Today, I’m turning my blog over to Pamela Turner, who is one of my sister authors at Lyrical Press and a writer of dark fiction. I recently had the pleasure of reading Pamela’s novella, FAMILY TRADITION, a story I found utterly captivating from start to finish. I’m thrilled to have her as a guest today and hope you enjoy her post as much as I did.
Why You’re (I’m) Not Always a Good Judge of Your (My) Work
(A Tale of Two Stories)
by Pamela Turner
Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m the poster child for lacking self-confidence in my writing. I think my work sucks. No, I’m sure it does. I make my pages bleed red and write at least three drafts before I show it to any beta readers.
“Family Heirloom” and “Family Tradition” were two stories I believed would never be published.
“Family Heirloom” was inspired by a picture of a kris, a wavy dagger found in Indonesia and Malaysia. There are legends the kris can move by itself and even kill on its own. I thought it might be interesting to write about a thief who steals the kris and the ensuing repercussions that occur as a result.
A few months ago, Rayne Hall, editor and publisher of the Ten Tales anthologies, asked if I had a horror-type story to submit to Scared – Ten Tales of Horror. Most of my stories are dark fiction and, while suspenseful, really aren’t terrifying in the reach out and grab you by the throat kind of way. More the get under your skin type.
I pitched an idea, and we went over the plot, but Rayne decided it didn’t work for her. Back to the proverbial drawing board.
That was when I remembered my kris story. Not believing it had any hope, I ran it by Rayne, anyway. She liked it and published it in the Scared anthology.
“Family Tradition” started out as a flash fiction writing exercise. I can’t tell you why I decided to expand it, except maybe I was fascinated with the relationship between the artist and his model, and what would happen once he knew the truth behind her reclusiveness.
When I finished the revision, I pushed it aside as a silly little dark story that would never see publication. It wasn’t until someone requested a beta reader for a contest entry, I decided to get someone else’s opinion. We exchanged critiques. To my surprise, my beta reader, whose name escapes me, enjoyed the story. She had notes, sure, but all I cared about was she liked it. And if she did, was it possible others would, too?
Where to submit it? Should I self-publish? I decided to submit it to my first choice, MuseItUp Publishing. I knew many authors who published with them. Needless to say, it was accepted and published this November.
The lesson I learned is even when a story seems hopeless or worthless, maybe it isn’t. Then again, the same can be said for just the opposite.
But that would be another blog post. 🙂
Pamela Turner drinks too much coffee and wishes she could write perfect first drafts. Writings include reviews, articles, poetry, screenplays, plays, and short fiction. Her 10-minute play “Brides of Deceit” was part of a local performance and “Cemetery” placed second in The Writers Place short/teleplay screenplay competition. Publications include “A Girl Like Alice” (Taproot Literary Review), Death Sword (Lyrical Press), “It’s in Your Blood” (Bites – Ten Tales of Vampires), “Family Heirloom” (Scared – Ten Tales of Horror), “The May Lady Vanishes” (Beltane – Ten Tales of Witchcraft), and “Obsession” (Spells – Ten Tales of Magic). She’s a member of RWA, Sisters in Crime, EPIC, and a supporting member of HWA. Besides coffee, she likes cats, cemeteries, and old abandoned buildings. You can find her at http://pamelaturner.net