I sent in my first contract and final draft of what will be my first published story, “Cornhusker: Demon Gene,” to A Flame in the Dark Magazine, to be published in their Monsters! Anthology, October 31st. The behind the scenes story for this first publication credit is a fun one. When I heard about this anthology, I sent them my zombie novelette, “Small Town Scourge,” which they accepted (my first acceptance!), but were inspired in that story to publish a zombie-specific anthology NEXT fall.
Okay, I thought, what about this fall? They said they had a little more room, and immediately an idea for another story came to mind. I wrote 5k words the next day, and finished it the day after, all with the idea of playing on an emotional pondering about what it would be like to live in the fear that your life would be taken before you hit your prime. As an unpublished author (at that time! ), I often thought about what it would be like to die before I fulfilled my dream of publishing novels. For this story, I took a young man a week from graduating high school, who has a crush on a girl, but doesn’t want to make a move because a gene that he may have inherited, the Demon Gene, could turn him into a monster any day now. I love this story for the emotional roller coaster from hopelessness, to seeing one’s dreams being fulfilled only to have them snatched out from under one’s feet.
So, there’s that. I loved chilling out in my backyard this afternoon finishing the last editing pass. I wrote three drafts last month, but still, having a month in between then and this last draft was monumentally helpful in tightening up what I thought was already a great story. I’m sure there’s no bias there .
If you remember the Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour I participated in last year, it was a lot of fun, and I interviewed a few people on my podcast: AudioTim Episode 14: Axel Howerton and Julie Jansen, Master Minds of the Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour. Well, I thought it would be fun to interview authors from the Monsters! Anthology during this tour, and give away a copy of Monsters! at the end. If I have time to interview other authors outside of the Monsters! Anthology, I will.
There you go! It’s going to be a busy week podcast interviewing these authors as well as keeping up on my novel’s edits. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me, taught me, and overall just been a friend. I finally have something finalized to show you the hard work I’ve put in over the years. AFitD will publish ebook and print versions, and I plan to produce an audio version myself, potentially with the idea in mind, since the rights to this story remain mine to re-publish right away, of publishing this story myself. I’m not sure when or how, but at some point down the road, I’ll get my feet wet in self-publishing with this story. Maybe I’ll give it away (ebook and audio) in return for signing up for a newsletter solely geared for notifying you when I get published.
So far, these are the authors signed up to be interviewed as part of the Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour:
Ellen C. Maze
If I haven’t sent you an invite, and you’re a Horror author, let me know and we’ll see if I can fit you in.