200 Rejections: An Analysis

I recently found myself wondering how many rejections I’ve received since I started using Duotrope (religiously) to track my submissions. So, uh, I went and looked . . .

I’ve received 218 rejections. Is that a lot? Maybe, but to me it (usually) just feels like my fair share. The inevitable result of nearly 300 submissions. It’s important to note I received rejections before Duotrope came into my life. Sadly, many of these literary fossils are lost to the ether in a now-defunct Hotmail account or were honest-to-god paper rejection letters (I really wish I’d kept some of those). So, today, I’m just going to talk about the 218 rejections I’ve logged in Duotrope. Stats ahead.

  • First Rejection: I logged my first rejection (again, into Duotrope) on May 5th, 2012. Interestingly, this rejection was from a market that would go on to reject me a lot in the years ahead. They set the tone, you might say. I didn’t submit a lot of short fiction in those first couple of years. My submission (and rejection) volume really picked up in 2014.
  • Last Rejection: My most recent rejection . . . Hang on, let me check my email. As I was saying, my most recent rejection came yesterday on April 17th, 2018. This was my twelfth (12) rejection from this particular market.
  • Distinct Stories: I have submitted 56 distinct stories since May of 2012. That number surprised me. It feels like a lot more. Eighteen (18) of those stories are short stories of 2,000 words or more, and the remaining thirty-six (36) are flash stories of 1,000 words or fewer.
  • Distinct Markets: Now the reason it might feel like I sent more distinct stories is I sent those stories to a bunch of different markets. According to Duotrope, I have submitted stories to seventy-five (75) distinct markets. Most of them are still alive and kicking, but seventeen (17) are now defunct or on indefinite hiatus.
  • Most Rejections (Market): The most rejections I have received from a single market is nineteen (19). Now, let me qualify that by saying I have also received eleven (11) acceptances from the same market. Since that’s kind of unusual, there are three runners-up tied for most rejections without an acceptance at twelve (12).
  • Most Rejected (Story): My most-rejected story currently sits at eighteen (18) rejections and is out for submission yet again. Why do I keep sending this one out? Well, it’s been shortlisted a number of times and the rejections are generally positive. In addition, my second most rejected story was accepted and published after sixteen (16) rejections.

What’s the point of this little trip down memory lane? Mostly this. If you submit a lot of fiction, well, you’re gonna get a lot of rejections. It sounds grim, but it’s actually not a bad thing. I am absolutely not the same writer I was on May 5th, 2012 when I logged that first Duotrope rejection. In the 200-plus rejections that followed, I learned a whole bunch about writing and submitting, and, if I may be so bold, I got a lot better at both.

So embrace your rejections. Count them up each time you submit a story. Cherish those battle scars that prove you can take a hit, learn a thing or two, and come back for more.

Let’s talk again when I hit 300. 🙂

A Week of Writing: 4/9/18 to 4/15/18

One more week in the books. One more week of progress. One more week of writing.

The Novel

After less than ideal production the week before, I accomplished something resembling a respectable pace last week. Not where I wanted to be, but not bad. The good news is I passed 60,000 words, and I’m barreling toward the third act. I figure there’s probably between 25,000 and 30,000 words left to write (maybe a bit less). A first draft at the end of the month or early next is a distinct possibility.

Date Day Words Written
4/9/2018 Monday 0
4/10/2018 Tuesday 2515
4/11/2018 Wednesday 788
4/12/2018 Thursday 0
4/13/2018 Friday 1712
4/14/2018 Saturday
4/15/2018 Sunday 1074

Another 6,089 words added to the tally. Not the 10,000 I was hoping for, but not bad. This week, I’ll once again set my sights high and see where I end up.

Short Stories

I worked on short stories quite a bit last week, and I heavily revised two old trunk stories I think might have a shot at publication now. I also narrowed down which of my half-complete stories I want to finish next. It’s a historical fantasy piece set in Imperial Rome called (tentatively) “Wild Things.” It’s been percolating for a couple of years, and I think I know where to go with it now.

Submissions

A little light on submissions last week. I have some new stories making the rounds, though, so I expect that to pick up this week.

  • Submissions Sent: 2
  • Rejections: 1
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 1

I currently have fourteen (14) submissions under consideration. As I keep saying, a couple of these are getting very long in the tooth, so I expect to hear back soon. I also have a story shortlisted I should hear a yea or nay on soon (fingers crossed). The story I was excited about in the last update, “Teeth of the Lion Man,” has already received two rejections from two of my go-to markets, but it’ll go out again this week.

