My very first horror sale! Sold a story–“No Victims”–to Lamplight

Sold a story to  new horror magazine, Lamplight. This is very first horror sale! Actually, I’ve never quite understood the horror genre. I don’t read much of it, so I don’t really have that intuitive sense of what is and what isn’t horror. Most of my fiction is kind of downbeat, but I’ve had very little success in marketing it to horror magazines. I think there’s just something non-horrifying about my downbeatness. I mean, at the end of my story “What Everyone Remembers,” cockroaches take over the Earth, but it’s okay, because they’re adorable. However, this current story is probably the most horror-ish story I’ve ever written. It was inspired when I noticed–whilst browsing Wikipedia–that many of the world’s most prolific serial killers were doctors or nurses.

This also marks another, more esoteric milestone. It’s the first time I’ve managed to sell one of my tone-based stories. These are stories I sometimes write where some interesting voice came to me, and I just spun out some kind of short (usually around 1500-2500) narrative until I can bring the story to a close. For me, the story is carried along primarily by the texture of the words. In genre taxonomy, these stories tend to be weird fantasy stories. Often, they only take a few hours to write and (in my opinion) don’t need very much revision at all.*

It’s sometimes interesting for me to reflect that the vast majority of what I write (maybe 4 out of 5 stories, even nowadays) never gets published. And that there are strains within the unpublished work that are not at all present within the published work. For instance, sometimes I write some pretty strange fantasy stories, but they never get out there. And, on the other hand, I often write stories that are very close to being realist stories, but these also tend not to be as successful. Whenever I write a fairly straightforward science fiction story (which I do on a fairly regular basis), I’m usually pretty happy, because I think, “Oh, awesome. This will probably sell.”

Anyways, I’m happy that one of my weirder stories will finally get to escape out into the world.

5 Comments on “My very first horror sale! Sold a story–“No Victims”–to Lamplight

  1. what is your position on posthumous publication? in general? with respect to your private collection? maybe we talked about this ages ago? maybe your opinion has changed?

    • I have no problem with posthumous publication. If someone wants to be my Max Brod, then I welcome him (or her) to the task. In fact, I am an obsessive archiver, so if someone wants to go through my drafts and emails and g-chats, then I’m fine with that. In fact, I’ve sometimes wondered whether (since all my archives are electronic), it might not be better to simply dump all my hard drives onto some FTP site (after I’m dead, of course), and let the public make of them what they will.

      • i like the post it all option. it’s kind of like the end of the stars, my destination, but instead of the bomb, it’s old family photos.

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