Friday, 6 July 2012

Breaking (Into) the Glass Parachute

I'd promised myself that if anyone else asked me for a story I'd definitely say no.

This is The Glass Parachute.
I mean, unless they were offering a load of money to go with the request.  Because let's face it, I'm pretty busy this year with Tales of Damasco stuff - promoting Giant Thief, putting the finishing touches to Crown Thief and writing Prince Thief.  By February I'd more or less decided that if anyone wanted me to do anything besides all that, I had every right to say no without seeming mean.  Surely "Sorry, I'm busy simultaneously working on three novels" is a good enough excuse?

So when Matt Edginton got in touch and said he was planning a first anthology for a fledgling small press publisher, Villipede Publications, I had no problem with saying to him, politely but firmly, "Um, I don't know, probably not but maybe."  It was supposed to be a no, it was, but Matt mentioned that he was an artist and I'm a sucker for working with artists at the best of times, and his mentioned that the collection was going to be illustrated by him and his artist mates, and not only that but I had a look at his online portfolio and it was really good.

Then Matt said how he wanted to put together, and I quote, "A really professional, personal collection," and he'd read some of my work and liked it, and by that point I didn't have much willpower left, being pretty lousy at saying no to anything shy of random and unnecessary brain surgery at the best of times, and absolutely helpless in the face of compliments.

It's going to be very illustrated.
There did, however, remain the problem of what I could offer Matt short fiction-wise.  Because I'd also pledged myself that I'd leave my unsold story backlog alone once and for all.  Whatever my feelings on the matter, there had to be some reason why certain stories were failing to shift, and maybe it was time I let them die a quiet death.  Obviously there were flaws I was never going to see, but that editor after editor had picked up on.

Only, when I started flicking and came across a sci-fi - or maybe more horror - story I'd called Final Relocation, I knew exactly what was wrong with it.  A couple of editors had even told me, it just hadn't quite sunk in.  I even remembered a scene that was supposed to have been in the first draft and that I'd somehow forgotten about, which would have pretty much fixed that one crucial failing.  So I sent it over to Matt, on the understanding that if he thought it was okay I'd rewrite it, fixing the problems I'd recently discovered.  He liked.  I rewrote.

Anyway, all of this actually happened months ago, but it's only recently that Matt got a page together to promote the collection - which is actually due pretty soon now, I think.  So I figured I should probably mention it while I still have the time.

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