imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Monday, July 03, 2006
MY FIRST "FICTION CREDIT"
On January 4, 2000, my first story was "published" online at Zinos.com called Good Buy, Charlie. I was young(ish) and naive; I thought that that one pub credit would be a stepping stone for more published credits. After five years of no such luck, I returned to Zinos.com and "published" By The Book. I say "published" because I have a feeling that they'll upload most things you submit, so I don't consider them published credits.
I'll admit that I don't write very much, partly because I blog. Blogging definitely interferes with writing, so I haven't been agressively seeking publication, especially with new material. Writer's block doesn't help, either. And the market for short fiction is not that great.
In February, 2005, I started blogging a book of my short stories called Briefs and Other Unmentionables. It now has ten stories, including the two mentioned above. ("By The Book" is a longer version, and better, at my short story blog than the one posted at Zinos.com.)
Last July, Escape Pod, an online site which does podcasts of scifi stories, bought one of my stories. I was paid $5. It may not be a lot, but it was the first time I actually earned any money with my fiction. I was told to expect my story to be up by mid-autumn. I checked often, sometimes daily, but nothing. I e-mailed them after the New Year to inquire, saying that if they had lost my manuscript I could send another. Or if they had decided against it, then okay. And still no reply. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I came to the conclusion that they looked at this blog and decided they didn't like my politics. (I've noticed leftward leanings over there.)
So imagine my shock to find an e-mail from them this morning with this explanation:
I just wanted to let you know that Stuck In An Elevator With Mandy Patinkin has just been released as a flash feature on Escape Pod.
I won't be surprised if you'd given up on us by now -- sorry about that. We've held onto your story far longer than any other, and for a pretty dumb reason: I kept trying to find someone who could co-narrate for this with a passable Mandy Patinkin impression. That's much harder than it sounds -- Patinkin's voice is distinctive for its
_understated_ tone. I went through a few tries (including one really bad attempt at doing it myself), and then we had a time crunch and stopped producing flash for a while.
When I picked it back up, I decided to forget that whole approach, and had the entire story read by a competent female narrator (Mur Lafferty, of the Geek Fu Action Grip podcast). In this context, not trying to sound exactly like Mandy Patinkin works a lot better than trying badly, and having just one reader makes for a smoother narrative flow as well.
I hope you enjoy the reading -- and I'm sorry again for taking so long to put the story out! Thanks very much for sharing such a fun piece with us, and I hope you'll consider sending us more in the future.
YEE-HAW!!! You can also read it at my story blog, but I hope you enjoy the podcast. The site allows you to leave comments, too (hint hint).