(Learn that lesson early: Never show people first drafts!)
So I went back to the drawing board—which I knew I would, of course. I cut the original in half, added an additional 5,000 or so words, and a few months later emerged "Goddamn Electric," my very first zombie tale. And if you're wondering, yes, that title is a nod to the almighty Pantera.
Being a huge music fan, I love doing that sort of thing. There's also a Ghoultown connection to the story, though that was entirely unintentional. I named the protagonist Everett Sykes. It's the first name that popped into my head, and it was perfect. Then I remembered a little Ghoultown jam called "The Ballad of Everett Sykes." Whoopsie.
Anyway, long story shorter than it could be, "Goddamn Electric" has been accepted for The Zombie Feed, Vol. 1, a new anthology from Apex Publications. Check out the cover art and TOC below:
"Goddamn Electric" is my second sale, but my first pro (i.e. big) sale. Diggity! Sharing pages with Lee Thompson and newcomer BJ Burrow is pretty sweet as well. Tentative release date is late February, I believe.
Lastly, a few weeks ago I posted a free Christmas tale, "Streamer of Silver, Ribbon of Red," which takes place in Bridgetown, Massachusetts, the fictional location of "Goddamn Electric," and also features Little Jimmy Stanford, a character from "Goddamn Electric." If you're interested in reading it, click here. Little Jimmy fares a bit better in the holiday tale.
Anyway, here's to 2011, Year of the Wood. Haha.