The year's final issue of Lamplight Magazine is out, featuring the final installment of my serial novella, "And I Watered It, In Tears." I know I spend a fair amount of time here pimping my work and announcing sales and all that, and again, I have no idea if anyone really IS buying and reading my work, but I guess if I would pick ONE thing of mine that I'm proudest of to date, something I really poured a lot of emotion and personal experience into, something I would like ALL of you to read, it would be this story.
The idea came to me waiting in line to pay our kinda-late NYSEG electric bill, when I marveled at what a social cross-section was there, waiting to pay their bills, also. I mean, most everyone has to pay their electric bill, right? And lots of people have probably been late on their electric bill now and then. I found in that experience a very common, almost universal, blue-collar struggle.
And, the novella's denouement is literally ripped from a wrenching personal experience that ALMOST came true. Luckily it didn't, but the possibility of what could've happened has haunted me for years, so when I saw where the novella was going when I first started writing it (about a year ago) I knew I was finally going to write about that experience, and it was hard, and very emotional, but also very cathartic. It sounds ridiculous, but the experience offered a revelation very similar to the one Ray Bradbury experienced when writing "The Lake" and I feel as if my stories from now on will be very different because of this novella.
Also, I felt as if I was trying very much to mix styles in this story. I wanted it laced with suspense and tried to end every segment with that "cliffhanger tug" because, of course, this was a serial novella, and I wanted to somehow pull readers issue to issue. BUT, I was also trying to go create some atmosphere but also punctuate that with brief, visceral (but hopefully not too grotesque) scenes of physical horror. I'm not sure how it all reads, but I know it's something I like very, very much, which is unusual for me. I feel like I actually DID something with this story.
And, something I think will happen a lot more lately: this could be called a "Clifton Heights" story, taking place in the small, haunted fictional Adirondack town that will debuting in my first collection, Things Slip Through, coming November 2013. I'm writing a lot of those stories lately, and I feel like I've got a lot of good stories about that town waiting to be written, novellas especially (I recently subbed a Clifton Heights novella to one big publisher, and am currently finishing another Clifton Heights novella for another fairly big publisher. Cross your fingers...)
Anyway, here comes the rare pitch: folks, if you get a chance - please check this serial novella out. The first installment is free, because the first issue of Lamplight is free. The following issues are only $2.99 in a variety of formats, and Issue Four is in Kindle and Smashwords, with other formats to follow:
In addition, I highly recommend submitting to Lamplight, as they're open again to submissions. My experience with editor Jacob Haddon was extremely pleasant. He was professional, efficient, and gave excellent feedback regarding my novella. I think he's got a good plan: a quarterly ezine that will produce an annual "Year in Lamplight" print volume. And honestly, it's a sold, decent paying market, and we need more of those out there.
Anyway. If you get a chance, please give "And I Watered It, In Tears" a try. And writers, go forth and submit to Lamplight, and spread the word, also.