I’ve always enjoyed listening to the Beneath Ceaseless Skies podcast. Like StarShipSofa, it has served as both an inspiration and a goal, so I was absolutely stoked when my short story The Crooked Mile was accepted for the magazine.
Funny thing is that it was listening to BCS that inspired this story in the first place. It was a story called The Angel Azrael Delivers Small Mercies, and while not the first Weird West story I had read/heard, it really got me thinking.
Mainly, it got me thinking “I’m sure I can write something that
good. I’m sure I can write something good enough to get into this magazine”. So I went home and over the next few nights I wrote The Crooked Mile. I had no idea where it was going when I started it, but my characters took me where they needed to go. Whether I liked it or not.
Then I let it sit for a bit, came back to it later, tidied it up and took a stab – I sent it straight to BCS, one of the toughest pro fantasy markets in the business. Fully expecting a kind and polite rejection (I’d had one of those from BCS before), I was stunned when I got a rewrite request. The story went back and forth a couple of times between the editor and myself and next thing I knew, there was a contract.
What’s the moral of this story? Know your markets. Know what they publish, what they want, what they like but which hasn’t been done before. Write that. Nuff said.
Now go, read the story, leave a comment and support the magazine if you can. Meanwhile, I’m going to go write something else to send them, in the hopes of being the lightning that strikes twice.