Theresa Milstein has been a wonderful online friend of mine for a couple of years now. LOVE her. Recently, she was published in an anthology called Fangtales. YAY! And we are going to help her celebrate!!
Fangtales is the third anthology in the popular ‘tales’ collections published for the YA market by Wyvern Publications. It joins Dragontales, published in 2009, and Mertales, published in 2010.
Fangtales visits the terrifying realms of the most popular creature ever to grace the pages of fantasy fiction. The vampire. The tales are fresh, original and scary enough to send delicious shivers down the spine of every reader. Each tale brings something new to the genre, and will be a welcome addition to any fantasy fan’s bookshelf. Vampires will always be a hugely popular theme – there’s a very good reason why Bram Stoker’s Dracula has never been out of print since it was first published in 1897.
Lose yourself in the blood-soaked pages of Fangtales, where a best friend mysteriously disappears; wonder why a small child roams the woods alone at midnight, and how a terrified girl can get help when her house is surrounded by hungry vampires.
Thank you for letting me guest post, Shannon. You’ve been a great blogging buddy and friend. I appreciate it.
When I asked Shannon if she’d be interested in helping me promote Fangtales because my short story “Daisy” is included, she came up with an interesting idea for a guest post:
“You know how I like to have guest posts about writers' journeys to publication. Would you be willing to do a guest post about what it's like to write and submit short stories?? That's an area we don't hear about very often.”
Before I seriously wrote, I tried writing two short stories for fun. I didn’t finish either of them. When I began to write seriously, I kept reading the advice to submit short stories because it was easier to get them published (less submissions) and it would boost a writer’s resume.
One problem: I was intimidated by the short story.
My first attempt was to take first chapters of longer pieces I’d written, revise them a little to make them more complete, and submit them.
For good reason. As my blogging buddy, Alesa Warcan http://partgilt-partgold.blogspot.com/
Stories are like fruit trees... A novel is a big mature apple tree that produces big juicy red fruit. Trying to make a short using only the first chapters of a novel is like trying to get fruit from the roots of an apple tree... Possible but unnatural.
Tangentially, A two chapter teaser of a novel is like the picture of those roots, making you wonder as to what the fruit must taste like.
A short story is like one of those miniature fruit trees... Perfectly proportionate, just tiny in comparison, and bearing delicious bite-sized fruit.
She should be writing this post, right?
I kept seeing calls for short stories, but I ignored them for YEARS. Finally, one intrigued me enough to try to write something. Wyvern Publications had published Dragtontales and Mertales. Last winter, they requested short stories to include in Fangtales. The vampires needed to follow the rules set in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In other words, no sparkly vampires need apply.
I started off with a couple of sentences, having no idea where I was going with it. But as I wrote, the story began to take shape. Halfway through, I had a vague sense of what might happen at the end. I thought it would be hard to be confined to a certain word count, but I found it made me sparer and clearer with words. All of the elements of the story were easier to keep in my mind. It was like savoring a satisfying piece of chocolate instead of being forced to
write eat an entire cake. The editing process is also a lot quicker.
Last winter, there was a call for submissions to raise money for Australian flood victims. While the word count for Fangtales was 5k, 100 Stories for Queensland had to be 1k. How could I write a short story with such a puny word count? But a few lines came to me, and I was able to do it. I went from a Recess Peanut Butter cup to a mini. Smaller, but still satisfying. This story was accepted too, and came out in May.
This summer, the editor of 100 Stories for Queensland was putting out another anthology. These stories had to be around 1.5k. My short story was accepted. The anthology Tiny Dancers will be published in the next few months.
Short stories have validated my ability to write. For most of us writers, landing an agent and obtaining a publishing contract takes years. And once that coveted contract is presented, it will be years before the authors see the book in print. Short stories have a better chance of being published and a quicker turnaround. And the best part is you get edit suggestions from an editor. You get a sense of what it will be like to get an 8-15 page edit letter for an entire manuscript.
I still don’t have an agent. But when I query, I have publications to list. I’m listed as a published author on Goodreads. Writing short stories has made me a better writer and given me confidence that I belong here in the publishing world.
100 Stories for Queensland:
Thank you, Theresa!!!
And Congratulations on your inclusion in Fangtales!!