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I’m thrilled that my story made it into my first anthology. In the past I’ve been rejected immediately and have made the short list only to be cut at the last moment, but at last, I made it all the way. Not only did I make it, but I was mentioned in the introductory message:
“Welcome to Broken Bones & Ten Dollar Bills. I honestly don’t think you’ll find such an eclectic (and sometimes downright disturbing (Kidney)) set of stories in an anthology.”
I’m never been happier to be labeled disturbing!
Amazon is taking pre-sales at the following links:
Morpheus Tales 30 is out now! The thirtieth issue of the UK’s most controversial weird fiction magazine! Featuring: The Grab Bag By Jack D. Zeidman Illustrated By Mark Pexton, Always A Soldier By Matthew Piskun, Voices On The High Wind By Michael Reyes Illustrated By Sean Bova, Candle With A Name By Nick Manzolillo, Wendell By M. J. Ryan Illustrated By Joe Young, The Fountain By Craig W. Steele, Jimmy Google And His Amazing X-Ray Spectacles By Todd Outcalt Illustrated By Max Martelli, X-Ray Spring By Jared A. Robinson, Late Night Programming By Stephen McQuiggan. Read the magazine Christopher Fowler calls “edgy and dark”.
The free preview of the magazine is available here:
The printed digest size edition is available here:
The printed perfect-bound edition is available here:
At long last my drought is over! Well, sort of… Morpheus Tales has selected my previously published short story “The Key” for their Best Weird Fiction Volume 5. Needless to say, I’m grateful to have something published again!
The Key begins with with a man burying his father. As he says his final farewell to his Old Man in his coffin he slips his hand beneath the departed’s collar and claims what his father has tried his entire life to keep from him, a key…
You can read my story, as well as many others from a group of talented authors, in the 110 page volume for a measly $6.88.
You can buy your paper copy here:
And for you futurists the Ebook can be purchased here for $2.99:
For the first time since I’ve been published I’ve hit, what is for me, my low point. I’ve made no posts, because I’ve had no work accepted for publication in the year 2014! Admittedly, my volume has suffered due to lifestyle changes, the most time-sucking one having been going back to school. Add in a few more excuses and what you have is basically…just that, excuses.
Although the amount I’ve written has been decreased, I didn’t think the quality had suffered, yet I find even the “positive” rejection is now something of a rarity. Nearly extinct is the “great story, but it doesn’t quite fit with this issue/publication/genre.”
There does seem to be less markets available for my level of submission, with smaller windows of time in which they are reading, but again that’s just an excuse. I spent some time on a story or two that were certainly out of my comfort zone, and I’m sure I’m better for having written them, however; it’s little solace as the benefit of improvement is unmeasurable, particularly when success is measured by acceptance.
So, what is the answer? More writing of course! Easier said than done when the only results are form rejections. Is it fan fiction? The Press of Atlantic City published on 11/1/14, “Why publishers want fan fiction to go mainstream” by Jessica Contrera. In her article she mentions many websites in which fan fiction is published. She sites numerous success stories, one of which is “The Gabriel Trilogy,” which is Twilight fan fiction that was picked up by a publisher and has sold 850,000 copies. Another example of Twilight fan fiction is the “Beautiful Bastard’ series in which 1 million copies have been sold. Let’s not forget “50 Shades of Grey” and its 100 million and counting!
Is that the answer? Pick a best selling franchise and apply your talent toward retelling the story? I don’t know if that’s the best route to take, but it still seems a more palatable version of self-publishing per se. I don’t think I’m one to spend the limited writing time I have in producing a novel that is a retelling of an existing story, especially given that the chances of being successful are possibly no better (assuming the same level of writing talent in doing an original story vs fan fiction).
Anyway, for now, my answer will be to stay the course. I’ve switched it up with a flash fiction piece under 1,000 words. We’ll see where that goes. Other than that I’m open to some advice!
I guess the 10th time is a charm!
My story “The Cost that Lies Between Heaven and Earth” has found a home. The story is about Queen Isabella and the Spanish Inquisition. What could possibly cause an individual to go to such extremes and start a holy war and ruthlessly torture those with different beleifs? They must be pretty messed up right? I have my take on it and some of the scenes are, shall we say. NC-17. I am proud to say that someone in my writing workshop I was a member of found parts of the story so offensive she quit class.
Needless to say, none of the material in question was gratuitous. The actions of the characters fit the theme of the story and are “in character.”
So, where has Isabella landed? Temptations Magazine: The Home of Erotic Fiction. NOT Temptation Magazine:Homoerotic Fiction as a friend hilariously misheard me say, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I will certainly post the link once my story is up and running. I think I may let my mother skip this one.
