Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Tiny Victory.

I submitted a short story called "The Party" to the Pill Hill Press annual anthology which is this year titled "Triangulation: Final Contact." At this point, they were the fourth market I'd sent the story to, my initial enthusiasm over a tale I'd found to be rather unique diminishing with each "It's not for us" I received. My other stories were doing well as far as acceptance went and I'd assumed this one would, too. "Final Contact" was an after-thought, an attempt to submit the story to fresh eyes that would hopefully like it and find it suitable to the vague theme of their anthology.

Two months after I sent it to them, it was accepted, rating an 8 out of 10.

For those who fear the rejection of editors, read the (slightly edited) comments below for a better idea of their thinking processes in regards to how they make their decisions:

Story 184 (2/16/2011 Horror 3000 words)

First Reader: “This is a strange little tale about [something]. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it at first, but it grew on me. I think it might be a bit too long, but the narrator is unreliable without a doubt. Very strange.” (plot spoiler removed)

Interesting opening line. Inverts expectation, characterizes and gives just a hint of context. Nice, active prose. Especially like the fourth para on p2. This scene ends well too. I like a story that plays with my expectations to build something new. I think I’d like just an occasional snippet of concrete detail in the here and now, maybe something of the socialite’s features (perhaps mutated by his perception, but real). I like the surreality of the musings, but am missing a contrasting concreteness just a bit.

The scene on p6 (end) is nicely described. It would feel even more effective, I think, with some concrete detail in the prior here and now scene. We don’t actually know which is real, but they are connected through his experience. Since he’s all over the place in his head, one way to separate the time lines (so to speak) would be to concretize the here and now elements enough to subtly set them apart from memory. Hope that makes sense. It’s not a huge deal; I’m still enjoying, but I do feel just a little (artificially) adrift.

I like this. I like the way it ends, the ambiguity of it. I’ll send it on to other editors to see what they make of it. Probably a 50-50 proposition at this point. I’m a little concerned about it fitting the theme, but I think a justification can be made.

Slush-o-meter (1-10): 8 A bizarre SF tale featuring an unreliable narrator who just might be saving the world, or not.

This resulted in the acceptance email I received this morning (below):

Dear Christopher Nadeau,

Thank you for sending this our way. We may suggest some edits based on reader comments, but you will have final say on any significant changes. Contracts will go out in the next month or so and payment is made upon publication in July.

Thanks again.


Stephen Ramey

Triangulation: Last Contact

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Kind Praise for "The Sign-Maker"

My short story about a grieving son whose desire to get revenge on the hospital he blames for his mother's death really seems to be connecting with female readers. Take a look at what a reader posted about it on Amazon below:

How Far Would You Go to Prove Your Love?, April 11, 2011

E. Raskolnikov (New York, NY) -
Willis Baker's anguish over the death of his mother. When "The Big Day" comes, we are grateful for the release. The Sign-Maker is a flawless read, perfectly crafted, expertly delivered. Read this story, everyone!

Click here to read the story.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

*Publishing Update*

At the risk of sounding like a braggart, it's been difficult for me to keep up with all the various stories I have in print or in the process of being published. I thought I'd take a moment to discuss a couple that were accepted but might not be seen for a while yet as their respective anthologies are not yet filled:

* My supposedly "un-gettable" tale of liberals and conservatives butting heads in tragic and violent ways at a coffee shop, titled, "Hawk Vs. Dove at a Coffee Shop," (Bet you never saw that coming) will be in the Static Movement anthology "Shadows Within Shadows 2," the follow-up to the first edition which features my novella, "Toilet Bums." Editor Greg Miller called "Hawk v Dove" a "GREAT story...A wonderful, dark look at the nature of political divisiveness."

* My 600-word story "So Many Nathans," which was actually written in response to a challenge, was accepted for publication in their "Dark Dispatches" war-themed anthology. Editor George Wilhite called this story a "very effective, poignant flash piece and a perfect fit."

I look forward to seeing these in print perhaps even more than some of my more easily accessible pieces. Speaking of which, if you're a Nook User, you can download the anthology pictured in the post below for a mere $5.00 and read my short story, "Finally, the Source."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Images from the printer

Below are the front & back cover images from "Leather, Denim & Silver," the monster hunter anthology in which I have a short story.

