This month has been a busy one for me as an editor. I have some of my first "outside" contracts under my belt now in addition to my own work at May December Publications. I will admit to not being perfect, but I am constantly reading and studying and doing my best to improve. Also, when mistakes are pointed out to me, I make it a point to address them. I want to revisit some of our older titles because I have learned so much since we produced that first anthology--Eye Witness: Zombie. I did not realize until this evening as I sat down to put this together that I have edited 13 anthologies that are currently in print, with a few more coming out this year. The biggest thing that I am still in awe of is the fact that so many talented writers send the result of their hard work to ME! I can't list you all here, but I want to thank every single author who not only has appeared in an MDP anthology, but simply taken the time to submit. Whether or not you were selected, I still appreciate your hard work.
That is the good part. Sadly, there has to be a balance. Perhaps it is because we are starting to offer a few bucks here and there, but we are seeing a considerable amount of submissions when we announce our newest projects. The good side is that I am seeing some amazing stuff. Sometimes I read a story and I honestly can't believe that the author sent it to ME. Some of you are so amazingly talented. Even better, you read the submission guidelines and so everything is neat and orderly. A few of you have gone so far as to have an editor clean up your work before submission. It is so nice to read a clean submission. Sadly, there is also the polar opposite of that scale. What would possess you to think that your third-person zombie western fits our first-person vampire anthology? Or...and this is a REAL example that I saw several times.when we put out a call for FIRST TIMERS and you have an Amazon Author page with a half-dozen titles...are you just that dense? Can you write, but some malady struck you so that you can't READ? I am not going to harp on this today...but I will say this--if you aren't able to read the submission guidelines, I won't be reading your story. The end.
So, if you are sitting there with your panties in a bunch...chances are, you are part of the problem. So let me pose this to you. If your boss told you to do a project a specific way and you threw those suggestions out the window and just did it "your way" and ended up getting sacked...whose fault is it? And if you think I would do it out of some personal spite, you are not paying attention. I have no idea who writes the stories I read for any given anthology until after all the submissions are read and scored. I don't play favorites. Funny thing, I could despise your being, and if your story scores high, you would make it in based on talent. We will never change that aspect here at May December Publications.
Okay, enough of the soapbox. Nobody really wants to read a thousand word rant. And if you do, there are plenty of nutjobs to oblige that need. I want to take a second to announce for those who don't know that I am choosing the August Camp NaNoWriMo to write (or get a good start on) the fifth book in the DEAD series--Dead: Siege & Survival. However, I have also decided to participate in their sponsor program. So, if you are so inclined, donate to support the cause. 50,000 words in the month of August is not so bad, but my goal is closer to 100,000. I need to log over 3,000 words a day and my personal goal is 3,500 for a total of 108,500 words. I hope I have your support, and just as importantly, I hope some of you will decide to support NaNoWriMo. You can do so right here from this blog if the mood strikes you.
As I wrap up today, I want to take a few minutes to address some people in my life that I am very fond of and probably have seemed distant from lately. The funny thing about deciding to pursue my dream of being a full-time author and editor is that I actually have less free time than when I did this AND held a day job. The reason is simple; there is no safety net. If I tank...if my books don't sell...the electricity is shut off. I'm not making Stephen King money. In fact, if you broke me down hourly versus what I make in a month, I am barely beating out a Third World sweat shop. I hit the ground running around 6AM and can often be found at my desk after midnight. That is Monday through Saturday. It would be Sunday, but we made a choice in this house to commit to family time on Sundays. There are no computers on in this house until after 7PM. We (Denise and I) read, go for hikes, take walks, and basically tune out the world. I am determined to make it doing what I always dreamed of doing. Sadly, I have had to cut out a lot of "hanging out" time. This first year is crucial. I miss some of you terribly because I have made so few real friends in my life, but I hope you will be patient and wait this out with me. I promise that I haven't forgotten you, and very soon, things will get better. I won't necessarily have less work, but I will be able to allow myself the chance to breathe. Right now, I feel like if I take a moment, this whole thing will dry up and blow away. I understand that is irrational thought, but it doesn't make it any less real in my head. I will try my best to say "Hi" and socialize every so often, but I have issues that are my own and I have to work hard right now because that is how my mind works. I know for a fact that I wouldn't be where I am without the support I have received from some of you who are reading this page. Don't think I am not aware...and never feel that those of you who have embraced my books and taken the time to introduce yourself to me are not important. I WOULD NOT BE HERE WITHOUT YOU!!! I have called some of you friend...and that is a word I don't toss out there on a whim. So, my friends, be patient with your slightly crazy writer friend. This really is harder than it looks.
Tomorrow, Dana Fredsti will be here. Yep, an honest to goodness DEADITE from Bruce Campbell's Army of Darkness. How many of you just quoted your favorite line? "Well hello, Mister Fancy Pants!" She is also a writer AND a cat lover. She will tell you all about it on Friday. Don't miss it.