Monday, October 13, 2008


I have a problem - maybe you can help.

I write a lot of dark stuff that contains some not so nice stuff concerning children. I don't deliberately set out to write this stuff - it just pops into my head.

I'm a very normal bloke. I don't hide secret and perverse fantasies toward the harming (or worse) of our most innocent. I'm a father of three and adore my kids (most of the time ;c)).

Let me give you an example. Yesterday I was outside having a cigarette when the beginning of an idea popped into my head. It wasn't pleasant and it again involved children.

During lunch today it kept nagging at me so I figured I'd write it down and then maybe it would go away. It's not quite the original thing as I've played with it a bit to fit it into exactly 100 words, but this is the story/idea I came up with:


The only difference between you and others is your inability to control your urges,’ his mind regurgitated the nasally voice from this morning’s session.

Adam hawked up phlegm and spat noisily onto the pavement. “What ever you reckon, doc,” he whispered to no-one in particular.

He pushed himself away from the shop’s exterior wall he was leaning on as the harsh clanging of a bell sounded, and hordes of children streamed out of the school across the street.

Most ran into the arms of parents. The hordes became singles; eventually one.

Adam took a bag of sweets from his pocket.


My problem: where do you sell horrible little (or in some cases not so little) stories like this? Child abuse is not a topic anyone wants to think about or read (thankfully), but I don't write about that. I write about the fiends behind the perversion, the emotions, the aftermath, the revenge of the child in many cases.

John Saul does nasty things to the children in his books all the time. The children are central and don't always come out on top. Quite often they have horrible things done to them and many of them die. Is this only allowed in longer works?

My work: (a simplified breakdown)

Too Late the Rain is a 2798 word piece containing child abuse and death.
Dark Rose is a 3385 word piece about child vampires
System Failure is 4000 words containing infant kidnapping
Wamphyri is 4000 words about a boy becoming a man while dealing with a vampire
The Winged Shepherd contains Cot Death (SIDS)
Mobile has a pregnant woman die and come back with her ghostly child
Confused Love is about a retarded boys misconceptions and some extreme reactions.

I write some weird shit.

But were would I sell it?

I'm trying to sell it at all the normal horror outlets online.

Winged Shepherd went to Fear and Trembling (F&T) after not placing in the PARSEC contest, and being rejected at F&T's sister site MindFlight. (with edits and revisions in between)

Too Late has been rejected a few times as has Dark Rose. I think all the others have been rejected at least once. This goes back to my recent post referring back to JA Konrath's post talking about when to let go.

Some of this work has been evolving for a while, but I don't think any of them have been rejected more then three or four times. I run a dark market database for AHWA where we list at least 100 of the most prestigious markets accepting dark fiction, so I know there are plenty of markets for me to still try - but should I?

Is there a market for insidious stuff like this?
Am I just having a really down day?
Should I re-evaluate what I'm doing and write more mainstream dark fiction?

What do you think?

Should I just shut up and keep writing whatever comes into my head and just get on with it?

If we were just talking about art, it wouldn't matter. I'd keep writing whatever twisted tale came to mind, but I want to write stuff that sells (don't we all?). If my current topics don't sell, or don't sell well, then I need to alter my way of thinking.

What do you prominently write about? What things do you think sell?

I recently read a new take on a vampire story and Wamphyri was inspired by a new take on a werewolf story. Do I look more to this type of thinking rather than continue with my own dark thoughts and imaginings?

If children were excluded, would I have a better chance at marketing my work?

I know some of you who read this blog have had pretty good years as far as selling shorts go. In your research into markets for selling those shorts, would you say dark tales concerning children would make it harder to sell?

How many questions can you fit into one blog post?

Okay, I'll stop now. Your thoughts and comments would be appreciated.


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