Filling your time between publishing books and stories is a writer’s greatest adventure. I tend to go super crazy if I’m not always busy. I have to write, edit, hike, jump on the bed, roller blade, chase butterflies, feed squirrels, and basically try to catch my tail until things finally move ahead.
That’s the “fun” part of life; you can always look forward to something. For us “patience challenged” individuals, work is never done. It’s exciting and exhausting and annoying, but that’s just the job. Publishing is an industry that takes time.
Stopping for a moment to appreciate how far I’ve come has always kept me going. No matter how frustrating my current situation is, I know I have been through far worse situations. It’s getting on the end of the year, so I’ll save the blubbery “look back” posts for next month or December.
Today, I’m happy to share that my favorite story of mine, “Headstones,” is going to be published by The Society of Misfit Stories on January 5th 2018. (Just look under UPCOMING RELEASES)
There was once a time when looking a week ahead used to frighten me. Thankfully, I’ve built up a little bit of a name and have multiple future works in the cannon.
What really gets me on this one is that it not only is going to be published online early next year, but it will be included in the end of year anthology as well! That’s right. The ultimate writer’s prize: I get to hold it in my hands…eventually.
Some stories never make it this far. Not everything that’s written is worthy of an audience, that’s just the sad truth of being a writer. Most often it is the tales I write that I think are garbage that get the most love. (Excluding children’s work of course haha)
For quite some time now, the moment I fall in love with a story of mine, it seems cursed to annoy, offend, or just strike editors the wrong way. “Headstones,” is a new turning point.
I spent more time working on this particular story than I have on some of my novels. It took over a year of living with the characters and feeling every scrap of humanity they have to offer. When I finally finished it, I knew it was the best thing I have ever written. My love for it made me apprehensive to submit, and I chose very carefully. A small handful of rejections really cut into me and I wondered if I should only stick to writing the works that I hate. haha
Instead, I did my research, tightened everything up as best I could, and took as much advice as possible. All of that agonizing paid off. It isn’t always the words you initially write that matter, it is the ones that you work to perfect that define your writing career.
“Headstones,” is loosely inspired by Neil Gaiman’s: The Graveyard Book.
(I doubt any speculative fiction writer can deny the power of Neil Gaimen’s influence at this point.) Unfortunately this made it difficult to determine whether what I created was a children’s story or for adults.
Being a giant kid often makes that defining line difficult. The story is told from the eyes of a 96 year old ghost who is in charge of all the spirits in her graveyard. A young spirit rises from a new grave and she bonds with him in ways that reinvigorate her sense of being but not without endangering her and himself. I didn’t exactly know what I was going for when I sat down to write it, but I have always loved odd friendships between people of different generations. I hope that was captured properly with this one, but only the readers can determine that.
It’s also no secret that I have a huge love of side characters, and often feel betrayed by anyone who suggests that I write side stories further exploring them. (Side characters are so great because you DON’T know everything about them. It’s the mystery that gives them their spunk.) The tragic side characters in, “Headstones,” are so real and personal to me that I cannot wait to share them especially.
Here’s looking forward to my 1st piece of 2018.