|Issue #2 Cover by Bryan Flynn|
I love the way that sounds, and the emphasis on care and quality conveyed by that statement. And judging this magazine by its (actual) cover, combined with the way they have treated me throughout the submission, acceptance, and publication process, one is quickly convinced that publisher Quinn Emmett and his crew at The Fog Horn are living up to their promise on the page while also prioritizing the treatment of their authors in general.
I mention the latter as this is, without question, one of the best markets going today, in terms of global distribution reach (something-something about an iTunes app), quality of layout, and especially compensation. None of us (or very few of us, I should say) write Weird/Horror/Dark Fiction for the money, but it is quite refreshing when a publisher pays what I think authors are worth. Writers are always the first martyrs to jump in front of the spendthrift bullet, volunteering for self immolation by offering to ply our trade for free, just as long as the finished product sees the light of day. While this is noble (and something I have done in the past, and will probably continue to do if the situation calls for it), very few other creatives do this in the artistic marketplace. We scribbling scribes must be a self deprecating lot, or just suckers. But whatever the reason, it is - as noted above - a nice change of pace to get paid decent money for doing the work we love. A blessing, to be sure, but one that shouldn't be as rare as Southern California rainfall.
As for the story itself: I don't think I'm alone in that writers like/enjoy some of their own stories better than others. Sometimes, in the journey from the initial spark of inspiration, to the mulling process, to the final pressing of the letters into the clay, a story just doesn't turn out the way you wanted it to (much like the structure of that sentence). "Clean" is one of my favorite pieces. It ended up exactly the way I envisioned it, and I like the pared down quality of the prose, which up to the time of its completion, was a bit of a departure for me in terms of style, and also tone, and even genre, marking an evolution in my writing, however small. It's set in the real world, or very close to it. It could happen. It does happen, but maybe not in the same exact way.
Regardless, I am happy with "Clean," and very excited to have it out living in the wider world. Please stop by The Fog Horn website and/or blog, even if you don't purchase a copy of Issue #2, to check out a literary journal done right, and a preview of what will most likely be the future of literary publishing, as more and more readers move away from traditional timber and ink journals and books, and embrace the popularity of e-readers and page turning by phone.
Oh, and for a bit o' fun, get a load of my illustrated self, done by the talented The Fog Horn Art Director Bryan Flynn (creator of the gorgeous cover above), who manages to make me look grizzled, smug, and dissipated all at the same time, which pretty much sums up the man: