Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

   Well, the Darklit Fest has come and gone. I’ll admit, I had some trepidation about going, would it be boring, will the publishers like my work, am I fooling myself, you know, that noisy inner critic of mine rearing its ugly head. I have to say though, it was a great experience. The authors were interesting, the publishers and editors on the panels were both funny and engaging.

   When I arrived, they asked if I wanted to do two pitch sessions as there were openings. Now I had no idea I could do two. I still am new to this so I had no idea what was considered proper etiquette, is it frowned upon do that? With a little hesitation, I blurted out my acceptance.

   The authors spoke of how horror seems to be evolving into ‘Splatterhouse’ horror and how they, to a one, don’t agree. True horror is in the emotions, blood is only used to add colour or emphasize a point. Don’t get me wrong, there is a market for ‘Gorror’ but it is not one I’m interested in trying on. One of the authors topped it off with a quote “Science Fiction is the literature of ideas, whereas Horror is the literature of emotions.” WOW! I like horror for the complexities inherent therein. The the textures of abject horror or heart wrenching grief are often highlighted by touches of humour or the tenderness of love. I’m sorry but to me gore is the flashy CGI, car chases and teen angst that Hollywood has replaced good story lines and complex plots with. Like anything else, it is good when used in moderation.

   I came away feeling maybe my ideas weren’t so off-beat AND with not one, but two publishers that are interested in Echoes. That is something I never expected; hoped for, yes, expected, no. It was like buying a lottery ticket. Both publishers were genuinely interested and exceptionally nice people to talk to, not at all what I expected, I’m ashamed to say.

   As writers we are constantly bombarded with the stories that getting published or getting an agent is a long grueling task. Years spent in slush piles on a desk somewhere, while additional manuscripts from other authors pile up on top of yours. Well, in one day, those stories were proven wrong, not once but twice. Lightning doesn’t strike twice. it’s not supposed to, so what do you do when it does? I don’t know either. The look of shock on my face must have been comical. I forgot how to speak English, for a moment I was reduced to caveman like grunting. Needless to say I don’t think I touched the floor for the rest of the day. I feel like I’ve butted in to the front of the line. I should still be at the back, biding my time, sending out querey letter after querey letter and pacing while I wait for a response.

   Forget fingernails, I’ll have gnawed them down past the first knuckle if not further waiting for a response from either.

About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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8 Responses to Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

  1. Lisa Llamrei says:

    Go, Dale, go! You’re the trailblazer for our group.

    You’d better research both publishers so you’ll know which one to choose when they’re both beating down your door to publish your novel.

  2. Thanks for coming to the DarkLit Fest, Dale, and I’m glad to hear you had a good time. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you regarding your pitch sessions. I’ve already heard from one young woman who sold a manuscript proposal yesterday at the fest, so you never know — dreams do come true! (And don’t forget to look for the DarkLit Fest again next year!)


  3. mary long says:

    hang 10 casper!you’re due.

  4. Go Dale!!!!! I so plan on riding your coattails WHEN you get published… ;-P

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