his afternoon while working on my novel, I received a rejection email from Asimov’s Science Fiction for a story (“The Cristóbal Effect”). Certainly not the first I’ve received from the kind Sheila Williams, and I will not relent in my mission to sell her a story. All roads lead to the Tower. While I was preparing that story for submission to another science fiction magazine (you have to snailmail a hardcopy manuscript to this one), I received another email from bestselling writer-slash-editor-slash-screenwriter-slash-filmmaker John Skipp. John was kind enough to extend an invitation to submit a story for consideration in an upcoming anthology of new and reprinted fiction he is editing for a themed October 2011 publication.
If you write fiction as a career or at night after your day-job, like me, you must maintain a positive attitude and work ethic. You are going to receive your share of rejections (no matter how many professional sales you've racked up), but. . .another opportunity will avail itself.
If you’ve read Skipp’s recently released Werewolves and Shape Shifters: Encounters with the Beasts Within and last year’s successful Zombies: Encounters With The Hungry Dead, both published by Black Dog & Leventhal ( http://bit.ly/gNy5aQ and http://bit.ly/h8mqQE ), the new anthology promises to be an amazing collection, and I was thrilled to be even given the opportunity to submit a story. The book will undoubtedly be chockfull of superb talent. I’m excited!
But like the last themed anthology I wrote a story for, I wondered, as I read the detailed guidelines, can I come up with an idea exciting enough to fire up the engines? Within thirty minutes I had my “what-if” idea, main protagonist, working title and a story arc. The little guys in the basement who kick up ideas are at DEFCON 1 alert these days, and I am very, very grateful for that. The deadline to submit a story for this book is tight, but I’ve already started. I’ve got an even shot if I work hard, and that is all a writer can ever ask for -- the opportunity to contribute. The rest is up to me.
If you aren’t familiar with the work of John Skipp, get your hands on a copy of Spore (his latest novel co-written with Cody Goodfellow). You can even order a signed slipcase special edition for a very reasonable price ( http://bit.ly/gXOyPO ). Skipp’s classic novel of ecological horror, written with Craig Spector, The Bridge, was also recently re-released (I re-read it and it is well worth the dough), along with The Light at the End ( http://amzn.to/dIm42u and http://amzn.to/gwNnYu ).
The multi-author novel I mentioned a couple of weeks ago with Books of the Dead Press is gearing up, so my writing plate, happily, if overflowing.
More news on this project as things unfold.