Publications

A new category this week because, well, I actually have something to put into it. My urban fantasy flash fiction story “New Arrivals” was published in the April issue of Havok. You can check out the issue below.

The Blog

Another new category, and this one is kind of an “Oh, duh.” I managed three blog posts last week on Rejectomancy, which, for me, is ideal output. If you’d like to catch up, just click the links below.

4/9/18: A Week of Writing: 4/2/18 to 4/8/18

Yep, my writing update for that week. Pretty self explanatory.

4/11/18: Back to Basics: The Cover Letter

I went back to this well traveled subject and broke down my basic cover letter into its component parts. Some dos and don’ts about cover letters and a very simple example you have my blessing to steal outright. 🙂

4/13/18: Ranks of the Rejected: Avily Jerome (Havok Magazine)

This was a good one. I interviewed Avily Jerome, the editor of Havok, and she had lots of great advice for writers and rejectomancers.

Goals

This week it’s more work on the novel, and I’d like to hit 10,000 words. I’ll send out more submissions (probably get more rejections too), as I march toward a goal of 100 submission for the year. I finished the outline for the game design project last week and turned it in. The editor liked it, and gave me the green light to start writing. The deadline is a comfortable two months away, but I’ll start in on it this week.

Story Spotlight

This week its one of my weirder stories and the first story I published with The Molotov Cocktail. It’s called “At the Seams,” and it’s about falling apart. Literally. 🙂

Read “At the Seams

A Week of Writing: 4/2/18 to 4/8/18

Another week has come and gone, and here are my writing triumphs and failures laid bare for your amusement and edification.

The Novel

So, uh, yeah, I’m like writing this horror novel with a desired goal of 15,000 words a week and a minimum goal of 10,000 words. Well, friends, I didn’t hit either of those numbers, and this week was, to put it bluntly, pretty much shit for novel production. Behold my shame.

Date Day Words Written
4/2/2018 Monday 0
4/3/2018 Tuesday 0
4/4/2018 Wednesday 0
4/5/2018 Thursday 2519
4/6/2018 Friday 0
4/7/2018 Saturday 0
4/8/2018 Sunday 577

Yep, I managed only 3,096 words on the novel this week. Not great, but still positive yardage, and I did figure out a few tangled plot points that’ll make the writing easier from here on out. I shall do better this week.

Short Stories

Okay, kind of got my shit together here, especially compared to my epic failure on the novel. I finished the revisions on three stories, one of which is a tale called “Teeth of the Lion Man.” I’m pretty excited about that one because I’ve been laboring on the damn thing for like four years. I spruced up a few other stories that had been hanging around, and I’m generally happy with the results.

Submissions

Last week was a very good week for submissions, both in volume and responses.

  • Submissions Sent: 6
  • Rejections: 2
  • Acceptances: 1

I currently have fourteen submissions under consideration.

Story Date Sent Days Out Avg Response
Caroline1 6/24/2017 289 263
A Small Evil 11/9/2017 151 72
The Scars You Keep 1/7/2018 92 123
When the Lights Go On2 1/25/2018 74 45
Bites 2/8/2018 60
Old as the Trees 2/28/2018 40 24
What Kind of Hero 3/24/2018 16 105
Two Legs 3/26/2018 14 32
Scar 3/29/2018 11 40
Burning Man 4/3/2018 6
Red Season 4/3/2018 6
Teeth of the Lion Man 4/8/2018 1 5
The Inside People 4/8/2018 1 10
A Point of Honor 4/8/2018 1 15
  1. Reprint
  2. Shortlisted

I received responses on two of the stories that had been in that 45- to 75-day range: one rejection and one acceptance. I can’t talk about the acceptance just yet, but it’s a good one (I mean, they’re all good), and I’m pretty excited about it. Some of the new submissions I sent out are to markets that are generally speedy, so I would expect to heat back from them this week.

Goals

This week I aim to get back on track with the novel, but I’m not gonna set some lofty goal of 15,000 words or more to catch up. Instead, I’ll set my sights on a humble 10,000 words and get delusional about my production again on the following week. I do have one deadline looming I need to hit, an outline for a game design project. Since I never miss deadlines (true story), I’ll be knocking that out this week.

Story Spotlight

This week, I’d like you to head on out to The Arcanist, and check out my latest story, “The Food Bank,” published on on 4/6. It’s your typical post-apocalyptic horror flash fiction about giant bugs. 🙂

Read “The Food Bank

A Week of Writing: 3/26/18 to 4/1/18

One more week in the trenches working on various writing projects. Here’s how it all shook out, complete with word count goals, short story sundries, and submission shenanigans.

The Novel

As I said last week, my big project for the moment is a horror novel called “Late Risers.” I’m making pretty good progress, with a weekly goal of 15,000 words, which I often fall short of. Still, I have a minimum do-or-die goal of 10,000 words I can hit pretty routinely. Here’s how I did this week.

Date Day Words Written
3/26/2018 Monday 0
3/27/2018 Tuesday 2516
3/28/2018 Wednesday 0
3/29/2018 Thursday 0
3/30/2018 Friday 2553
3/31/2018 Saturday 2091
4/1/2018 Sunday 2852

As you can see, I struggled early in the week to get going but managed to turn it on for the weekend. I ended up with 10,012 words for the week, which put me at 53,500 words in total. That’s a bit over half-way to a first draft, so I’m pretty happy with that. If I can keep this up, I expect to have a first draft by the end of the month.

Short Stories

No new short stories this week, but I did outline an urban fantasy story tentatively called “Deep Water.” I like the idea, and we’ll see if I can get some real work done on it this week.

Submissions

An average week for submission volume.

  • Submissions Sent: 2
  • Rejections: 1
  • Submission Status Query: 1
  • Shortlist: 0
  • Withdrawal: 0

I currently have eleven submissions in rotation at the moment.

Story Date Sent Days Out Avg Response
Caroline1 6/24/2017 282 261
A Small Evil 11/9/2017 144 65
The Scars You Keep 1/7/2018 85 123
Scare Tactics1 1/18/2018 74
When the Lights Go On2 1/25/2018 67 40
Bites 2/8/2018 53
A Point of Honor 2/18/2018 43 10
Old as the Trees 2/28/2018 33 24
What Kind of Hero 3/24/2018 9 119
Two Legs 3/26/2018 7 32
Scar 3/29/2018 4 40
  1. Reprint
  2. Shortlisted

As I said last time, a few of these stories are beyond the average response time, so I should hear back soon. I did send a submission status query to one of these publishers, mostly because the wait time is much longer than what I’ve previously experienced with the market. That could simply mean they’ve had a lot more submission than usual, or it could mean a lost submission. I sent a polite query letter basically to rule out the latter.

Goals

Again, I’d very much like to hit 15,000 words on the novel this week, but, as usual, I’ll settle for 10,000. I accepted a contract for game design project, and I need to get the outline for that going. It’s not due for a couple of weeks, but I’d like to get ahead of the deadline. As always, I have a whole bunch of short stories just crying out to be finished, revised, submitted, and so on, and I’ll try to get to a few of those as well.

Story Spotlight

This week, since baseball season is in full swing, I’ll ask you to head on over to Pseudopod and listen to my vampire baseball story “Night Games.” The narration by Rish Outfield is simply superb, and I think the story is pretty okay too. 🙂

Listen to “Night Games


And that was my week. Tell me about yours in the comments.

A Week of Writing: 3/19/18 to 3/25/18

Starting a new feature here on the ol’ blog. Every Monday or thereabouts, I’ll update you on the writing I did for the week prior. How many words I wrote on which projects, how many stories I competed, how many I submitted, and so on. The purpose of this is partly to keep myself on track and also to explore my, uh, “process.”  So, without further ado, here’s my writing week from Monday, March 19th to Sunday, March 25th.

The Novel

My big project is a horror novel I’ve been working on for a couple of months. The working title is Late Risers, and when it’s a little further along I’ll tell you all about it and maybe share a snippet or two in these updates. For now, I’ll just talk about getting the damn thing on the page.

With big projects I like to get at least 10,000 words a week. I generally set a loftier goal of 15,000 words, and if I hit that, awesome, but I feel like I’ve accomplished something if I can get my 10K. So, here’s the week:

Date Day Words Written
3/19/2018 Monday 2576
3/20/2018 Tuesday 2505
3/21/2018 Wednesday 2500
3/22/2018 Thursday  0
3/23/2018 Friday  0
3/24/2018 Saturday  0
3/25/2018 Sunday 2514

I had a pretty good head of steam going early in the week, knocking out 2,500 words three days in a row. Obviously, Thursday through Saturday were a little rough, mostly because of some plain ol’ life stuff that couldn’t be avoided. I got back on track Sunday and ended my week with 10,095 words. That’s not too shabby. The book now sits at 43,500 words, and I’m in the middle of the second act.

