I have a dark confession to make. I don’t believe I’ve really written any new fiction since I wrote “Unwanted” for the Dark Prints Press collection Surviving the End and “La Mort D’un Roturier” for Machine of Death 2, both of which I wrote in the middle of last year. I’ve tried a few times, but my day job at the moment is just so intense and all-consuming that even if I had the time to write, I don’t have the energy or inspiration. That means it’s basically been a full year without any proper writing, which is an awfully long time. I’ve been doing plenty of editing and working on the upcoming collection, of course, but nothing new. I was wondering if maybe Living With the Dead might be my swansong.
I needed a challenge to get me started again, and got one from Jennifer Brozek, editor extraordinaire and vying with Jonathan Strahan for the title of Busiest Person in SF. I’ve worked with Jenn on two other collections previously, Grants Pass and Close Encounters of the Urban Kind, and I love the books she puts together, she always finds such strong and unique themes for them. She asked me to contribute a story to a new themed anthology coming out, which was fine. But she only gave me a week to supply it, which was… a challenge, to say the least. And clearly my writing and editing skills were a little (or a lot!) rusty, as poor Jenn had to patiently walk me through cutting a bloated draft down into something actually approaching publishable.
But the result? The theme definitely inspired me, and “In His Name” will appear in the Coins of Chaos anthology. And now I can slack off again for a few months until my long service leave, safe in the knowledge that I can still write! Yay!