After a great end to 2017 and a better start to 2018, there were inevitably going to be bumpy roads to navigate at some point. Listen to any writer you care to mention (besides Stephen King and a few others) and they’ll tell you that rejection is a part of the writer’s life. Even when you’re good. And known. And known to be good. Even more common for a newcomer then.
They’ll also tell you it never stops hurting.
Such has been this last two weeks for me. Two rejections that I was feeling really rather confident about. Stories I believed in – and continue to believe in – which I thought were good fits.
You can take these setbacks in different ways. Since I started writing more seriously, at the beginning of last year, my method has been to see every rejection as an invitation to learn, improve, polish that story (if you still think it’s worthy) and get it back out there.
So that’s what I’ve done. Fingers crossed they’re more palatable to the editors they’re with currently.
Whether they are or not, we writers just have to keep on keeping on.
On a more positive note, a story that did find a home was released somewhat quietly, in an eBook anthology, just over a week ago. Dies Infaustus, edited by Shannon Iwanski and put out by the lovely people at A Murder of Storytellers, features my story ‘The Wraith’ and is available now, here. Take a look at Alan Sessler’s beautiful cover art, below.
I am beyond excited to announce that Lost Films, the new dark and weird fiction anthology from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing is now available for pre-order.
Coming in August, this anthology features some of the authors whose work I’ve been devouring for years and I’m humbled to be featured in such esteemed company. Pre-order your copy from PMMP right now.
Happy Tuesday to you all. I hope you’re all well as you read this.
This morning, I received the artwork for a new anthology which my story ‘Muscle Memory’ will feature in. Entitled We Shall Be Monsters, the anthology is edited by Derek Newman-Stille (editor of the Through the Twisted Woods folk tale project and more besides) and is designed as a tribute to Mary Shelley’s seminal Frankenstein, in this its 200th anniversary year. It will feature twenty-four stories which pay homage or seek to explore the themes first set out in The Modern Prometheus, as Shelley subtitled the book. You can keep up to date with the progress of the anthology here and there will be a new kickstarter for it beginning in the coming days. In the meantime, check out the sumptuous cover, below:
In other news, I have signed contracts for two new stories, to be published in anthologies during 2018. I cannot reveal at this stage what they are, but news should be arriving very soon. I can’t wait to share them both with you. I’m very excited about them. Watch this space for more information and, if you haven’t already, sign up to my mailing list for more.
I’ve only just set up the site, but here’s a little update about what is coming up in 2018. So, here goes:
Autumn is looking like the time of year when it’s all happening for me this year, as I have a story, entitled ‘No Such Thing As a Free Lunch’ coming up in Scary Dairy Press’ Terror Politico anthology. Scary dairy have been a delight to work with. Contracts are signed and now I’m simply awaiting edits to confirm/deny. The anthology is inspired by the current political climate in the US (but could arguably be transposed with few changes to the UK) and features a local billionaire politician who decides to provide free lunches to the homeless. The catch is there’s no such thing as a… well, you get the idea. I’ll have more information on that when it’s available.
Second up, scheduled for release in the December issue of Alban Lake’s Frostfire Worlds magazine, is my first YA story to make it into print. The story is titled Your Blue Friend, and involves ancient Egyptian enchantments and a devilishly smart teenage female protagonist who I loved writing and I hope you’ll love reading.
There is one more confirmed release which is aimed at late summer but, at this stage, I am not liable to say what it is. Only that, in terms of exposure and the potential for my work to feature alongside some truly stellar fiction, this might well be my most eagerly anticipated release so far.
As you might imagine, there are other stories awaiting the thumbs up or thumbs down from various anthologies, magazines, etc and other stories that are somewhere between my brain, my laptop screen and an email to another submission call.
Finally, a word on the novella I’m working on. It’s tentatively titled The Balance and is a (hopefully) fresh take on the Slavic mythology of Baba Yaga. It’s set in Poland, a place where I lived for a few years and a culture I believe I know well. It’s currently in its third draft stage. My hope is to have it ready for submission before too long.
That’s all from me. Be well and do, please get in touch if you have anything you’d like to say or to share with me.
Blog posts and announcements coming soon. Watch this space.