It’s no surprise at all to the select (very) few readers of this blog that the publication of Quantum Demonology was traumatic in far too many ways. Not for going public and being judged for my words, not for getting a story out that basically gave me a few more reasons to stay among the living as I wrote it, not for whatever bad reviews might come or not. (As of 2021, precisely one.) The evidence is all over this blog. I rest my case.
These days, I’m looking forward. I’m looking forward to rewriting a recently scrapped novel I’ve been wanting to write for years and years, and I can’t wait to get started. The research is mostly done. I’ve safeguarded myself by ordering two books that are very far removed from my source material, and by killing a new book by a favorite author to satisfy my itch for fiction. (I can’t read fiction while writing my own, or someone else’s quirks start to seep in.) If I’m waiting for a sequel, I might as well keep myself busy in the interim.
But one thing about getting published that few writers don’t, to the best of my knowledge, ever tell you about is what you learn from getting your own story out into the world. The original draft of QD might not have been terrible, but it was safe, or should I say, it was as far out on a limb as I could get at that time in my life. By the time I revised it for publication, I was experienced enough as a writer in other arenas that I took much bigger risks, or to quote a famous Stooges song: Gimme Danger! I did try.
Here we are, nearly eight years on, and I have the world’s worst case of the all-out fuckits. I have a favorite deceased author’s portrait on my wall behind my laptop giving me the gimlet eye, a writer who very much wrote a rulebook on writing dangerously, letting rip, letting the words explode on the page and in a reader’s mind.
I also have something else, something that almost means more than I can say, or should that be … someone?
The Importance of Being … Believed In.
We writers are vainglorious souls. Writing is a lonely, solitary business with such a huge potential for heartbreak and soul-crushing suckitude insights that in order to even commit the words to a virtual page, you need titanium gonads and a massivesense of self worth.
If friends and family like what you write, then great! But they’re biased by proximity, love (it is to be hoped) and/or limited exposure to what being a writer really means.
But what truly matters to a writer, what truly matters to this writer, is the validation of your peers. I’ve had the extreme good fortune to receive massive amounts of kudos on my writing in another area – my perfume writing. A select few to such an extent, I’ve had an out-of-body experience. Yet that was my perfume writing.
In 2016, I was invited by my then DK publisher to participate in a prestigious horror/weird fiction anthology called, in English, Project 1900. The concept: Ten writers were each given a decade of the 20th century to choose from. The story had to reflect the feel of its decade, the language, the tone, the atmosphere. Some long, long time later, he had to drop it.
I was bummed. Bad enough that this would have been my Danish debut as a writer. This gave me more hives than even I can count, since English is my first language, and since my dearly beloved sister is a notable DK journalist and writer by profession, and I didn’t want to tread on her turf.
Then, this past spring, it was collectively decided to publish elsewhere. Which it will be in 2022, by DK publisher, fellow contributor and author Steen Langstrup of Two Feet Entertainment.
By the time he had made it through all the contributions to the anthology, he took the trouble to write me, Ms. Nobody Much, about my story. Out-of-body experience, incoming. What I had knocked out for fun and the hell of it in a day and evening had really got his goat in all the best ways.
I was floored.
Since then, he’s read the first ten chapters of QD. More out-of-body experience feedback. At a book reception for his latest work last week, a non-fiction book of author interviews on all the downsides of writing life, he told my sister without any provocation at all on my part:
“She needs to keep writing!”
I can do miracles, so long as one person believes. Now, a hugely respected someone does.
That means everything. Everything!
Which leads me to…
My contribution to Project 1900, a disco erotic horror story titled ‘I feel love’ from the famous Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder 1978 hit, will be published in English on the DK publication day on Amazon as an e-book novella at a super reasonable price for a limited time only. Above, you’ll find a sneak peek of a cover sketch (not the finished cover). Watch this space!
Comments? Questions? Rants? Yes, please, and thank you!