Featured post

A new lease of life for my books

As you know, I was bitterly disappointed when Satalyte shut up shop as it might have meant the end of my admittedly short career as a publi...

About Me

My photo
I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as e-books from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

Follow me on Twitter

Share a link on Twitter

Follow by Email

My Blog List

Blog Archive

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

Search This Blog

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Mythic Resonance


It's been a busy year: one in which I've bitten off more than I can comfortably chew. A bad habit of mine, but I can't seem to help myself - I get all fired up with enthusiasm whenever someone suggests a new project, and I wade in, boots and all, without testing the waters for depth.

So at the end of last year, when Stephen Thompson, our Editor-in-Chief at The Specusphere, decided to publish an anthology, I cheerfully volunteered my services. 'Wow, that'll be fun!' I told myself.

Well, yes. A qualified yes, because producing an anthology is not easy. Slush reading, negotiating with authors, editing, proofreading - it's taken a year to get there, but our destination, that magical place where we shall be rewarded with a Real Live book full of stories, is just around the next curve of what's been a long and winding bit of wayfaring.

When we first called for submissions, they were slow in coming and we started to panic a bit - what if we couldn't make up the quota? But gradually they started to trickle in, and the trickle eventually became a deluge! Some of the submissions were not within the guidelines - some not even close - and those were rejected at once. But the slow business of reading the fifty-odd that remained was angst-making.

It wasn't easy to pick the right content. There were seven of us reading, and most of us read all the submissions. We wanted stories based, however loosely, on traditional material: stories about the archetypal characters that we all know - the valiant hero, the boy on a quest, the trapped princess, the femme fatale, the monster from the deep ... the fabled beings we'd known and loved since childhood.

There were no truly awful stories, so it was a matter of choosing those that best fitted the guidelines and collectively provided a good sampling of the myths and legends of the world, presented with a twist that gave us something new and fresh rather than just a rewrite. And above all, of course, most of us had to at least like, and preferably love, the selected stories.

Reading the different reactions of the slush readers to the same stories was an eye-opener! We didn't quite come to blows, although I think we might have come close, once or twice, had we not been separated by a lot of kilometres. But being spread across the country from Brisbane to Perth, we were able to negotiate until we had a shortlist of about twenty stories.

At that point, Stephen had us list our ten favourites, and promised us that each of the list-toppers would be included. (Except for Stephen, we read 'blind', so none of us knew who'd written what until the final list was in place.) We breathed a sigh of relief to find that our lists were not as different from each other as we'd feared, and I was delighted that one reader put my story, 'La Belle Dame', at the top of her list!

'La Belle Dame' has a long history. I first wrote it back in about 2005 for submission to an anthology that never went ahead. That's not an uncommon occurrence, so I just sighed and put my handiwork away. Every now and then, I would take it out, edit it again and send if off to a possible market, but while it always got shortlisted, it never made the final cut.

Then last year, I decided to enter it for the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre SF award. This is a well-respected competition, many of whose winners have gone on to become successful in the profession. I um-ed and ah-ed a bit, because I'd always felt there was something not quite right about 'La Belle Dame', but couldn't put my finger on what it was.

Finally, I showed it to a well-published friend, and she made a suggestion for the ending that I thought was a good idea but felt I wasn't skilled enough to do. 'Give it a try,' my friend advised, and to my surprise it wasn't as hard as I'd thought. I was delighted when 'La Belle Dame' was selected from a field of about 120 stories for the award's shortlist of eight. But again, no banana.

So I only offered it for the Specusphere's anthology somewhat diffidently, during that early phase when entries were slow and I thought maybe we'd have trouble making up the numbers. You can imagine how delighted I was when one of the readers actually preferred it to all the others! So at last 'La Belle Dame' (a take on the Keats poem, of course) has found a home. And a very nice home it is, nestled under a truly lovely cover designed by the Specusphere's graphic designer, Amanda Greenslade, and in the company of other lovely mythic tales, many of them by well-known and well-published authors.

So now it's getting exciting! Mythic Resonance goes to press early in the new year. (Watch this space!) And yes, we are already talking about doing it again next year. A new anthology, with a different theme! I can already feel that enthusiasm coming on again...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...