In other words, the guy who took the job was the guy who shouldn't have had it.
While writing under FC I never missed a deadline. That and the fact that I was honest was why she kept me employed. With the new editor, whom I shall call Brian, things quickly changed.
First came a call asking me if I could do an interview with some artist. I said I could. I asked what the deadline would be. It was about four days, and he was in a foreign country, so there was a time difference to deal with ... along with my job ... along with possible translation problems.
I had never had a four day deadline before, and I said I could not accept the assignment because I wasn't sure I could finish it in time. I didn't want to take on something under a new editor and then fail to deliver. Not a good first impression.
Brian was pissed, but could understand. He didn't contact me for a while, however, and I noticed the quality of the magazine start to go downhill.
After a few months I did receive another call from Brian. He wanted to know where my review hadn't arrived yet. I told him I hadn't been assigned one, and he seemed baffled. Maybe, he thought, I gave it to someone else. Then he asked if I could do it "really quick."
I was done. I declined, and I never got a call back. He was assigning pieces to his friends, and shit was coming in late. I don't think he lasted long, either. My writing career continued on its course (some years better than others).
I would write for the magazine again if contacted, but it would be under my terms. I've made it to a point where I don't have to take every assignment thrown my way (though I will often take them). It was a great time while it lasted (with the exception of a horrible Coal Chamber review -- most boring band ever). It paid the bills. And as a writer, that'll do the trick.