|Archives: Spring 1999
Here we are, older and wiser and a little bit more ornery. In my last update, I was talking about all the great things happening in my writing life. At this juncture on the highway to bestsellerdom, I've pulled over to the side of the road to change a flat.
Don't get me wrong. I'm working
steadily, though not quite at the fever pitch that I
like. I got a raise and additional responsibility at the
day job, and now I have a convenient excuse to write
less. And that scares me more than anything in the world,
so much that I almost said "Not interested" to
the boss, who is a wonderful guy and would completely
understand. But money is money and excuses are excuses.
In the bad news, I'm in a dry
spell for story acceptances, though I feel some of my
best work is out there circulating. A year or two ago, I
had 20 to 30 stories out at a time, so I got a rejection
every other day. Since then, I've sold some, pulled some
embarrassing stuff that wasn't worth postage, and
concentrated more on finishing my new novel, THE RED
CHURCH. I'm already starting to send out queries for it,
and I'm hoping this will be the one. Of course, I said
that three novel manuscripts ago!
In other dismalities, I got my
first bad review, for one of the first stories I wrote. I
won't say which or by whom, but if you derive glee from
others' misery, you can probably track it down. The worst
part is I agree with this critic. And guess what: I
burned for three seconds, then smiled. I had hobbled
through another gauntlet, had been laid open on the altar
before the Muses, had suffered a bloody rite of passage.
Then the review was behind me, and it made me stronger
and more determined than ever.
Okay, with me wallowing so
joyfully in my self-pity, I almost forgot all the good
news. I met with Parkway Publishers and we have a
handshake deal on releasing my story collection next
year, either in summer or Christmas 2000. It is
tentatively entitled THANK YOU FOR THE FLOWERS, and the
publisher is letting me choose the cover design. I've met
a new artist whose work I admire, and a guy at work is
going to help me with layout and design. More details as
I also got a couple of award
thingies. I placed as First Runner-Up for the Darrell
Award, which is given for the best Mid-South short story.
The story is "Haunted" in MORE MONSTERS FROM
MEMPHIS. The same story also received an Honorable
Mention for Ellen Datlow's YEAR'S BEST FANTASY &
HORROR, which is a major feather in the cap. That story
got several glowing reviews, and has drawn so many
different reactions that I must have done something
right, even if I had no idea what I was doing.
Tune in for the next Scottstuff,
when I will have an article entitled "Awards,
Reviews, And Other Things That Don't Matter." Also,
if you want to sign up for the Scottstuff newsletter,
drop me an e-mail. It will be going out every three to
six months, with articles by my writer friends,
interviews, and of course, more about what I'm up to and
how wonderful I am, that sort of thing. I promise not to
pass along your eddress, this isn't a spam deal. Just
something to give away so that I have another excuse to
stare at my computer.
-Copyright 1999 by Scott Nicholson
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