“Different Angels” reprinted at Nightmare Magazine

The first story I ever published, “Different Angels,” has been reprinted over at Nightmare Magazine. I wrote this way back in the halcyon days of the late 1990s–a different world, that was–and it was published by The Third Alternative, the precursor to Black Static, in 1999. I’ve written elsewhere about what TTA Press meant and means to me and how important that first sale was–the first story I sent to Andy Cox!–so I won’t belabor that point here, but I did want to talk a little bit about the story’s origin.

Back in the 1990s, I was still very much finding my voice as a writer. And wow, I could not sell a story. I couldn’t even give a story away–believe me, I tried. Back then, nobody wanted the kind of stories I was writing, or didn’t want them from me, at any rate.

The stories we write are always stories that come from where we are in that particular time and place, and “Different Angels” is an angry story I could have only written in my twenties. I was still angry at the rural South where I’d grown up, and hadn’t yet figured out how to reconcile the things I hated about it–ignorance and bigotry and small-mindedness and religious fundamentalism–with who I was–unmistakably a product of that rural South, however much I wanted to deny it. So I wrote a story that twisted a lot of the values I was kicking against–religion, the family. I think I was also mainlining a lot of writers like Flannery O’Connor and Harry Crews around that time.

I used to hear a lot of writers say that nothing changes after you publish your first story, but I found that wasn’t true at all. I had wanted to be a writer ever since I could hold a pen, and I’d been seriously submitting stories for four years with no success. To finally get an acceptance, and to a magazine I admired so much, was a huge deal to me. I felt like a real writer at last–even if nobody in America had ever heard of the magazine or TTA Press back in those days and just looked at me blankly when I mentioned it. Plus, it plugged me into a community of TTA readers and writers, some of whom I’m real-life friends with today.

Of course, if you like the story, you can check out other stories by me that are available free online. “Different Angels” is also reprinted in my first collection, The Moon Will Look Strange, which is available at all the Amazons (even though I only linked to two) in Kindle or paperback. And you can pick up my second collection from Swan River Press, You’ll Know When You Get There.

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“The Burned House” at Nightmare magazine

My story “The Burned House,” originally published in my collection The Moon Will Look Strange and reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #25, is now available online at Nightmare Magazine.

Also, the anthology Aickman’s Heirs, edited by Simon Strantzas and including my story “The Dying Season,” is now available for pre-order and ships in May!

Best Horror of the Year

I’m pleased to announce that my story “The House on Cobb Street,” which originally appeared over at Nightmare Magazine, will receive its first print publication in volume 6 of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year. I am particularly delighted by this news because it marks the first time I’ve sold a story to Ellen Datlow, who of course is one of the top short fiction editors in the field. Here’s the rest of the terrific lineup:

Apports by Stephen Bacon Black Static #36
Mr. Splitfoot by Dale Bailey Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells
The Good Husband by Nathan Ballingrud North American Lake Monsters
The Tiger by Nina Allan Terror Tales of London
The House on Cobb Street by Lynda E. Rucker Nightmare #9 June
The Soul in the Bell Jar by KJ Kabza F&SF November/Dec
Call Out by Stephen Toase Innsmouth Magazine #12
That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love by Robert Shearman Psycho-Mania
Bones of Crow by Ray Cluley Black Static #37
Introduction to the Body in Fairy Tales by Jeannine Hall Gailey Phantom Drift #3
The Fox by Conrad Williams This is Horror chapbook
The Tin House by Simon Clark Shadow Masters
Stemming the Tide by Simon Strantzas Dead North
The Anatomist’s Mnemonic by Priya Sharma Black Static #32.
The Monster Makers by Steve Rasnic Tem Black Static #35
The Only Ending We Have by Kim Newman Psycho-Mania
The Dog’s Paw by Derek Künsken Chilling Tales: In Words, Alas, Drown I
Fine in the Fire by Lee Thomas Like Light For Flies
Majorlena by Jane Jakeman Supernatural Tales 24
The Withering by Tim Casson Black Static 32
Down to a Sunless Sea by Neil Gaiman The Guardian.com
Jaws of Saturn by Laird Barron The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All
Halfway Home by Linda Nagata Nightmare #12
The Same Deep Waters as You by Brian Hodge Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth

news: Nightmare Magazine sale

I’m very pleased to report that I’ve sold my story “The House on Cobb Street” to the John Joseph Adams-edited Nightmare Magazine, a terrific new showcase for horror fiction that debuted this autumn. If the likes of Laird Barron, Ramsey Campbell, and Sarah Langan sound good to you, check out their October and November issues which can be purchased in e-reading formats or read online.