Today I came home to find a terrific surprise. I received my check and author copy of the Big Book of Bizarro, for the short story I sold (“Losing Control”, on page 392). It’s official. I’m a published author!
OMG. I’m still a bit freaked.
Okay. Deep breaths. Relax. It’s just a book, right? Ommmm….
All right, that didn’t work. I guess I’m just going to have to gush. I guess we’ll start with the acknowledgements. That’s what writers do, right. They thank all the little people who helped make it all happen. And by little people, I mean all the people who are so much cooler than I am that inspired me to be more like them. So where do I start?
I think I’ll start with Zombie Joe. He got me started. Last year he inspired me to finally start writing again. He got me into NaNoWriMo and hooked me up with a lot of local author types. And he kept me writing by providing a sounding board for me to talk about my stories and ideas, and by telling me cool stories about other authors he knows personally, like Jim Butcher, Mark Henry, and Alex Bledsoe. Thanks Joe!
I also want to thank one of my co-contributors to the anthology that my short story is appearing in, Mercy Loomis. She is also a member of my critique group, and gave me vital feedback that helped me make the story good enough to submit. Not only that, but she was the one that told me about the submission call in the first place. And then, if it wasn’t for her I might have backed out of submitting the story. Just before the deadline I started second-guessing myself and my story, thinking that it probably didn’t fit what they wanted. But she told me to submit it anyway, and she was right! And to top it all off, she gave me crucial advice when it came to signing my first contract. Thanks Mercy! (Her story is called “Succor the Child” on page 355, and it’s awesome!)
I also want to thank the rest of the critique group, Jesilea Ryan and Jenny Lowe. They also gave me a lot of help working out the issues with the story. It got stronger and better with each pass.
Next on my list are my family and friends that have been reading my stuff and giving me feedback. Their comments usually aren’t as focused or as helpful as my critique group, but it is nice to know I have their support.
I also want to thank my local librarians. They have also been really helpful and supportive as I have been working on my writing career. And they even promised to order a copy of the book so that everybody in Madison will be able to read our stories!
And last but not least, I want to thank the editors Rich Bottles Jr and Gary Lee Vincent for accepting my story and marking my debut into the world of publishing.
Now, who’s next?
I just killed off my co-worker in my current short story/novella project, “The Hunt”. I’m still working on the ending, and I have already burned through three drafts of the beginning. Hopefully this will all coalesce into something worthwhile soon. I’ll see you all back here on Thursday for another update.