I’ve often joked with fellow writers that the reason most established authors are older, is because the process from pen to publishing takes so darn long! Anyone who’s ever tried submitting something can vouch. You get your first draft up, go through the edits, look for a home for the piece, submit it, wait… and on rejection, repeat. On acceptance, you then have to wait for the said issue to come out. Even with a first acceptance, we’re often talking around six months here, often more, before you can start waving copies around and bragging to your friends and family.
But now I realise that this is nothing, nothing compared to what being on the other side of this process is like.
A while back my friend and fellow horror writer Simon Dewar took on the incredible challenge of single-handedly putting together an anthology. And wow, is that intense….
His concept was open to interpretation, which always makes writers happy. ‘Suspended in Dusk.’ Write a horror story where the idea of dusk (dim light), and being caught in it/floating in it/fading into it/whatever is key.
He then managed to get in touch with the horror great RAMSEY CAMPBELL, and somehow got him to contribute! Ramsey Campbell is a huge name–he is incredibly prolific–and if you don’t know who I’m talking about, you’d best get up to speed: http://www.ramseycampbell.com/. How Simon managed it, I’ll never know. Or maybe Ramsey is just a really nice guy who cares about lending a hand to the lesser-knowns working in our beloved genre. My money’s on the latter.
Simon then put out a call for submissions, and switched roles from writer to editor. Which means instead of sending stuff out and waiting for responses, he was the one receiving it all and writing the acceptances/rejections himself. This, too, of course took months.
Once he was satisfied with his table of contents, the original publisher then pulled out of the agreement. This was completely out of the blue, and for reasons entirely of their own–no hard feelings, these things happen. But this meant that Simon then had to start looking for someone else to take it on, or end up scrapping all his hard work, and breaking the hearts of the writers he’d accepted.
He then amped up his powers of tenacity and got cracking. A few near misses and false starts later, he managed to secure Books of the Dead Press (http://www.booksofthedeadpress.com/), who agreed to publish it. An incredible save!
Books of the Dead will no doubt announce the anthology themselves sometime in the next few weeks, but in the meantime you can read Simon’s take on the whole thing here: http://simondewar.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/announcing-suspended-in-dusk-an-anthology-of-horror-and-dark-fiction/
And now, guess what happens?! That’s right… more waiting. No news yet on the publishing dates, because that in itself is another whole new level of revving certain engines and cranking certain wheels at certain times and in certain orders. Suffice it to say that it’s on its way.
My new short story ‘Hope is Here’ will also be appearing.