Monday, February 26, 2024


I was chatting with an up-and-coming writer, and my Horror Writers Association mentoree, Kristal Shanahan about how it was when I started out writing horror fiction. I randomly pulled up one of my earliest acceptances and the anthology it was published in.

A 500-word story called “$2 Bust From an Estate Sale”

Here is an archive link to the Contest I submitted it to:

I submitted it 3/11/2011. It was accepted 10/4/2011 and published six weeks later on 11/22/2011 (i.e. it sat in the submission queue over four times longer than the time it raced from acceptance to publication, haha)

Unless you were one of the 5 “winners,” authors were not paid anything, which was fine with me back then.

It ended up publishing in the anthology FRIGHTMARES: A FISTFUL OF FLASH FICTION HORROR.

129 stories all crammed together in this book (I think they accepted pretty much everything!)

Anyway, the subject of my reminisce: If I look through the Table of Contents, I can say that hardly any of those authors involved are still writing/publishing genre fiction now. BUT! It is incredibly fun and significant to recognize those writers who are still working at it today, writers I’ve become friends with or whose work I admire. At time of this book’s publication in late 2011, I’d not known a single person in the Table of Contents (except James S. Dorr, who I recognized from BORDERLANDS 2 anthology). But now I look through it and exclaim: “Hey, wow, there’s:

James S. Dorr
Max Booth III
Lori Michelle
Cynthia Pelayo
Kevin David Anderson
Joe Mynhardt
Greg Chapman
Stan Swanson
and a couple others…

But again of the 129 writers, most, I believe, through lack of interest, other life obligations, perhaps death, are no longer involved in the craft (though I could be wrong, as I spent zero time actually researching unfamiliar names). 12-1/2 years later = time is fleeting, indeed!

Personally, what came of that tiny, insignificant sale for me was
1) It was a confidence booster, and
2) I became friends with the editor and publisher, Stan Swanson. The press was Dark Moon Books, and I started doing more work with them, and eventually that was where I was able to print my first anthology as editor. Later the press went out of business, and I bought it, and rebranded it to my own purposes (and released all former titles back to the authors).

Anyway, nice to reminisce on these things once in a while! 😊

Friday, February 16, 2024

Newest Podcast interview episode just went up for moi!

Newest Podcast interview episode just went up for moi! Check it out at COFFEE FUELED STORIES WITH MICHELLE SCHMER. And thanks so much to Michelle Schmer for the great time, wherein we spoke of Technical Writing, Writing organizations, and CLUE-thulhu!


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