I’m gonna set my sights on 15,000 words again this week, which should put me toward the end of the second act and heading into the home stretch.

Short Stories

I’m always working on short stories, and as I sit here and write this blog post, I have seven of them open on my desktop in various stages of completion. I did finish one piece of flash fiction this week as part of a one-hour flash challenge contest. The story is called “It Makes the Trees Grow,” and it’s a neat little supernatural crime piece. It needs some spit and polish, but it’ll go out for submission this week.

Submissions

A slightly below-average week for submission volume.

  • Submissions Sent: 1
  • Rejections: 3
  • Shortlist: 1
  • Withdrawal: 1

The shortlist and withdrawal are kind of rare. For some reason, I don’t get a lot of shortlist letters. That may be because I don’t submit to anthologies much, where they’re seem to be more common. Or it might just be editors either like my story enough to accept it or dislike it enough to simply reject it. No middle ground. I sent the withdrawal letter after I sent a submission status query and didn’t hear back for quite some time. That’s usually a clear indicator it’s time to withdraw the story.

I still have ten submissions in rotation at the moment, and a few of them are getting pretty long in the tooth. Here’s the list if you’re into analyzing wait times like me.

Story Date Sent Days Out Avg Response
Caroline1 6/24/17 275 261
A Small Evil 11/9/17 137 65
The Scars You Keep 1/7/18 78 123
Scare Tactics1 1/18/18 67
When the Lights Go On2 1/25/18 60 40
Big Changes 1/30/18 55 39
Bites 2/8/18 46
A Point of Honor 2/18/18 36 10
Old as the Trees 2/28/18 26 24
What Kind of Hero 3/24/18 2 119
  1. Reprint
  2. Shortlisted

As you can see, I should probably hear back on a few of these soon. You always hope that the longer a story goes beyond the average response time, the more chance it has at being accepted, but, in my experience, that’s not always the case. Sometimes editors just fall behind or get more submissions than they expected for a submission window. Still, I feel pretty good about a couple of these.

Goals

This week, I’d like to ad another 15,000 words to the novel first and foremost. Then I’d like to finish revising a short story called “Teeth of the Lion Man,” which I’m pretty excited about. I think it’s one of the better shorts I’ve written in some time. If I pull those two things off, everything else–submissions, other shorts, etc.–will just be gravy.

Story Spotlight

This is the part of the post where I ask you to read a thing I wrote. This week, check out a flash fiction story I published with Evil Girlfriend Media a few years ago called “The Rarest Cut.” It’s, uh, a horror story with a culinary theme. 🙂

Read “The Rarest Cut”


And that was my week. Tell me about yours in the comments.

Submission Statement: February 2018

February is in the rearview, and despite a significant drop in the number of submissions sent, it was a pretty good month. I broke the longest rejections streak of my career at 27, so that alone makes February a-okay in my book.

February 2018 Report Card

  • Submissions Sent: 5
  • Rejections: 7
  • Acceptances: 1
  • Publications: 0

I sent only a quarter of the submissions I sent in January, but I’m still on pace to hit 100 submissions for the year, with an average of 12.5 per month for the first two months. The main culprits for the lower submission count are a lack of new stories and some markets taking a little longer than usual to get back to me (keeping me from submitting the story elsewhere). Both of those factors should change in March.

Rejections

A fair amount of rejections this month, mostly from older submissions sent in January.

  • Standard Form Rejection: 7
  • Upper-Tier Form Rejection: 0
  • Personal Rejections: 0

All the rejections I received were garden-variety form rejections, but I’ll show you a couple just because I think they contain some solid advice.

Highlight Rejection 1: Sent 1/31/2017; Rejected 2/5/2018

We appreciate you taking the time to send us your story, [story title]. After careful consideration we’ve decided to pass on this story. There are many reasons a story is not accepted, most of which are subjective in nature, so don’t let our denial deter your from sending your story to other publications. We wish you the best of luck on finding a publication for this story. 

This is a standard form rejection from a new pro-paying market. I like this rejection because it mentions the subjective nature of getting a story published. Good stories are rejected all the time for all kinds of reasons. The editor’s reminder not to let that deter you from sending the story elsewhere is good advice and appreciated, even in a form letter.

Highlight Rejection 2: Sent 1/25/2018; Rejected 2/9/2018

Thank you for submitting your story, [story title], to [publisher]. Unfortunately, we have decided not to publish it. To date, we have reviewed many strong stories that we did not take. Either the fit was wrong or we’d just taken tales with a similar theme or any of a half dozen other reasons.

