This Week in Rejection!: The Missouri Review 2 & 3

After the rejection chronicled last week, I sent off more stories to the Missouri Review. Predictably, they both resulted in:


At this point, you’re probably pretty bored, thinking “Great. Two weeks and three copies of the same form letter rejection.”

Don’t worry — things change next week!

Kirkus Talks Up Archvillain 2: The Mad Mask

They must be tired of me over at Kirkus. No sooner did they get through reviewing Mangaman then another book of mine shows up! Fortunately, they didn’t take it out on me — they seemed to like the second book in the Archvillain series a lot. See for yourself!
Mad Mask cover

Continuing to plead that he’s not the Archvillain (2010) everyone makes him out to be, a teenager with super powers complicates his case by falling in with a hilariously crazed megalomaniac bent on world conquest.

It’s just so frustrating. Despite a megagenius IQ and super powers of his own, every scheme Kyle has concocted to unmask widely admired superhero Mighty Mike as an alien in disguise has gone wrong while making him look like the Bad Guy. Worse yet, Kyle’s long-time best friend Mairi has taken to hanging out with the hunky creep! Yet another teen superhero appears on the scene, this one wearing a cool wooden mask, given to frothy third-person rants (“The Mad Mask fears no one—man, woman, child, or platypus!”) and sporting both plans for a titanic killer robot and some impressive tech gear. It’s too much; Kyle disregards the reservations of the mouthy sidekick AI he’s constructed in his iPod and jumps at the chance to, well, at least show Mighty Mike up. Styling himself “The Azure Avenger” but generally known as “The Blue Freak,” Kyle isn’t the most reliable of POV characters, but his intentions are generally good, despite a tendency to rationalize iffy acts like stealing chemicals for his basement lab or altering his parents’ memories with a brain-wave manipulator. By the end, he finds himself actually having to help Mighty Mike. Figures.

A fizzy mix of multilayered comedy and awesomely destructive battles, presented from an unusual narrative angle. (Adventure. 10-13)

I love that this review is written in Kyle’s voice. I could hear him saying exactly this. 🙂

Booklist Takes on Mangaman!

Booklist says the following about Mangaman

East meets West when Ryoko, a manga character, falls through a mysterious hole in the space-time continuum to enter the real world of high-schooler Marissa Montaigne. Ryoko—literally a manga character come to life, with the requisite tropes like androgynous looks, huge eyes, and features that distort wildly when he emotes—freaks out all the “normal” inhabitants of Castleton, U.S.A., except for the former teen-queen Marissa. As they get to know each other better, Ryoko starts to reveal more and more of his reality to her, including life beyond the edges of a panel. The Western aspects of Doran’s art seem a little dated, but this graphic meta-novel is still a fun, inventive story with steady dialogue and pacing. It also has great potential for discussion in terms of format, genre, and style for teen graphic-novel book clubs. This title will appeal to readers who are fans of both manga and Western comics or crossover titles such asWolverine: Prodigal Son (2009) and X-men: Misfits (2009).

Wednesday Warren – Don’t Let Us Get Sick

Don’t Let Us Get Sick. Most likely written as Warren was dying of lung cancer and didn’t know it. The man was close, personal friends with irony.

This Week in Rejection!: The Missouri Review

And now we begin an odyssey that for me took many years, but which for you, Gentle BLog Reader, will take only a few weeks. Namely, we begin the tale of my rejections from the literary journal The Missouri Review.

For reasons I can no longer remember, I became obsessed at some point with being published in the Missouri Review. I dutifully mailed off (yes — mailed!) copies of my stories, complete with carefully-crafted cover letters and meticulously-generated SASEs. (Remember SASEs?)

And then, each time, I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

In those pre-e-mail submission days, it could (and often did) take months to get a rejection letter. So from the time I submitted my first story to Missouri Review to the time I gave up (oops — spoiler alert!), literally years went by.

It started with this, the plain vanilla form letter rejection: