I am beyond thrilled when I find my name on the Tor.com list “150 ‘New’ Writers for Your Consideration.” It really is both an unexpected and special moment.
Stories, when published, feel like they have a second life, unknown to their author, at least that’s been my experience. In large part I never know who has read my work or how they’ve responded.This is one of those rare exceptions, and I can’t help but savor it!
It’s hard for any writer to find their audience. That feels especially true for short fiction. Maybe it’s something about the word short. Short suggests slight or modest in scope. A trifling. And yet each story is for me a unique universe formed from some strange amalgam of half-understood feeling and unexpected whimsy. I’m like a magpie. I write slowly, charting out a new and unknown territory one shiny detail at a time. Most of my stories start as feeling, expand into a moment, and eventually back all the way into a world populated by varyingly broken people. The story arc, my conscious understanding of the story arc, comes last. Clearly and obviously, this crazy process takes an inordinate amount of time.
According to the ISFDB (Internet Speculative Fiction Database) my first story came out 6 years ago, which places me just within the boundaries of ‘new.’ To me 6 years feels long in part because I was writing years before I started publishing and in part because it was 6 years composed of time spent banging my head against the seemingly impossible–actual coherent stories that expressed at least something of what I intended. I edge toward frustration far more often than I’d like…
Which is all to say how glad I am I kept going and how joyful I am that at least something of what I’m trying to do has made its way onto the page!