And, of course, the most important portion of the table of contents:

Monday, April 11, 2011

the butterflies tale ~

the butterflies tale ~

Celestial Elf has continually impressed me with his eye for visual storytelling and now he's gone and written something beautiful and eloquent just like his imagery. I'm officially envious!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Review of my Kindle Story, "Destiny & Home-Made Apple Pie"

Since I posted a review of his novella October Rain, author Dylan J. Morgan returned the favor and reviewed the above story for Amazon (Fortunately, he liked it):

5.0 out of 5 stars What is our Destiny?, April 8, 2011

Destiny is a young woman who has murdered her mother using arsenic in an apple pie. That's what we gather from the opening paragraph from this short yet very enjoyable read from Christopher Nadeau, and it sets the tone for a story that simply flies by due to its quick pacing. Living in the Depression, Destiny does just enough to get by, but when a strange man calls at her door asking for lodgings she can scarcely imagine the traumas that will come once she lets him cross the threshold.

Mr. Damage is a deformed man, a strange man, and while Destiny ignores her suspicions about him he becomes an attraction for the struggling town. At church one Sunday everything comes to a head, but what happens there is nothing compared to what will face Destiny and Mr. D when they arrive home. Eventually she will have a decision to make, a simple choice - and the consequences are dire should she make the wrong one.

Destiny, by Christopher Nadeau, is a short story filled with tension and a gripping touch of the supernatural that will, come the final sentence, leave the reader wondering what could have been if only Destiny had taken a different path.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Feedback on my short story, "Always Say Treat."

The story mentioned above, which started as a Yahoo assignment and then became a featured story read on Suspense Magazine's Halloween-themed radio broadcast in October 2010, was published by the Horror Zine for its April 2011 issue, in which I was featured writer.

I posted this on the Static Movement Press message boards since they have accepted four of my short stories for their anthologies and received positive feedback from some of the member-writers there:

"Great story, lots of suspense and a surreal mood. I like the original rhyme as well; it's haunting."

Really good story! Original and fresh. Those children really freaked me out"

I also posted the link to the Pill Hill Press boards since I have a story coming out in one of their anthologies as well and received positive feedback:

"Nice, well done!

"VERY creepy story -- I love the opening (draws you in and builds suspense right from the beginning)"

Go ahead and click the hyperlink and tell me what YOU thought, too.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

One Anthology Down, More on the Horizon.

My extremely dark and disturbing novella "Toilet Bums" is now available to read in this anthology by Static Movement Press. Yes, it involves toilets and horrific creatures but there's also a crazy cult leader. Simply click on the hyperlink to order.

I just received the proof edits for this one which will feature my short story, "Finally, the Source," where a so-called monster hunter is hired by monsters to put a stop to the war between their kind and humans once and for all. More on this collection as it becomes available.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"Never Listen to Nobody."

I’ve never been one of those people who endured constant ridicule regarding his desire to express himself creatively. I guess I was fortunate. My parents never tried talking me out of writing, although my father seemed perplexed by some of my material. Sadly, he didn’t live long enough to see what it would eventually become.

My friends never thought I was untalented or silly, although some may have found my chosen genres unappealing. In fact, the only time I remember anyone in my life pooh-poohing me as a writer was a friend who told me it was a waste of time until the day he needed my help writing a term paper. When that term paper was so well-received it placed in the top three of a state-wide competition, he sheepishly conceded I might just have something after all. Bastard.

Anyway, none of this means I haven’t faced my moments of ridicule. As I’ve written before, I once endured a room of nineteen potential writers slamming one of my stories. That sort of made up for the lack of ridicule in my earlier years, I guess. Recently, I have been engaging in a veritable submission frenzy which has, for the most part, paid off rather well. Because of this, I became more confident in stories that were not as readily accessible as the tale of a man who committed cannibalism being haunted by his meals in zombie form.

A few of these stories were viewed by some who had read them in their early stages as un-gettable, too personal or just plain out there. All but one of them has been accepted by editors. The most recent, one I was assured would never appeal to anyone except me, received the following response: “Wow, Christopher...I love it. By all means, I'm accepting it for publication...”

The title of this post is not meant to be taken literally, however. Sometimes the opinions of others are vital to the creative process. But if it’s content the person is objecting to, stick to your guns and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised.