I heard back from New Work science fiction publisher Baen Books that my manuscript has made it out of the slush pile of unsolicited manuscripts and is being held for further consideration. Since most submissions in the slush pile are rejected, this is incredibly good news, but the road ahead is still long and perilous. As I understand the process, my manuscript is now in the queue to be looked at by the editor-in-chief, who will make the final decision. Unfortunately, that may take years — literally, years — and the answer could still be no. As I said, long and perilous. The manuscript is Reichsblood, a 150-word occult thriller set in 1938 Germany. An Oxford student infiltrates the SS with the help of his witchy English aunt in order to stop Nazi sorcery. They have no clue how much darkness they are challenging. Two short stories from this same world have already been published (“Fire and Stone” in the 2010 anthology The Four Horsemen and “Helping Hand” in the 2011 anthology It Came From Her Purse). A third occult Nazi story, “Black and Silver” is due out in October in Whortleberry Press’s Strange Halloween book.
So maybe this time next year I’ll have sold my first novel . . . one can only hope.