My May was enlivened with three more sales. The first story was my annual submission to Sword and Sorceress, which is on volume 31. This is always a target of my literary year, and I have been included in the past six volumes. But before that, I was rejected for twenty years running, so I never take Sword and Sorceress for granted. The story, “Tears of a Dead God,” is my fifth tale of Jenna the exorcist who lives in a haunted kingdom with much demand for her services. The five stories together are almost half a novel’s worth of words, and I plan some day to assemble them into an aggregate novel.
Story #2 was also to a familiar publisher. Whortleberry Press puts out a number of anthologies each year, and I have been included in five of them in the past. This May, the anthology was Strange Mysteries #7, and the story was “Something Wicker This Way Comes.” This is the third “cursed antiques” story to sell and like the exorcist tales, these may eventually end up as an aggregate novel.
Then there was the third story, a completely different situation. “Love and Oil” with its haunted portrait will appear in Shadows in Salem, an anthology of spooky stories set in Salem. This sale was the tiebreaker. Last year I sold ten stories, an all-time record for me. This year has been even more active, and I sold ten in the first half of the year. “Love and Oil” breaks the tie and sets a new all-time record with eleven sales for the year. And there’s still another six months left.