I saw the following Tweet when Gabino Iglesias posted it on November 16, and immediately my mind started spinning.
So @CemeteryGatesM is going to publish the “Hellmark” movie/monsters ruin the holidays horror anthology. Hah. Don’t tell me you want to write something; write something. Here are your submission guidelines. Tell your friends. Long live horror. pic.twitter.com/v7S75al46U
— Gabino Iglesias (@Gabino_Iglesias) November 16, 2020
I’ve never watched a Hallmark Channel holiday movie (or anything else on the network), but I’ve heard enough about them that I figured I could fake it. Reading through the Twitter thread, I noticed a real emphasis on “horror mixed with humor,” which I think is something I do well.
The only real problem was the November 30 deadline. My focus was shot to hell in November because of pre- and post-election stress. Then again, compared to the deadlines for the Weekly Knob (write a prompt-based story in six days) and the Borderlands Boot Camps (write a prompt-based story in one weekend), thirteen days was an eternity.
And I’ve been a fan of Gabino Iglesias as a writer and a person for a while, so getting into an anthology he was editing would be special.
I sat down, cracked my knuckles, and managed to get a story draft down. After Bill beta-ed it and I tweaked it, I sent it to Gabino well before the November 30 deadline. I tried not to obsess after that, but I really, really wanted this one.
Gabino started Tweeting about acceptances this week and my “helpful” inner voice that hates me spoke up: “Ah, you won’t get in; you were a stupid idiot to think you even had a shot.”
But I opened my laptop on December 8 to see I had two emails, one from Gabino and one from Cemetery Gates Media titled “HALLDARK HOLIDAYS ANTHOLOGY AGREEMENT AND PAYMENT.”
HAHAHAHA screw you, inner voice! Happy almost birthday to me. “Christmas Every Day” will be a part of the Halldark Holidays anthology coming from Cemetery Gates media very, very shortly.
Gabino is a terrific writer; if you haven’t read his work, I strongly recommend Coyote Songs. There’s a particular chapter of that book that still haunts me.
And in addition to that, he is an amazing advocate for other writers. Here’s an example of his awesomeness: When he was reading submissions for the Halldark anthology, he came across several great stories that didn’t quite fit the “Hallmark movie gone wrong” theme. So he put out a call on Twitter and found a publisher willing to put together an anthology of those stories and pay the writers.
I aspire to be like Gabino when I’m in more of a position to help other writers.
This is my very first pro-level short fiction sale. On the strength of this, I was able to bump my HWA membership level from Supporting Ally to Affiliate Writer.
Recently I’ve been down on myself and my publication dreams. Why do I keep putting myself through this? It just makes me miserable, and it’s not like I need to seek out more sources of unhappiness right now.
But then this happened and I remembered why I do it: Because when an author you admire likes your work enough to want to share it with others, getting that “Yes” makes going through all the “Nos” worthwhile.
I’ll post ordering info as soon as I get it. Which should be very soon.