All of my life I have been a fan of horror. From the early days of my addiction where I couldn't get my fill of Weird Tales, Tales from the Crypt, The Tomb of Dracula, and of course every adolescent boy's dream girl Vampirella. My love of horror was fueled by Saturday Night Creature Feature with count Gore De Val out of Washington, an endless parade of black and white horror movies from the fifties that filled the airwaves every Saturday as I was growing up.
Then I discovered books. Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, and a brash newcomer who wrote about a young girl with telekinetic powers taking revenge on everyone who had wronged her. I followed a career that soon inspired me to take up the pen and create a nightmare world that exists all around us.
My earliest attempts were at the best amateurish fan fiction. In time I discovered my own unique voice that sometimes led me to ponder the possibility of working outside the genre I grew up with. I've dabbled in literary fiction with a short story I wrote that came to me while I was in a hospital waiting room as my wife underwent surgery on her knee.
It was a powerfully emotional story. One I poured my heart into with a twist at the end that brought a tear to my wife's eye when she read it. Until this point she would not read anything I had written because of the nature of my work.
The story just sat in my drawer because quite honestly, with my background and interest in horror, I had no idea where to send it. I didn't believe it warranted submission to a literary magazine because I didn't believe it was literary enough.
Was I wrong.
In June I submitted my literary short story "Forget Me Not", to the Backbone Mountain Review, a literary magazine published annually through the Allegany Arts Council and The Center for Creative Writing, which is associated with Frostburg State University that is a satellite campus for the University of Maryland.
I received my acceptance email several days ago. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I'm also a tad confused. Do I continue on my chosen course writing horror? Or do I dare venture into the world of literary writing? There is a book I'd like to do, that details one man's journey into self discovery when he returns home to settle the estate of his estranged father. But I hesitate as I worry about my ability to do the theme justice.
Not to mention the fact I have a mountain of work already waiting for me. My novel, "A Father's Love," sits on my desk waiting for me to give it the attention it deserves. Then there's my next novella, tentatively titled "White Walker" until I can find a more suitable title that doesn't draw on something someone else has already written. I still haven't worked on the next installment of my Shadows of the Past series which has been outlined for several months now.
My biggest problem is procrastination. I need to quit checking out Facebook, Twitter, and X-Box and regain the focus I need to finish these projects so I can move forward.
My goal is to hit the following publication schedule.
White Walker: Halloween.
Shadows of the Past Part II Parasite: December, in time for the two year anniversary of part one.
A Father's Love: Father's day 2014
Beyond that is anyone's guess. But with this recent acceptance I'm, seriously looking at completing that literary novel and getting it submitted by fall of next year.
We'll see what happens.