TO “PEDS” AND BEYOND: COMMUNITY AND THE WRITER
BY JAMES S. DORR
First I would like to thank the Open Book Society, a community itself of readers and fans of imaginative fiction, for posting their review of my e-novelette “Peds” that came out in October from Untreed Reads Publishing. What’s neat about communities is that one thing often leads to another, the review, for instance, leading to an invitation to write this guest post. But “Peds” itself, a dystopic near-future science fiction tale, came about in a way through a different community having nothing to do with science fiction.
I should say now that I am a short story writer and a poet working largely in dark fiction and horror, with occasional forays into science fiction and mystery. As such, I’m a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society among other groups, and in their newsletter a year or two back was a call for submissions from Untreed Reads for crossover steampunk/mystery stories. It happened I had one called “Vanitas,” originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE some years before, so I sent it in and it was accepted. But now I was a member of the Untreed Reads community too and was then invited to submit a horror tale for Christmas which, titled “I’m Dreaming Of A. . . .,” came out last December. That led to “Peds,” itself actully a reprint also but now in electronic form for the first time, and I’ll have a new story, “Appointment In Time,” with a sort of steampunk/horror feel for an Untreed Reads anthology of New Year’s Eve stories to be called YEAR’S END.
From mystery to steampunk to horror to science fiction, one thing leads to another provided, as an author, you keep your contacts up and recognize that community is a lot like family. You’re starting to deal with people who know you — and actually like you!
For instance, I mentioned that I was a poet too. Do you like vampires? I mentioned also my Christmas story with Untreed Reads, one that I had originally pitched as part of a holiday horror book idea to Sam’s Dot Publishing. The editor there turned it down, but, remembering that he had bought poetry from me in the past for various magazines, I asked if he’d be interested in a poetry collection from me instead. The result: VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), a book of poems about vampires and vampirism that came out in August 2011.
And so it continues. I have a story that has just come out in ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES, an alternative history anthology from Dark Moon Books. The editor of that, who also worked as an assistant on some other stories I’d sold to Dark Moon in the past, has recently started his own imprint, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, and last month he invited me to send him a dark fantasy/horror collection. Tentatively titled THE TEARS OF ISIS, if all goes well the book should be on sale in spring 2013.
For any who wish to follow the progress of TEARS OF ISIS and other work James S. Dorr may have coming out, he invites you to visit his blog here. Questions and comments are always welcome.
Thank you to author James S. Dorr for a great guest blog!