Almost a year ago, I was approached by Gerald Rice and asked if I’d like to be in an anthology. I hesitated. At the time he didn’t have a lot of details but he managed to convince me that it would work out and everyone would leave happy. He told me who is was for and I did a little digging. Then I had to submit a writing sample (!) and then actually write it. ON A DEADLINE.
Then a W-9 arrived, and then a contract, and despite getting sick and work issues, and travelling and getting stuck on the actual story, and trying to back out (he refused my resignation) – I submitted it.
They were so serious about this, there was a release date already planned. No pressure.
I even managed to spell “submission” wrong in the subject line.
Submitting something to editors you know or friends is completely different that submitting to Editors at Big Five Imprints. There is so much self-doubt surrounding your own grammar, style, story, pacing it’s impressive anyone submits anything at all.
I need to say “submits” a few more times.
It was accepted with a few editor’s notes for clarification. Said the editor “Just a few typos (I can tell you dictated this story at least in part).”
Ha – yeah. Dictated.
But the part that got me – it was accepted.
It was one of the longest short stories I’d ever written, it was coherent, they liked it. I got paid. My name is on the cover of a book.
Now it’s available for everyone to read. Anything but Zombies dropped yesterday with all of the fanfare I could muster without annoying the friends and followers. It’s a Kindle-only edition (let’s push for print!), and available through Amazon and the Simon and Schuster websites.
My story, “Crew Chief of the Damned” is nestled in there at #5, but of course I encourage you to read everything at least twice. This will also be the second anthology in which I’ve appeared with Jeff Strand, so he’s become my spirit animal.
I want to do more of these. I want to have collections of my stories from other anthologies and write forwards that say “when Kirby McCauley asked me to be in his anthology, I hesitated.”
Of course, if Kirby McCauley asked me to be in anything, I’d freak out just a little because, you know, he’s dead, but I think I’d still say yes.