Some of you are wondering why I’ve not blogged for a week or so. The reason is that I have actually written the same amount of stuff I’d normally write, but just not posted it here.
I was asked about two weeks ago, by a writer whose work I enjoy, to contribute a story to a shared-world anthology s/he’s working on, involving several other writers whose company I am very proud to be in. I emailed the story off yesterday, and it’s been accepted.
I can’t tell you much about the anthology yet, because it’s not been publicly announced and I don’t want to steal anyone’s thunder, but I can tell you a little about my story. It’s called Twenty Voices, it’s 5000 words long (so about as many words as I normally turn out in a week and a half here, but much more work, as it had to fit in someone else’s world – I actually wrote at least 10000 words for it…) and it consists of eighteen monologues and a dialogue. Those who’ve read my previous fiction will see several of the same themes I’ve used before recurring – rather nicely, the theme of the anthology is a perfect fit for my kind of stuff. I don’t want to give too much away, but when I tell you it features at least two Popes, two murderers and a Campaign for Fictional Rights I might whet some of your appetites.
As always when I write fiction, I was very unhappy with the end result, but the editor seemed very pleased, and Millennium’s Daddy Richard (to whom I emailed a copy to give a quick look over) was positively effusive, so the consensus seems to be it’s my best piece of fiction to date. I don’t know what the publication date is going to be, but I hope to be able to announce more details some time in the first half of next year.
This is quite a milestone for me, actually, as I’ve written stuff on commission before (for example for the High Hat and Prism) and I’ve written paying material before, but it’s the first time anyone has actually sought me out and asked me to write a story for money. It’s a nice feeling.
And now the request – as I said, the story contains eighteen monologues and a dialogue. *ONE* of those monologues is, to my mind, problematic. Without giving away too much, it portrays someone who has had gender reassignment surgery, but not for the normal reasons, and I am worried it may come across as transphobic. That’s certainly not the intent, but it might do. For various reasons, I can’t cut that monologue out of the story, but I *would* like it if any of my friends who are trans or in other ways don’t conform to normal gender binaries could have a look at it and see if there are any ways I could improve it without getting rid of the main thrust of it? (If any of you don’t want to out yourselves but also don’t have my email, just leave a comment with a fake name – all first-time commenters are screened, and I’ll see the email address…)
Normal posts resume tomorrow.