Best success selling this story elsewhere.

You’ve certainly seen this rejection on my blog before (I’ll crack this market one of these days), but I’m including it here because of this sentence: To date, we have reviewed many strong stories that we did not take. I don’t believe this is a hollow platitude, and, as the letter says, I’m sure this publisher has turned down strong stories for fit or similar themes or many other reasons.

I’ve published four stories this market rejected, and I don’t bring that up because this market was wrong for rejecting my work (they were right to do so for the reasons they listed and probably a few they didn’t). I bring it up to demonstrate those stories were simply a better fit for another market, and continuing to submit them was the right move. So, when you get a rejection, don’t jump to “I wrote a bad story.” Instead, remember, “To date, we have reviewed many strong stories that we did not take.”

Acceptances

Stop the presses; I get to talk about an acceptance this month. 🙂

Acceptance: Sent 1/4/2018; Rejected 2/20/2018

Thanks for your submission, [story title].  I’m happy to say that I’ve acquired it for [publisher] [themed] issue!

There’s more to this letter, of course, but it’s all the usual stuff about contracts and edits and whatnot. I’ll announce the market and the story soon. This will be my second publication with this market, and I’m thrilled to add another repeat customer to my resume.


That’s it for my February. How was your month?

Ranks of the Rejected: Andrew Bourelle

This time on Ranks of the Rejected I spoke with an author who directly inspired me to get off my ass and start submitting stories on a regular basis. I met Andrew Bourelle through his brother Ed Bourelle, a friend and colleague, and we started trading stories about six years ago. Not only did Andrew give me great feedback on my work, his dogged persistence in the face of rejection is part of what inspired me to start this blog. In fact, whenever I tell a story about a “writer friend” to demonstrate some point about not letting rejections get to you, half the time I’m talking about Andrew.

Folks, this guy is the poster child for sticking to your guns, working on your craft, and not letting rejections slow you down. His perseverance (and oodles of talent) have resulted in some well deserved success over the last couple of years, and I couldn’t be happier for him. So check out the interview below, absorb the wisdom therein, and then go read Andrew’s stuff.


1) What genres do you typically write? Do you have a favorite? If so, what about that genre draws you to it?

 My writing tends to be pretty varied, I think. I’ve published stories in literary journals, and I’ve published genre stories as well: mystery, horror, science fiction, etc. I’ve never really been able to confine myself to one genre. I don’t stop myself and say, “Wait, you’re a literary writer—you can’t write a post-apocalyptic monster story.” If I have an idea, I write it. And if I think the story is halfway decent, I make some attempt to find a place to publish it.

Lately, I’ve been writing a lot of mystery/thriller fiction. I love to be surprised by what I read, and mysteries and thrillers are built to surprise readers. I like to put my foot on the gas and take readers for a fun ride. I’m working on mystery/thriller novel that’s giving me a chance to do that.

2) You recently published your first novel, Heavy Metal. Tell us a little about how that book came together and how you went about the business of getting it published.

I wrote Heavy Metal as an experiment to see if I could write a novel. It’s a coming-of-age story set in the late 1980s. The main character is contemplating suicide, and in many ways the book is a character study. But I also wanted the narrative to pull readers in and keep them engaged. The novel has been described as suspenseful, intense, heartbreaking—which are all adjectives I’m happy with.

As I wrote it, I didn’t really think about how it could be labeled or marketed. I just wrote the story that was coming out of me. However, when it came time to find an agent or publisher, no one really seemed to know what to do with it. Is it a literary novel? A Young Adult novel? I didn’t care how it was categorized. I just wanted to write a book that might resonate with readers. But I imagine most agents took one look at the query letter and said, “Eh, I don’t know how to sell this.”

After a few years of failing to find an agent to represent the book, I pretty much gave up hope of ever seeing the book in print. Then it occurred to me that literary publishers often hold contests and publish the winning manuscripts. It’s one way that story collections and literary books that don’t seem to fit into easy commercial categories find a publisher. I figured I’d give it a shot. It ended up winning one of the first contests I entered—the Autumn House Fiction Prize. I’ve read past winners of the prize and am honored and humbled to be in their company. I think my editor told me there were more than 500 submissions. Somehow, from that pool, Heavy Metal was selected to be one of a dozen or so finalists, and the final judge, William Lychack (the author of a wonderful coming-of-age novel called The Wasp Eater), picked it as the winner. I always thought if the right person would just read the book, they would want to publish it. That’s essentially what happened; it just took longer than I thought to find the right person to read it.

