This Week in Rejection!: After Hours

I wrote a lot of horror in my teens and early twenties, so you should just get used to seeing rejection letters from a variety of small and not-so-small venues for such stories in TWiR…

For this one, I actually know which story I submitted, a little something titled “Minutely Dead,” a werewolf story with a fun little twist. As you can see, After Hours didn’t find the twist all that fun, having checked off the “Too predictable” and “Not particularly scary” checkboxes on their very handy list of Reasons You Suck.

Quite frankly, I don’t blame them. The twist is cool, but I didn’t pull it off in the story at all. I do, however, wish I’d been one of the guys at After Hours who got to sit around and say, “What’s wrong with the most of the stories we get? Let’s make a list!”

Um, on second thought… No. No, I don’t wish I was one of those guys…

You may have noticed that I’m not telling you what the twist is. That’s because someday I’ll sit down and figure out how to pull it off, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it early. 🙂

This rejection letter is notable (to me, at least) for being one of the very first I received with actual handwritten comments. I was still too young and — honestly — too sensitive to see that getting a handwritten comment like this was actually a step in the right direction, that someone saw enough promise in my admittedly un-ready work to take a moment to go beyond just checking off items on the Checklist of Doom. If I’d been smarter, I might have revised the story or submitted a different, stronger one.

 

After Hours rejection.

In case you can’t read the handwriting, here’s what it says:

Barry,

AH features unconventional fantasy & horror – this is pretty much standard stuff. While I wouldn’t exclude a werewolf story for its subject matter (I’ve published a couple of vampire ones) there needs to be some angle to make it different from the rest. Minor point: it isn’t apparent the narrator is a policeman until p. 3; this could be confusing to the reader.

A nice little lesson in targeting the correct audience and clarifying your story points. Not bad for a rejection letter!

Wednesday Warren – Dirty Life & Times

Some days I feel like my shadow’s casting me

I’m sorry — if you don’t think that is sheer, undiluted genius, then I’m afraid we have nothing else to talk about.

Well, if she won’t love me, then her sister will
She’s from Say-one-thing-and-be-another’s-ville

I mean…come ON!

Gets a little lonely, folks, you know what I mean
I’m lookin’ for a woman with low self-esteem

Brutal honesty, poetry both casual and powerful… And the guy was dying when he wrote and performed it. What more do you want?

iTunes Album Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-wind/id2521494

What If You Could Read Minds…

Fun time, all you Twitterers, Facebookers, and BLog readers!

Imagine you suddenly developed the ability to read minds…but it would only last for one day! What would you do with this power?

Answer below!

Goth Girl Rising E-Book Price Lowered!

GGR CoverAs of right now, the e-book price for Goth Girl Rising on both Kindle and Nook is way, way low. Like, $2.17 low. That is super, super cheap. I don’t know how long the price will remain in that territory, so if you’ve been thinking of buying the book for your Kindle or Nook, now might be a good time. I’m just sayin’.

Amazon/Kindle: Buy it!

BN/Nook: Buy it!

Memory Monday – Hawk & Dove!

Fantasy milieu! Magic powers! Mystical metal that responds to your thoughts!

Add in one over-testosteroned superhero with a gun fetish and you get this:

 

Hawk thinks up an Uzi.

 

(From Hawk & Dove #15, August 1990. Story by Barbara & Karl Kesel, art by Greg Guler and Scott Hanna.)