I can’t believe that I’ve just chosen the seventh In fabula-divino story – we’re over half way!

The story that will be appearing in two months time on November 1 is called ‘Crossroads’ by Rick Keuning. It’s without a doubt the most traditional fantasy story I’ve chosen – an action adventure of the old school, but with a protagonist who wins through smarts rather than brawn.

I liked it as soon as I read it. It felt like I was slipping on a comfortable pair of slippers – warming, reassuring – yet they were new slippers and so there was excitement and unexpected colour there as well. I’m looking forward to working with Rick on that story.

In the meantime, for the past month I’ve been helping SG Larner polish her story Regret (have you read it yet? It’s wonderful – read it here) and working with Ann Decker on ‘In the woods’. I’ve had some interesting discussions with Ann about trends, and whether you should follow the ‘you should never do X’ directives that you often see in writing advice.

For the record, my point of view is that you have to do what’s right for the story. Sometimes, that means that you will make a choice that won’t suit some people’s tastes and they won’t like it. Fair enough, not everyone will like everything you write. But if you try to satisfy everyone, and do something just to make them happy, it weakens the story and your author voice. So do what it right for that story, and while some people will hate it, you’ve got a much greater chance of other people LOVING it.

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In case you missed it, I’ve made another change to the submission policy regarding payment. As a result of recent bank bungling, I’ve made the decision that from now one I’ll only accept stories where the author is willing to be paid via PayPal. My aim in this endeavour is to work with writers – I accept that by offering payment there’s a certain amount of paperwork that must be done above that but I’m having to spend a lot of time smoothing out the current problem. Time that is being stolen from my work with authors AND from my own writing.

So there it is. If you won’t accept money via Paypal, I will not publish your story.

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