Publication at last: The Absent Willow Review publishes yours truly.

15 01 2011

For those of you that want to read me, well now you can! The Absent Willow Review has just published a story I wrote, Preacher at the End of the World. Oddly enough it is published under the “horror” genre, though I always thought of it as science fiction. Doesn’t matter. Comes with a nice piece of art- one of the perks of publishing with TAWR, really great art.

So I won’t go on. If you want to know a little bit more about TAWR, check out my interview with its co-founder Rick DeCost. Just so you know, interviewing the co-founder got me not a spec of special treatment. I think I submitted about twenty stories before I finally got one in, and one in twenty ain’t bad. There is an axiom in physics, if something is remotely probable, then it is inevitable. Submit enough and you will get published, eventually.

One last word before I conclude this short post so you can read my story and then option the screenplay rights (which I still have if anyone is interested…), this story came out of my “stories I hate file.” I was going through said file several months after having committed the story to oblivion when I realized that I really liked the story, as much as anything I was actively shopping. I sent it to Absent Willow first and they accepted it. So go read. Check out the other stories in the issue, the editors over there rarely make a mistake in their picks, but check out mine first. It’s at the top. Ha!!

Happy Bear




6 responses

19 01 2011
Baldy from Aberdeen

Where can one find this box?

19 01 2011

I’m pretty sure It is located in Smith Cemetery. I say this only because that is the creepiest place in the entire world. One more reason Butler County is the best place to locate horror!

25 01 2011
Michael burden

What was your inspiration for the description you gave for inside the box? I would think that would have been hard to come up with.

25 01 2011

Interesting question. The inspiration is really threefold for the box itself- as a point of gravity in the story. The mythology of Pandora, the Arc of the Covenant, and a box from an early eighties Saturday morning cartoon that summoned an evil, world eating monster. The last really stuck in my nine-year old mind, and actually that’s where I got the idea for the box “screaming.” As to the interior visual depiction, I wanted the box to seem like a sort of clock or timer. The visuals were meant to signify that some sort of countdown was underway, though through what dimensions and to what final end remains incomprehensible. The image was meant to evoke the sort of touchstone malevolence that one senses when a beloved character in a television series discovers a time-bomb in a place from which there is no escape. I think that the countdown mechanism has an effect on people that engenders, if not fear, at least anxiety, and that if you had no sense of what symbolic timekeeping was, you would still somehow be effected by the pulse of it. The mechanism of “The Box” was meant to evoke that malevolent pulse, as though it were counting something down with a symbolic representation that took into account time, certainly, but perhaps also a less human, less comprehensible dimension. As to what it is counting down for, I leave that to the imagination, though to me it certainly does not seem benign.

26 01 2011
Bint Arab

I loved this story, and I’m so glad you dusted it off and sent it out! I read this story and just had to follow the link to this blog. Once I started reading it, it was like being caught in a rock avalanche and picking up speed as I crashed at the bottom. Really vivid — I could see it all in my mind’s eye clearly — fascinating characters, equally absorbing premise, great descriptions — Great job!


26 01 2011

Thank you so much! My very good friend Maggie Jamison, editor at Tangent and Apex magazine, is largely responsible for my “dusting off.” She told me that I’m an idiot and have no place judging my own fiction. In that spirit I started looking through the trash for hidden gems. I was fairly certain Preacher was a good story when I rediscovered it, and as if to reinforce that notion, the story sold to the first market that I shopped it to (and in less than 24 hours!). The most prevalent theme in the positive feedback I have received to date has involved either character development or pacing, and I feel like I was successful in both camps. This is the second story I’ve published set in my mytho-historical Butler County Kentucky, and I hope to one day publish a compilation of my BC stories. Thank you again, and I hope you will spread the word and tell Absent Willow that you enjoyed it! If you have the time, you should check out the other stories at Absent Willow. The editors have a keen eye for good fiction and I typically end up reading each issue cover to virtual cover. Cheers!

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