You don't expect to step out on your balcony and get yourself shot. But that's exactly what happened to Jason Peters' wife when she went to hang up their laundry on the clothesline.
She hadn't been outside for more than a split-second before Jason saw the splash of crimson on their sliding glass door and heard the report of Sanders' rifle across the parking lot. She stumbled inside in wide-eyed dismay with a blood-spattered lump of wet underwear in her hands.
So begins my zombie tale "Survival of the Fittest" that didn't actually start out as a zombie tale and that survived over 20 rejections before finding a great place to call home in Black Chaos - Tales of the Zombie.
I've written a total of 3 zombie stories to date. I'm a big fan of The Walking Dead (but without cable, I have to wait until season 4 streams via Netflix to get caught up...) and other movies in the genre, but I haven't spent a whole lot of time writing about the undead. Maybe I figure other writers have already been there, done that. But when I do pen a zombie tale, I try to give readers a different take on the genre. And from what I've read so far in Black Chaos, the other 24 stories included in this anthology take a similar approach. Good stuff, all around.
"Survival of the Fittest" managed to survive 21 rejections, one of which I'll never forget. The editor's posted response time was 2 months, and when I queried the status of my tale after those 2 months had passed, he had to do some investigating to find out what happened to it. Ready for this? Supposedly one of his slush readers (who happened to have the same name as my protagonist) got so creeped out by my story that he tossed it. Right into the recycle bin. What's that you say? Never submit to that publication again? Don't you worry.
In other news, the first five episodes of my web serial Trouble on the Range are locked and loaded, and the requisite password will be included in my next newsletter, scheduled to go out later this week. Also included in the newsletter will be a raffle of one of my Kindle shorts and an update on my Captain Quasar novel, along with a few other newsworthy items. Can't wait to share it all with you.