The Challenge of Short Stories

by Gail Z. Martin

This year during my Days of the Dead online tour, I included excerpts to four of my short stories.  They are set in a completely separate world from my novels, and are written in first-person, rather than multiple viewpoints as with the books.

They also represent a real leap of faith for me, as I came to writing short stories after I was already published for novels—big, fat novels.  After fulfilling a contractual obligation to write 145,000 words, needing to write only 8,000 – 10,000 seemed a lot harder.  I’d never written first-person voice before, either.  But, as happens with many (if not most) anthologies, my friends—the anthology editor and fellow contributing authors—prevailed on me to give it a shot.

I was pleasantly surprised, and the stories were accepted, so I guess it went well.  And I found out that, for all the initial terror, it was also fun.  I’m hoping to contribute to a couple of anthologies a year, and to keep fleshing out the new world I’ve begun to explore.

I’ve also started to read more anthologies, which is also something new for me.  I loved Home Improvement: Undead Edition, which hit me just as we were remodeling my dad’s house.  Here are some anthologies that feature work by many of my writer friends for your short story bookshelf:  The Bad-Ass Fairies series, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail; Writers for Relief, edited by Davey Beauchamp; Tales of Fortannis: a Bard’s Eye View, edited by Michael A. Ventrella; After Hours: Tales from Ur-Bar, edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray; and Blood and Devotion.

You can find my short stories in the Rum & Runestones anthology from DragonMoon Press, in The Bitten Word from NewCon Press, in the upcoming Spells & Swashbucklers from DragonMoon Press (2012) and a yet-unnamed UK anthology coming out next Fall.

And in case you missed them during the tour, here are the links to my short story excerpts:

An excerpt from my short story, “The Low Road”, coming in Spells and Swashbucklers from DragonMoon Press http://www.4shared.com/document/CQ5Af400/An_Excerpt_from_The_Low_Road_b.html

An excerpt from my short story “Steer a Pale Course” in Rum and Runestones from DragonMoon Press http://www.4shared.com/document/7YXNnm42/An_excerpt_from_Steer_a_Pale_C.html

An excerpt from my short story “Among the Shoals” in an upcoming UK anthology http://www.4shared.com/document/e5deWqV_/An_Excerpt_from_Among_the_Shoa.html

An excerpt from my short story “Vanities” in The Bitten Word anthology from NewCon Press http://www.4shared.com/document/aA6cz–z/An_Excerpt_from_Vanities_by_Ga.html

Enjoy!

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