March 10, 2013
After a fairly long hiatus, a new installment of the highly acclaimed horror series has been released, and it includes my short story “A Thousand Cuts.”
Each edition of One Buck Horror featured 4-6 horror stories, and the previous volumes have been very well received by critics and readers alike. OBH6 features a strong lineup:
“Blood Sisters” by Jamie Lackey
“A Thousand Cuts” by Alex Shvartsman
“Per Una Selva Oscura” by Michael Matheson
“Little Man” by W. P. Johnson
“Pretend” by Michael Wehunt
“The Dead Apple Tree” by Leslianne Wilder
You can purchase it here for only $0.99
Those of you familiar with my writing know that I don’t generally write horror. However, I occasionally write science fiction or fantasy so dark that it can easily feel at home in a horror publication. Spidersong and Nuclear Family are both solid examples. A Thousand Cuts is another such story. It’s a tale of a Russian woman who married an American and transplanted to an unfamiliar life in Greenwich, CT. This story is about relationships, mental health, the yearning for home, and it features a domovoi — a mischievous Russian house spirit. It was written in 2011 and accepted at OBH over a year ago, so I’m thrilled that the readers will finally get a chance to check it out.
January 27, 2012
I’m pleased to announce that One Buck Horror will be publishing my short story “A Thousand Cuts.”
This story was originally submitted to a Cafe Doom horror writing contest. The top prize for this contest was publication at One Buck Horror. Although “A Thousand Cuts” comfortably made it into the top 10 (based on anonymous popular vote by the entrants) among 50 or so entries, it was not ultimately selected as a finalist by OBH editor Christopher Hawkins.
But then, a really cool thing happened. Mr. Hawkins was kind enough to offer feedback to any of the top 10 finishers who asked for it. I contacted him and, upon reading the story again, Mr. Hawkins offered some suggestions and invited me to resubmit an updated version to OBH.
I was happy to comply. I spent a few days working on the rewrites and ended up with a slightly longer story that followed the same general plot, but was different in tone and feel. I then submitted this new version of the story, and waited.
Six weeks later Mr. Hawkins got back to me, letting me know that he did not like the rewrite as much as the original. He felt that the longer version lost the dreamlike quality of the original. However, he was willing to make some edits and send them to me, so I could try again.
For those of you who don’t submit stories I must explain that this is a rare thing. Most of the time editors are going to either accept or reject a submission. They rarely have the time to work on the story that’s *almost* there, and a second rewrite request is exceedingly rare. Needless to say, I was thrilled to work with him on the changes.
Turned out, the changes he wanted were smaller and more subtle than I was shooting for in my original rewrite. However, they did smooth out and further improve the story! Over the course of a couple of days we had a version we were both happy with. I’m proud to announce the upcoming publication with special thanks to Christopher Hawkins. who believed in the story enough and had the patience to work with me to make this happen.