3) Your story “Y Is for Yangchuan Lizard” was recently chosen for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2018. This is your second go-around in the anthology, and I know your last story led to something pretty cool. Tell us a bit about that.

A story of mine called “Cowboy Justice” was picked to be in The Best American Mystery Stories 2015, which by itself is one of the highlights of my writing career. But it also opened up a really interesting door for me. James Patterson was the guest editor that year and picked the final selection of stories. Around the time the anthology was coming out, his people contacted me and said he was getting ready to launch a new series of short thrillers, called BookShots, and wanted to know if I was interested in coauthoring something with him.

We worked on a short thriller called The Pretender, which was published in 2016 in Triple Threat, a collection of three of his BookShots. The Pretender is also available as a downloadable audio book. It’s a fun story about a retired diamond thief who can’t outrun his past. It was an extraordinary experience to work with James Patterson, and I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity.

4) Okay, this blog is called Rejectomancy, so tell us about your first rejection letter or the first one that had a significant impact on you as a writer.

I think my first rejection came in high school. My teacher knew I liked to write and passed along information about a “short short story” competition. (I wish I could remember what journal held the contest, but I’ve forgotten.) I think the stories had to be 250 words or fewer. I wrote something and sent it in, knowing 100-percent that I wouldn’t win. But the act of sending something out seemed really important to me, like I was telling the universe that I wanted to be a writer.

In some ways, receiving the form rejection was validating to me. No one laughed at me. No one said, “Are you crazy, kid? You’re out of your league!” I got the same form rejection all the other real writers got. I have no idea if they took my story all that seriously, but it at least felt like they had.

 5) Got a favorite rejection? Memorable, funny, just straight-up weird?

The worst rejections are the personal ones where an editor’s critique of the story is unhelpful. I recently received a rejection where the editor said that the “tense shifts were distracting.” I thought, “Oh, there are tense shifts in there? What a rookie mistake.” I carefully reread the story and there weren’t any tense problems. I thought, “Did you copy the text from your last rejection into my rejection by mistake? Did you even read my story?”

On the other hand, there have been times where editors have made editorial suggestions that turned out to be valuable. I remember my short story “Little Healers” was rejected by Pseudopod, and the editor made a note about a problem he had with the story. I hadn’t noticed the issue before, but once it had been pointed out to me, I agreed with the assessment. I revised the story and sent it elsewhere. It was published in the anthology Swords & Steam Short Stories and was listed as an honorable mention for Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year. If it wasn’t for the rejection, I might never have seen the problem.

6) What’s the toughest part of rejection for you? Pro tips for dealing with it?

I think one of the keys to not letting rejections get to you is to have plenty of stuff out there under consideration. If you only have one or two stories that you have under consideration at one time, then a rejection can feel like a real setback. But if you’ve got 10 or 12 stories under consideration at 15 to 20 different publications, then you always have stuff in circulation. A single rejection doesn’t hurt much because you have other stories under consideration at the same time.

When I was submitting stories early on, I would only have one or two that I believed in, and I’d submit those to one publication each, even if simultaneous submissions were allowed. Then I’d wait however many months for a response and be bummed when a rejection rolled in. The key for me was writing more stories, getting more out there under consideration, and not putting too much hope in any one submission.

7) Plug away. Tells us about some of your recent projects and why we should run out and buy them.

You mentioned my story “Y Is for Yangchuan Lizard” is coming out in this year’s volume of The Best American Mystery Stories, which will be published in October. I was unbelievably excited when I got the news. The table of contents includes authors like T.C. Boyle, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Joyce Carol Oates—writers I’ve read, admired, and learned from.

Another big publication on the horizon is a second project with James Patterson. Texas Ranger, a novel he and I coauthored, is scheduled to be released in August. It was a lot of fun to work on. I recently received an ARC, and it was a real thrill to see my name on the cover with James Patterson. I can’t wait to see the novel in bookstores!

  


Andrew Bourelle is the author of the novel Heavy Metal. His short stories, poems, and comics (illustrated by his brother Ed Bourelle) have been published in journals and anthologies, including The Best American Mystery Stories, D Is for Dinosaur, Equus, Florida Review, Heavy Feather Review, Prime Number Magazine, The Molotov Cocktail, Weirdbook Magazine, and Whitefish Review. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewBourelle.