Catching up a bit…

Was updating the website today and realized I hadn’t posted news in sometime.

First, a few publications. I have a story in Pill Hill Press’s Daily Frights 2012 which came in about a month ago and another in Wicked East Press’s second flash fiction anthology, Short Sips – Coffee House Flash Fiction Collection 2.

In bigger news, though, I had my first professional rate sale of a short story last fall. Over the course of 2011, I worked on and off on this little 7,000 word dark fantasy short called “The Sicilian Defense.” When I got it finished, it basically felt like what would have happened if Rod Serling had penned a Twilight Zone episode about chess. I know, I know, what’s up with you and chess, DK? Well, to be honest, the genesis of this story actually had very little to do with Pawn’s Gambit. I was up in Virginia with Keith and Crook for the Rush show last year and we were in the hotel about to leave. There was a big checkers board in the hotel atrium, sitting there set up. I have my chess set all set up at home on the coffee table with one of the pawns moved out as though the game has started. I moved one of the checkers out, and then we left for the show. Upon our return, I saw the board again and it occurred to me – what if someone had moved one of the opposing pieces out while we were gone. Thus came the concept of playing checkers/chess with an invisible adversary whose only evidence of existence is the moves they make on the chess board. Once the consequences for losing, and more specifically, losing pieces began to dawn on me, I knew I had to write that story. Thus was born “The Sicilian Defense.”

Now, fast forward to the end of last year. I had put the story away for months because it just “wasn’t right” and I knew it. I dug it out in November, finally figured out what wasn’t working, and put on the finishing touches. I looked around for a really good market, as I had worked harder on this story than any other so far. I thought about some of the bigger SF/F publications that pay pretty good rates, then an idea occurred to me. Why not submit to Chess Life – the international publication of the US Chess Federation. I researched them and their editor and found that they mostly publish only non-fiction articles about the world of chess. I decided to try them anyway. You never know if unless you ask, right?

I inquired on 12 November via the USCF if they would consider a fiction submission, and Dan Lucas, the editor wrote me back the next day and said he would take a look, though they rarely if ever published fiction. I sent it that night and began the wait – a wait that was much shorter than anticipated. On 16 November, Dan wrote me back and said he loved the story and wanted to purchase it – to say I was excited would be like saying Lady Gaga is a little over the top. I got him back an edited story by later that week and now, it looks like I’m going to have an internationally published short story sometime this summer. Not only that, but my buddy, Roy Mauritsen is going to do the art for the story. He’s already shown me a rough of his idea, and I am beyond excited to see the final artwork. More details coming.

Speaking of chess stories, still looking for an agent/publisher for Pawn’s Gambit. One agent has had the manuscript for 7 or so months, and I am waiting to hear back from them. Another I met back at Thanksgiving that I am really hopeful about. We’ll see.

Also, just finished my first draft of The Mussorgsky Riddle two weeks ago. At 87K, it’s not quite long enough, but by the time I finish fleshing out a few things/ideas, it will most likely be closer to a respectable 100K. Lots of work to do.

Lastly, just sent in my first short story of 2012 to Pill Hill Press for their Psycho Cinema anthology. It’s a little story called “Midnight Screening” where a vampire and a werewolf are waiting in line for a movie and bemoaning the entire time how inaccurately they are portrayed on the silver screen. If accepted, will be out later this year.

Enough for now. Will try to be more diligent this year at keeping up with my website. Hope everyone likes the new look. A lot bigger and a lot cleaner, don’t you think?

Best,

Darin

(Imported from original website)

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