Dark FaithYesterday I shared the open submissions announcement for Dark Faith 2. I can tell you right now that competition for these spots in the book will be fierce. The second volume will be trimmed to 80,000 words (the first volume was 135,000 words with a 15,000 supplemental chapbook). Less space for everyone. Also, thanks in large part to a huge marketing effort by Apex, and all the critical acclaim and award nominations the first volume earned, the series’ profile is way higher.

Oh… there is also that whole ‘nationally distributed by Diamond’ aspect that appeals to writers almost as much as the sound of coins falling into a purse. If there is one thing that writers care about as much as money, it is fame.

I want to give the followers of my blog a special treat–insider tips on writing a story to give you the best shot of making the book. No, I can’t (won’t) wave my magical wand and order Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon to give you a spot. But I know Maurice and Jerry. The three of us became good friends during the production of the first volume of Dark Faith. I know things about them that they would never want the public knowing.

Too bad. The public will know, now.

1) Maurice loves anthropomorphic animals. Particularly the kind that has animals talking to people. It doesn’t matter the setting. Place your story in the back of a smoky casino where a kitten, a donkey, and seal are playing high stakes poker with Vegas hustlers. He’ll love it. Have your animal be one of those Amazonian worms that crawls into your privates while you swim. As long as the worm is talking it up then Maurice will be sold.

2) Jerry likes it feisty. Not your story. I mean in the author-editor “give and take” way. If he rejects your story, he enjoys the pseudo-intellectual follow up email where the writer wonders openly about the editor’s taste. If you sell your story after receiving a rejection from Jerry, by all means write up a snarky communication to let him know that you sold your story to your favorite 4-the-Luv market, and that this proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Jerry was wrong in his assessment. OH, and his favorite… cornering him at parties to offer passive-aggressive discontent at his choice to pass on his story.

3) Don’t confuse Jerry with Maurice, or Maurice with Jerry. One is tall, pale-white, and handsome. The other is short, dark-skinned, and handsome. I know, it can get confusing. Names are hard. Distinct physical attributes can be confusing.

4) Here is the most important tip I can give you. Jerry loves beer. He is, I might say, a connoisseur. If you’re in a situation where you can buy Jerry a fancy beer, then grab that bull by the horn. Careful, though. Choose the wrong beer, and you’ve just made the biggest writing mistake of your life. Maurice loves wine. Cheap Riesling wine. If you’re in a situation where you can buy Maurice a glass of wine, then get that cork popped and pour. Careful, though. Choose wine that is too high class and you’ll not work the genre again unless it is for doing slush for the above mentioned 4-the-Luv market.

If you write a knock out story, follow the guidelines, and take advantage of my four insider tips, then your chances of being in Dark Faith 2 will skyrocket dramatically!


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