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My first short story, “Cornhusker: Demon Gene,” was accepted into a future anthology, but I self published it in May. I have written a handful of short stories over the years, but this one is my favorite, so far. That said, I know I’m still learning this writing gig, so I put this story out there knowing the feedback could be less than glowing.
While I’m grateful for every review, I’m pleased that most people have enjoyed my first story.
Here are some quotes from my reviews:
My first review, by Carl on SF Signal, said,
“Timothy C. Ward has taken that premise to explore the struggles of a young man whose destiny may put him on a path to destruction. As his protagonist Geoffrey balances normal teenage angst against the pain of losing one’s faith, the reader gets to experience standard horror tropes used in a different way. There is a lot of potential revealed in Ward’s debut short story and it will be a pleasure to see where he goes from here.”
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 As an unpublished author (at that time!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. Continue reading