This year one of my New Year’s hopes – specifically not a resolution – was to find an agent and to be published.
Many of you will know that I have been writing/editing a series of Steampunk books under the parent title of Shattered Lands.
However, I spotted an open event on Facebook with the independent publisher Fringe Works. I knew of them because they had published a story by the very talented author Jonathan Green, creator of Pax Britannia and Ulysses Quicksilver. If you haven’t read them, you ought to.
Knowing that getting published would helps chances of getting further publication I decided to accept their challenge. I had four days to write a short story that was up to 4,000 words long, which took a story by the Brothers Grimm, and totally re-imagined it.
Now, I have two daughters, and they would have never forgiven me had I taken Cinderalla, Briar Rose or Rapunzel and added swearing, bullets and copious amounts of blood and bodies.
After a couple of hours of looking at their stories, I decided that I would take Death’s Messengers. Story decided I cracked on. When I say I had four days, what I meant to say was that I had four nights as my incredibly responsible job and my beautiful wife and daughters also required the attention they deserved.
Mission accomplished, I ensured that I had formatted the document to their specifications and sent it off. Taking into account that fact that I knew other already published authors and editors were also entering, I didn’t get my hopes up not me, this was making sure that I got myself on track and started to put my work on the line.
You can imagine just how bloody ecstatic I was when I got an email saying that they had accepted my story for inclusion in one of their volumes.
As an aside, I had also been involved in a competition to come up with a title for an anthology of short stories based around Undead Nazis. Let’s say that again. Undead. Nazis. Two of the coolest subjects under the same roof! Everyone loves to hate the undead and everyone hates the Nazis.
If I’m honest, I could say that I got the bit between the teeth and spammed the thread with ideas. I got talking to them and then, after chancing my hand, they asked me to edit the book!
Not only am I going to be published, I shall also have ‘Edited by Matthew Sylvester’ on one of the coolest short story collections ever!
On top of this, in November I shall be attending a writing course with the Black Library! Authors such as Dan Abnett and Aaron DB will be coaching me through writing a story worthy of submission to the Black Library.
So, if you want to write WRITE you have nothing to lose, and a lot more to gain!