My fantasy tale Fear Factor is one of five others in the featured story spot over at Sniplits, for the week of 7/26/09. It was produced last year, voiced by Malcolm Rothman, who did one of the best readings of any of my stories. It's available year round but this week its up on the Sniplits home page so I'm hoping it gets more notice. It's not my usual kind of story but its definitely one of my favorites.
I guess it was bound to happen. I just received my first bit of hate mail in regards to writing. This came in today about noon.
Date: July 15 2009 12:28 pm
You are a terrible obvious writer with clearly a very limited imagination. Please stop writing. You are an embarassment to writers everywhere.
I don't mind saying that I was stunned. Somebody actually read my stuff. And they think I am well known enough to be an embarrassment to other writers. Wow. But on the down side, he was being pretty harsh about my writing skills, so that's kind of negative. I wondered if I should write the guy back, find out what he really meant by "Please stop writing," which seemed a very sincere request, not to mention polite. He did say please.
So I wrote back
Date: July 15, 2009 1:43 pm
Very sorry that you feel this way Mr. Yoakam. May I ask, was there a particular piece that made you feel this way?
He then responded
Date: Wed, Jul 15, 2009 3:47 pm
Well I will say I'm impressed by a personal reply. I bought "the edge of the world" (or something close, I don't have it with me)because I was entrigued by the title, as I wrote a song with a similar title a few years ago, and I love Sci Fi and a good adventure story. But I must say it just seemed like really lazy writing. There were the Christians, Muslims, and the Jews Fighting it out in Jerusalem (I mean the Tierrans, Urabans, and the Saedreans fighting it out in "ishsalem". I mean really, with the creativity you show in parts of the story, I'm sure you could be a little more creative in the names)The real story of Jerusalem is facinating enough, so do the research and write that amazing story! Keeping the stereotypes with barely disguised name changes just felt so contrived and really ruined the story for me. So there it is...but you still got the money, so here's to good marketing! Good luck and continued success.
Date: Wed, Jul 15, 2009 7:58 pm
Dear Mr. Yoakam
Thank you for your last response. It has relieved my confusion. I understand you are dissatisfied with The Edge of the Earth, and I am pleased to announce, that I did not write it. I am Kevin Anderson, a writer of short stories, mostly horror. The author deserving of your comments is Kevin J Anderson, Sci-Fi novelist.
I hate hearing that anyone has had a bad reading experience, and I am sorry for that, and I apologize for any confusion my name may have caused. As for your opinions on Mr. Kevin J Anderson’s talent I can neither confirm or deny them, as I have not read any of his novels.
On a side note, I had the pleasure of listening to some of your music this afternoon. Brilliant, Fantastic. I particularly enjoyed, In Space, A Postcard, and One Second – with In Space being my favorite. You have a new fan.
I sincerely wish you good luck in all your creative, artistic, and musical endeavors.
Well I missed my self imposed deadline for my Zom-Com novella, which is on its way to becoming a Novel. Most definitions cut off the word count for a novella at 40,00 and I'm already at 46,000. Novel or Novella I wanted to have draft number one done by the end of June, but its looking more like first of August. For my beta readers who signed on to read in June, I apologize, and I hope you can still read in August. If not I understand.
My wife is doing a brilliant job of reading as I write, adding input that is definitely making it stronger. I feel pretty good in my ability to write action, dialogue, and keep a story moving, but sometimes I get way to focused on those things and I forget to develop the characters. My wife is a MFT, therapist, and can easily spot when a character is not acting true to life, not exhibiting the appropriate emotional response, or just plain turning into a robot.
On the short story front I recently sold a short story to a new magazine coming out in August. It's a reprint, so I'm kind of excited about it but not ecstatic. It's the only thing I've sold in 2009 so far and none of my new stuff is getting picked up. Withersin Magazine held a story of mine for a second read, but in the end it did not make the cut. In the last month I've gotten rejections from Podcastle, Psuedopod, Flash Me Mag, Nossa Morte, Fantasy Magazine, and I've had stories with Brutarian and Murky Depths since the beginning of the year and neither are responding to queries. Anybody know if those last two are still kicking?
When not writing I read, and I recently finished Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking. Very funny, extremely blunt, and full of odd trivia - Did you know Cary Grant took LSD? Currently I'm reading William Shatner's Get a Life. Its a kind of history of Star Trek conventions and his journey to get to know and understand Trekkies, and or Trekkers. I'm about halfway through and really enjoying the read, and I'm beginning to come to terms with the fact that I'm a bigger Trekkie than I ever realized. But that's okay, becouse it would seem, as luck would have it, that I am married to one. My wife and I recently had a heated discussion about who is the best Captain in Star Fleet. I'm on the Kirk side of the argument, she is for Jean Luc Picard, all the way. I see her points, but my problem with Picard is that Patrick Stewart is just to fine an actor. He just dosen't have any Shatnerness.
Oh well, when not writing or reading, I've been re-watching my favorite Zom-Coms for inspiration - Dead and Breakfast, Boy Eats Girl, Undead or Alive, Fido, Dead Meat, Black Sheep, Return of the Living Dead I and II, Dance of the Dead, Night of the Living Dorks - I've pretty much seen them all, but if you have any recommendations please send them on over.
That's it for now. Take care, and remember to aim for the head.