Welcome to Night Walk Wednesday, where I talk about the submission journey of a story from my flash fiction anthology Night Walk & Other Dark Paths. This week’s story is “The Night, Forever, and Us.”
For once, this story did NOT start out in a one-hour flash fiction writing exercise. This is one of the few times, at least with flash, where I just had an idea I wanted to explore out of the blue, and then, you know, did that. I jammed out a first draft pretty quick, and then turned it over to some folks in my writing group for a critique. After some light revision and a bit of polish, it was ready for submission.
I write a lot of stories about vampires. It’s like a condition; I just can’t stop. In my defense, I do try to come at the befanged bloodsuckers from as fresh an angle as I can, and for the most part I think I pull it off. I mean, I’ve sold a bunch of vampire stories, right? Anyway, with “The Night, Forever, and Us”, I wanted a quiet piece, something with a lot of emotion that presented vampirism not as a monstrous curse but as salvation and hope. Yeah, I know that’s not exactly unique, but it let me explore the space in a way I generally don’t, and the story has a very different tone than most of my vampire stories.
I sold this one quick, but, for me, in a surprising way. Once I finished the story, I sent it off to two of my usual suspects and received quick rejections. Then, honestly, I sort of lost interest, moved on to other things, and the story sat for a while. Six months passed and a new horror flash fiction market opened called Love Letters to Poe. They wanted gothic horror, though, and if you know anything about my work, then you know this is not a sub-genre with which I am well acquainted. Still, Love Letters to Poe looked like a really cool market (and they are), so I racked my brain and searched my hard drive for a story that might fit. I came across “The Night, Forever, and Us,” and I thought, hey, this might work. I mean, Dracula is one of the gold standards for gothic horror, and my story ticked a few of those boxes. Well, I sent it in, and about a week later, I had an acceptance. Maybe I should write more gothic stuff. 🙂
Three submissions is about average for me with a flash fiction piece. I generally sell them much, much quicker than I do short stories, where I average about eight submissions.
If you enjoyed the submission journey of “The Night, Forever, and Us”, consider checking out 39 other frightful flashes in Night Walk & Other Dark Paths, which you can get in print and eBook by clicking the cover below.