Howdy! I thought I’d do a little news round-up – with a few hot-off-the-press titbits – in relation to my science fiction conspiracy novel, Million Eyes, and its accompanying short stories…
So I joined Rushmoor Writers in Hampshire at the start of this year and essentially I’ve been reading Million Eyes to them, chapter by chapter, and getting their feedback. The comments have been positive and constructive and have really helped me to step back from the novel and look at it again with fresh eyes.
I don’t take on board everything they say, of course, because critiquing another person’s writing is a very subjective process. (All writers ought to bear this in mind.) For example, after reading one particular scene, a member told me that a car being dissolved by a super-powerful flammable liquid was not possible – and wouldn’t ever be – according to the laws of physics. At which point I reminded him I was writing a science fiction novel with, urm, time travel in it.
Still, it’s good to feel like my writing is improving. Julie Crisp – former editorial director for publishing house Tor turned literary agent – would tend to agree. Yes, she rejected Million Eyes after I submitted the first three chapters to her for consideration. But her rejection could not have been more positive. She praised the storyline, the writing, the characters, the scene-setting and the historical aspects. She ultimately said that while she enjoyed reading it, she just didn’t love it enough to take it further. It was the happiest rejection I’ve ever got!
So that’s my first bit of news, essentially. The Million Eyes edit is coming along and Julie Crisp likes it!
Onto the Million Eyes Short Stories. I’ve written a good number of these now, and I’ve decided to take a little break from writing them to focus on the novel and on submitting all the ones I’ve done to competitions and short story magazines.
Here’s a little summary of where I am with each one…
- Paul – this one was shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest, so I’ve got to wait till November to see if it makes it any further in the competition. It’s about a car accident that sets a diabolical sequence of events into motion.
- Rachel Can See – this was longlisted in the Inktears competition, but didn’t make it any further, and is now under consideration at Writers’ Village and a few other places. This is about a girl who struggles with bizarre ‘alternate’ memories.
- Who is Rudolph Fentz? – as announced recently, this story – based on the urban legend of Rudolph Fentz – was accepted for publication by Scribble magazine and will be published in an upcoming issue.
- The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller – I got good feedback from Rushmoor Writers when I entered this story – based on a rather more recent urban legend – into one of our internal competitions. It’s also technically been accepted for publication by Aesop Magazine. However, this magazine hasn’t actually launched yet (and was meant to launch in April), so I’m unsure as to whether this will go ahead… It’s under consideration in a few other places as well.
- The Emancipation of Google – this is one I’ve not mentioned before. It doesn’t directly feature the mysterious conspirators that are in the other stories, but is still set in the Million Eyes universe and based on a popular conspiracy theory. This won the 2015 Rushmoor Writers Founders Cup Competition, which gave me a nice boost in terms of sending the story elsewhere (which I’ve done).
- Operation Loch Ness – a new twist on the strange goings-on at Loch Ness, this was recently rejected by Lightspeed Magazine and Andromeda Spaceways. Andromeda gave me some really positive feedback, however, praising the writing and how quickly it draws you in, basically recommending some changes to the ending. Looking to get some more opinions on this one (since they didn’t specify what needed changing).
- The Babushka Lady – drawing on the JFK and Marilyn Monroe assassination conspiracy theories, this story was rejected by Lightspeed Magazine, but has since undergone a change to its ending thanks to some useful feedback from my housemate! This one is now under consideration at Andromeda Spaceways.
So that’s about where I’m at, and fingers crossed I’ll have some more good news to share soon.
In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
Next week: Did a munchkin commit suicide in The Wizard of Oz?