Friday, 5 August 2011

Divorce and the Black Cat

An interesting thing happened to me this week. On Monday, I learned that I had made the "panic list" for Title Goes Here:, a great new magazine that has published three of my stories. The panic list is for any story that they had planned on publishing getting pulled at the last moment before publication, therefore leaving a gap in their magazine or web edition. Well, this very thing happened to them this week, for whatever reason, and so they sent out the email to their list.

This was the first time that they had to do this, and I was proud to have made that list. I was even more proud to have had them accept the story I sent in: Divorce and the Black Cat, my retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's The Black Cat.

Even better were the words Inanna Gabriel said about me and my story in the web edition's editorial. My work has never received such a kind review publicly before, and so I was, and still am, overjoyed. It feels good just getting an acceptance, but to have your editor compare you to Clive Barker in the editorial makes one's skin tingle.

And to think that I almost shelved Divorce and the Black Cat.

I was writing it for an anthology based off Poe's style, and at first I hated the story. I thought nothing worked and that it had collapsed on me. Then, one night while watching the Masters of Horror episode of The Black Cat, I decided to pull it out and give it another look over. After a few adjustments, I gave it to my first readers. That lead to an interesting conversation on what else could be changed about some of the content. After that, the story, I felt, was good enough to send out.

Only problem was, who would want a retelling of a story? It would be a hard sell, I knew, so I almost shelved it again. When Title Goes Here sent me their panic email, I thought, "What the hell?" The worst they could say is no.

And now it is ready to be read, for free, on their web edition.

I'm proud to have worked with Inanna Gabriel and C. Bryan Brown, editors of Title Goes Here. I highly recommend the magazine, and not just because they've published my work. They put out consistently great issues, both in print and their web editions. And I thank them and my first readers, Jen and Richard, for all the help and encouragement! It's guys like you who offer the rewards of writing fiction other than the self-gratification: that buzz I get when I feel that I've written a well done short story and have trouble believing that I wrote it. Which, in itself, is rare.

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