The twists and turns of Fate…

Yesterday, I received a bit of a setback. One of the magazines/books I was due to appear in, The Asylum, is NOT now going to appear, which means that my story, Transfiguration, is once more looking for a home. The editor reluctantly had to let the idea go, as she is now involved in quite a few book projects of her own with tight deadlines, plus she told me that there were only a few stories submitted that were of sufficiently high enough quality to be included, and that generally speaking, the standard of stories was quite low.

The thing for me, though, is that I’d been thinking about this particular story for a little while before this news, wondering whether I should revise it as I have improved a bit since since I first wrote it, even though it’s only been a matter of months. I had realised since that the premise of the story could be strengthened, plus there were certain aspects of it that definitely needed rewriting. So, in all honesty, the news I received yesterday morning didn’t disappoint me as much as I would have thought. I could go so far as to say that it was quite fortuitous, in fact.

It did get me to thinking afterwards, however, especially consequent to talking to the editor privately. Inevitably, she’s come in for quite a bit in the way of a backlash as a result of her decision not to go ahead. I suppose that was entirely predictable. I guess some people need to have someone to pin the blame on or take out their frustrations. Whatever the faults or otherwise of this particular case (and the same goes for any other instance), I thought I’d look at it positively, instead. (And btw, before you ask, I am not having a go at anybody who had a different rection to mine, or trying to stake out a claim to the moral high-ground… apologies if it appears to be that way, but I can assure you it’s not!)

In which case, I just decided to take it as a lucky opportunity to rewrite the story. I think, as a new writer trying to break in to the ‘market’, I need to be cautious about throwing wobblies just at this moment. Plus, in some respects, I have some sympathy with the editor and can see the difficulties she had in coming to the decision, purely from my time running a record label. Having to make choices regarding which material to release and which to reject could be very hard at times. Added into that is how the artist, who has a lot of pride in what he/she has produced, might possibly react when told that I wouldn’t be releasing their latest album, as good as it was. Most reacted very professionally, and then went on to seek other labels on which to issue it. One or two complained that if it was that good, why wasn’t I releasing it, or that I obviously didn’t know what good music was. Extrapolating from just that, I could easily imagine what species of reaction I would have got if I’d had to tell someone that, even though I promised I would release their album, economic factors, for instance, mitigated against it. Luckily, it never got that to that.

So, now Tranfiguration is homeless and drifting, but, if I have anything to do with it, not for too long. I’ll rewrite the bits that I think need shoring up, maybe add a bit here and there, and then send it right back out. Whatever disappointment I may be subconsciously feeling I am going to alchemise into action. This is just the way I deal with things like this – I did exactly the same when I suffered a stroke nearly fourteen years ago. Like I say, I am not trying to make a point of moral superiority here – for me it’s just a waste of valuable writing time complaining about it, simple as. I think I need to move on with it and get the story a new home before it starts sulking about being forgotten.

On the plus side, I still have two other stories coming out: Feathers is still scheduled to appear in the A Dream of Stone anthology from Paraphilia Books (fantastic title, don’t you think?), launch date TBC; and on December 3rd, The Wages of Sin will appear in the Winter issue of Dark Valentine online magazine. Links will be posted once they’re out.

Some further news: I, along with Mark West, Adrian Chamberlin and Mark Deniz, will be publishing a chapbook of four short stories, all of which will be connected together to make a novella. That’s about as far as we’ve got, but details will be thrashed out within the next month or so – certainly, three of the four of us will be talking about it over a pint or two at this year’s FCon. I don’t think it’ll be too long before I’ll have more info for you, however – but, from my perspective, I think it’s looking like the future is getting sunnier.

3 Responses to “The twists and turns of Fate…”

  1. I’d offer commiserations, but as you said, you don’t need it. Though I will wish you luck with the next place.

    Ooh, the quartet of stories sounds intriguing.

  2. Treat every day as another opportunity and congrats on the book. Do you have a title yet?

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