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. 🙂
Scared – Ten Tales of Horror is available from:
Family Tradition is available from:
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
Pingback: Hey! My pal Mae Clair has as her guest today Pamela Turner, author of “Family Tradition”…check it out! « Thomas Rydder
Congrats! Spooky stories normally don’t do it for me, but the kris has got me curious about what it did once stolen!
I love spooky stories, the kind that bring on goosebumps and shivers. I’m anxious to check out the kris story too, Kitt. Thanks for dropping in!
Congrats on finding the courage to try Pamela! What a road to success you’re paving for yourself. 🙂
I agree. Pam’s story definitely shows how important it is to ‘go for it!’
Hi, Mae! Whew, I made it! Sorry I’m late. Thanks, all, for stopping by. I really appreciate it. 🙂
Kitt, I found the kris to be a very interesting, if disturbing, weapon. Legends also say that if the kris doesn’t like its owner, it can kill that person. A weapon that moves on its own? There’s definitely a story there. 🙂
Calisa, thanks! Sometimes I feel like I’m digging my road with only a shovel and there’s twenty feet of bedrock. LOL But if people like my dark suspense, then it’s worth it.
Hi, Pam. And now I have to apologize for being late in rejoining the party. I ended up running to the doctor this afternoon. Nothing serious, but not planned, and it threw everything else out of whack. Sorry for the delay in approving comments. .
No problem. 🙂 I hope everything’s okay. And thanks again for letting me play in your sandbox.
Way to go, Pamela! I think most writers are some mixture of hubris and timidity. We NEED to be harshly self-judgmental in order to edit, and we NEED to be improbably self-confident in order to submit and keep submitting. I think you’re just right! Or should that be “just write”? 😉
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Love your philosophy Mairan. Well said! 😀
LOL! Well, I seem to have found my niche. Of course, I started out writing dark, so I guess I should’ve figured it out. Too bad it took so long. 🙂
Pam, as you know I LOVED Family Tradition. I’m definitely going to have to check out Family Heirloom!
Ooh, another Family Tradition fan! Thanks for checking out Pam’s post, Christine. I’m with you on checking out Family Heirloom!
Thanks, Christine! I hope you like “Family Heirloom” if you get a chance to read it. 🙂
Sounds interesting, Pam, I need to check it out.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out Pam’s post!
Thank you! And “If I Fail” is on my TBR list. Love mysteries and look forward to reading yours.