I just seem to be sailing from one uncharted course to another these days. This week, I've a contest deadline and a manuscript sample request in...you guessed it, that good old horror genre. "I try to get out, and they pull me back in," Al Pacino would say in Godfather III. I also think of James Caan in Misery as a writer trying to break out of the romance genre, and Kathy Bates kidnaps him and breaks his ankle for it.
Bad Day Books' Rogue Writing Contest is offering a ton of promo vehicles to the winner. I've been in a mess of those types of offers with the Spoiler in Battle of the Bands scenarios. It's free exposure and impetus to finish up projects for beta testing, so what the heck. I'm submitting Transplant, which was originally part of my Tales To Astonish trilogy, but was so gruesome I pulled it out as the breakaway novel. The problem was, the storyline was so explosive that it left loose strings all over place in short story form. Tying them up will be the key to the final wrap in submitting the book, but even then it will be a Shakespearean challenge in keeping the separate tragedies befalling the protagonists from turning into a terminal case of maximalism. I'll have no problem reaching the 40,000-word minimum requirement, but don't want to be hitting 50k if I can help it.
What a coincidence that another publisher would want to see the first story of the Tales To Astonish trilogy. I hadn't even started on The Vortex yet, as I was concerned (as I was with my novel Wolfsangel) that I would be accused of writing Nazi apologetics. Actually, as I left port with this one, I realized that introducing Satanic possession as a factor in developing the Holocaust was a perfectly logical approach. I could have sent the completed Transplant but it would have delayed work on The Vortex, which is coming along quite nicely now. The challenge now is finishing both works up by Halloween, and I think I'm right on course.
Living on Dead Man's Pond right now, being in a state of 'retirement' in devoting all my time to writing, is definitely a big plus here. Getting paid and staying alive after the 401k runs dry? We shall see.