Also simmering in the slush pile wasteland are several other of my stories:
- Beth Hartley is Hot is currently submitted to Shock Totem
- Colony is submitted to an anthology by Parsec Ink
- Pax Salutem is submitted to Pseudopod
- God Mother is submitted to Black Static
It has been too long since my last post. So much has happened…a 6 week MBA course that derailed my writing is now in the books….the world did not end, we learned that the Mayans just weren’t so good at math….Christmas came and went (with another new addition to my office as seen in the photo above), I am battling a super-cold of some sort that refuses to die… oh, and I appeared to have re-torn the labrum in my shoulder and nearly overdosed on Xanax in order to get the MRI to see how bad the damage is.
So, through all that I managed to complete a yet unnamed story about a young man dealing with personal demons in the midst of a massive hurricane. It deals with some touchy subject matter and I hope it doesn’t suck because it was interrupted so often by this thing called life.
I also plan on sending out a bio-punk story I wrote called Pax Salutem that deals with the potential downside of being able to cure all disease and illness with science. It’s a strong story I wrote before I started class, but didn’t have the time to send out to the proper market.
I also need to edit another strong story I wrote called “Colony.” It was expertly critiqued recently by a fabulous editor named Stephanie Loree who is doing marvelous work on Nightmare Magazine. If you haven’t checked the magazine out, do so immediately, its edited by the horror guru John Joseph Adams.
So, I have a lot of writing ahead of me, which is aways a good thing, especially since physically I feel like crap…silver lining and all that..
One of my favorite horror sites, Pseudopod (who happened to publish my very first story), has just rejected my short story “Colony.”
The responding editor had some good things to say though:
“Thank you for sending us “Colony.” I have reviewed this submission and
decided not to purchase it. I found it lovely and well-wrought and
enjoyed most of it immensely. The ending just really didn’t work for
me. For me, it detracted from such an otherwise strong piece. It
brought me out of the dark place and shattered my suspension of
So, I guess I know what I need to fix.
It’s always a pleasure when you meet someone your a fan of, or admire, and they turn out to be a geniuinely great person. Many creative people that are successful can be arrogant and treat you like a bother when you take the time to meet them.
I won’t mention the individuals who have been less than receptive over the years, but I can mention those I admire who have been quite accommodating and inspiring.
Clive Barker was extremely nice. He took a lot of time to answer all my questions and seemed more than pleased that I was a fan. He also signed a ton of material I had with me, as well as promotional material he had with him. He was very down to earth.
Neil Gaiman was an intriguing guy. I had to get a ticket, wait in line and ride some elevator to some secret room to meet him if I remember correctly. We talked a bit about his creation Sandman and he drew a little picture on the cover and signed my copy of Sandman #1. He also took a lot of time to chat and didn’t make me feel rushed at all. Cool guy.
Ron Garney is a very talented comic book artist. When I met him my kids were both under 2 years old. I was waiting on line for about 30 minutes in my comic store at the time, “A Timeless Journey”, when my kids had a meltdown. My informed me in no uncertain terms that it was time to leave. Ron saw I had to split and offered to draw me something and leave it with the store’s owner. When I came back in a few days I was more than surprised to see the detailed drawing of Spider-Man he left for me. He even inked it! He made me a fan for life.
At a comic convention I was waiting to meet one of my favorite all-time artists John Romita, Jr. Long story short there was a mix-up and I waited on the wrong line for a while along wit a bunch of other fans. When he found out he was very apologetic (even though it was not his fault) and banged out a quick Spider-Man sketch for me that now hangs in my office.
Another author I happen to know if Jeffrey Ford. The man is genuinely friendly and has been more than helpful to me for years when I took his Creative Writing class. He has gone out of his way on numerous occassions to mentor me and help me out. He’s one of m all-time favorites. Talented author who’s an even better person.
Lastly, as seen in the picture above, is Larry Hama. He is way more talented than most people realize and if you took a look at his career I think you would be amazed. What I remember him most for was his his tremendous run on G.I. Joe. His run was nothing short of epic and what he did with Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow was amazing. The mystery and suspense that he architected around those 2 characters was nothing short of awesome. The issue you see in the pic I gave to my son, but I had him sign copy of “Silent Interlude”, which was the issue of G.I. Joe with no words (a very cool issue), for me. He also signed a copy of Wolverine for me, for which I even have a greater fondness for. I grew up on his run of my favorite mutant and that’s what we talked about. He told me that the idea to give Logan bone claws when his adamantium was sucked from his body was not something he wanted to do and it turned out to be somewhat of a Marvel controversy. The X-Men summit was split 50/50 on whether to give him bone claws, but after 3 days of arguing he finally agreed. I told him for what it’s worth, he pulled it off quite well and I loved it.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 52 trips to carry that many people.