I finally got around to starting my new short story, Nix Verrida. (In case you missed it, you can read about the impetus here: http://tinyurl.com/, title slightly changed). Should be a good one. I am hoping to crack the upper tier with it.
There isn't a whole lot of reward with short stories. You don't get paid. You rarely get a book deal out of it (although a couple ex-classmates of mine have). And in many ways they are actually harder than writing a novel. So in short, you've got a lot of work, for next to no reward. Kind of like the writing profession itself, only suckier. But there is some payback. Just comes in spurts and fits. The biggest reward, you are told as you start out, must be the work itself. And in a way that's true. As an artist of any kind, you have to take great solace in a job well done. But on the other hand, it's sorta a load of shit. Because, yeah, you feel good turning a clever phrase, delivering that knock-out final line, but writers, for the most part, have big, black empty holes inside themselves that need to be filled with validation and acceptance, which creates an interesting juxtaposition: individuals in more dire need of a hug than any other faction of society in a field dominated by degrees of rejection. But don't let me speak for you. You might be one of those confident, self-assured writers who doesn't need the acceptance of strangers to make you feel worthwhile, and if that's the case, seriously, God bless you. Keep at it, best of luck, and I hope to see your work in the bookstores someday. But me, I'm a goddamn vacuous ball of need. But validation does come and it will keep you going. Think of it like fuel for the writing engine. And yesterday, brother, I was running low, the gears sputtering (like when Justine ran out of gas a couple weeks ago, late at night, in East Oakland, a scary scene). I was limping, didn't see a filling station in sight, and we'll stop there with this marginally entertaining conceit.
Then I found this:
Todd Robinson is the editor of Thuglit, whose praises I've sung often. The magazine is currently on hiatus, but I was published in it three times, in fact with three of my favorite stories I've ever written. You can find everything Thuglit at http://www.thuglit.com/. And I hope they come back soon. Because I fucking love that magazine. But this isn't another post about my love of Thuglit. Well, maybe it is, but in a different way.
That above link is for an interview Todd gave with Spinetingler back in April. I'd been putting off starting Nix Verrida, because starting a first draft sucks balls, and was checking what my favorite writers are up to these days. There's a whole glut of new noir writers (guys like Todd, Matthew Funk, Mckay Williams, Frank Bill, Keith Rawson, and if I've omitted your name here, it's just an oversight, because there are at least half a dozen more of these guys who are writing kick-ass, cold-cocked crime/noir fiction, with work peppering the best noir ezines (Shotgun Honey, Dirty Noir, Needle, Crimefactory, etc.)
Anyway, the interview. So I'm reading it and you should do the same, because it's pretty fucking insightful, but if you're pressed for time, or just lazy, toward the bottom, they ask Todd this: