Midnight on the Jetty was the first horror short story I ever wrote, back in the heady days of just having left my job and ploughing through the first draft of Harbinger. It was a cool diversionary exercise – a creepy little story inspired by my recent stay in Esperance and the lonely night time walks I took down to the end of the serpentine jetty that wound its way out to sea. I was always fascinated by the blinking light at the far end of the jetty, the squid ink marks that looked so much like blood stains in the dark, and the reason why old fishermen would tread the boards at some ungodly hour and risk the biting wind and rain instead of finding sanctuary in the warmth of home.
I was the outsider then. No ties to the town, no reason to be there except as an escape from a soulless motel room. The story wrote itself in my mind long before I ever put fingers to keyboard.
And now it’s been accepted for publication.
By The Book of Dark Wisdom. My first professional sale in the US!
Esperance was good for me in so many ways. There I enjoyed my last training assignment at Centrelink before my promotion to the managerial ranks back in Perth. I lost several kilos in a concentrated fitness regime of walking many kms every day. I also hatched the idea for Midnight on the Jetty, as well as the novelette, Kraken, which has now morphed into Beneath the Southern Waves, and the centrepiece to my short monster fiction collection, Beasts of the Southern Shore. Good times.
Speaking of good times, there seems to be an Australian explosion of excellent anthology opportunities at present.
Zara Baxter has her unique antho, Beauty, Charm & Strangeness (at pro rates!), for which I have a majorly warped but arse-kicking story idea.
The CSFG anthology-making machine have unveiled plans for ‘The Outcast’. Now, this was absolutely tailor-made for me. My second novel is entitled Outcast. Hell, even my IRC nickname back in the day was Outcast (and Maitreya, Harbinger, plus a bunch of others). So you’d think I’d have a story ready made – well, no not really. But ideas? Hell yeah! I’m pulsing with them right now!
I can’t forget C0ck of course. With a name like that, how could you? Now, I know I’m iffy when it comes to hardcore swearing (it’s unnecessary in my opinion, and both ‘c’ genitalia words get under my skin), but the concept of an anthology centred on masculinity and male issues sounds cool to me. I’ve felt exploration of masculinity was kinda overshadowed by the rise of feminism in recent decades. I’m talking about reasoned insights in the male character, not a propagation of chauvinistic or stereotypical twoddle. In that vein, I’m considering submitting my torrid dark erotica piece, Victims of Circumstance. I say erotica, but the intention was more about focussing on the male sexual need and the powerplay between men and women. Hats off to the boys for the idea for such an anthology. I still cringe at the name though, and truly shudder to consider the name of the female sequel. 🙂
Finally, Messrs Strahan and Byrne have announced Eidolon will make a return as a potential yearly anthology series. Woot! I arrived too late as a writer to contribute to Eidolon magazine, but I will damn well make sure I rectify that by putting in a strong submission to these guys.
Opportunities. Good times. Shopping calls…
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