Thursday, April 26, 2012

Steampunk story to finally be published!

This has to be the longest time period I've ever experienced to see one of my short stories published. May 10,2010 submitted a 6,700 short story called , The Foxglove Broadsides to a steampunk anthology title Clockwork Chaos which I found on Duotrope.  Granted it was a long short story, but that's what the guidelines asked for from the Library Of The Living Dead Press. a small press which publishes novels and anthologies and the cover art was above the level and highly creative and professional in comparison to many other horror publishers.
 Now maybe I should have noticed that this press published mostly horror, even though they have a Library of Science Fiction imprint under their overall banner. But they seemed to be branching out. I took the chance. It was a long short story even for some anthologies.
On October 25, 2010, (148 days) I heard from Neal Levin, the editor, that my story had been accepted for publication if I was okay with his edits and that a contract would be forthcoming from the publisher.  I was very excited, since this would be my first published steampunk story to add to my collection of steampunk items, which included a number of items I had made (and sold or given as gifts or prizes or auction fund-raisers) which included steampunk journals, beeswax collages, mini albums and that's not counting my steampunk costumes and gear which I wear to cons and local steampunk events.
This was maybe a little longer than the average of acceptance times I experienced from magazines, but pretty much within the range of time period for acceptances from anthologies. (For example, Ocean Stories Anthology took over a year to reject one of my stories, although it had been selected after the first cut to go further through a committee of editors.)
But then I didn't hear anything for months from the Library Of The Living Dead Press .
All the posts and notices on the Library Of The Living Dead Press site's forum, in a section devoted  to the Clockwork Chaos anthology, had stopped. There were no responses to those who submitted stories and were accepted for inclusion in the steampunk anthology.  Needless to say, this was disheartening to me, but I  imagine how crushed a new author would be, who might have had their first short story accepted.
I finally contacted Neal in March of 2011 to see if he'd heard anything from the publisher.  But unfortunately he hadn't,  but he'd been trying to contact them. As an editor for Fissure Magazine, (which featured a special steampunk issue,) I knew how much time Neal, (who is a game designer and author in NJ)  had already spent in reading the many submissions an anthology receives, in editing the acceptances, and then the time spent in emailing all authors as well as the publisher.  I felt for him at this point, because he was stuck in the middle, most likely not to get paid for his efforts and time, and may have had a number of authors ticked off at him.  I wasn't because I knew the precarious situation he had been placed in, having to act as liaison when the publisher was AWOL. 
Neil wrote me back immediately to inform me that he had not heard anything from the publisher either but since he was attending the Steampunk World's Fair, he was going to see if he could find another indie publisher, or perhaps even publish the work under his own press, Dark Quest Books.
On April  24, 2012, nearly two years after submission, I received a very nice email form Neal asking if I wanted my story to still be included in the Clockwork Chaos anthology.  I was delighted.  He had gone to all the trouble to find another indie press to publish the anthology.  Now that's a dedicated editor to work on a project for nearly two years.
Since I've been quite slack in submitting short stories as I work a highly demanding full time job as a rehab support specialist for individuals who have suffered severe brain and spinal chord injuries, I have little spare time, So I  focus on my uncompleted novels, or those which need an edit, I haven't submitted much in the past 12 months.  So, my short story,  Foxglove Broadsides, still hung around in the unpublished pile. I had given up on the anthology and gone on to other projects.Neil didn't mention the name of the press or a publication date.  I imagine he is now having to contact all the authors who received acceptances to see if their stories are still unpublished and available.
If I had the ability to give an award to Neal for Most Dedicated Editor, I would.  This is service beyond the normal duties of an editor who also has a demanding full time job.


  1. That is definitely commitment, kudos to Neal for getting a project he truly believes in out into the market. And congratulations to you on getting that story into the hands of readers.



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