So, the successive obligational pile-ons of preparing for the 2014 World Fantasy Convention, then attending said convention (with the whirlwind of first meetings and reunions that entailed), then catching up on unfinished tasks afterward (which, actually, I still haven’t quite managed) all mean that I’ve fallen way behind on sharing news of things. Luckily most everything is relatively evergreen.
The Review Review, a site devoted to reviews of literary journals, graciously allowed me to write a second guest post for their “Publishing Tips” column. “The Oasis and the Mirage: Adventures in Fiction Publishing” uses the Publishers Weekly starred review of Unseaming as a jumping off point for talking about how bloody hard it was to get each of the individual stories, then the book itself, into print.
My reason for doing this comes from my feeling that all the chirpy little “here’s some writing tips, and by the way, here’s how you cope with a rejection letter” articles out there don’t do much at all to prepare an aspiring writer for what’s really in store for them if they’re foolhardy enough to pursue writing as a long-term career. As I phrased it in the essay:
Reflecting on this review got me to thinking about the years-long ordeal that culminated in the making of this book: not a glamorous epic quest but a black comedy of repeated frustration and failure. Which led me to come up with this post, which isn’t so much about how the sausage gets made as it is about how the sausage gets contaminated and you still have to survive eating it. There’s another post on The Review Review about surviving rejection. Folks, rejection is just the first trap in the maze.
My thanks to Alicia Cole for lending me soapbox space once again (the first post I wrote for her, “On Crowdfunding, Paying Writers, and the Shift to Digital: An Editor Tells His Story,” is here), to Anita, Shveta Thakrar and Virginia Mohlere for helping me assemble these thoughts, and to Nick Mamatas for providing a rhetorical model I could work from, heh.
Originally published at DESCENT INTO LIGHT: Mike Allen’s Home Page. You can comment here or there.