The Scribe’s Arcanum:
Anatomy of a Sale—Malfeasance Part 2
Two months later, I got word that awaiting publisher approval, Malfeasance had made the cut. I was cautiously ecstatic. The editor didn’t think the publisher would kick anyone out, but she couldn’t officially accept any story without the publishers go-ahead.
Here’s what she wrote about the story:
I really liked it. It was a great premise, good writing. I love Law and Order SVU and it reminded me of that but with an evil twist. I liked too that the villain really wasn’t in the story till the end yet he was a huge presence. I have to think that’s not easy to do, but you pulled it off.
About 21 days later, she gave me permission to announce the acceptance on social media. Then in August, I signed the contract. Realizing I could take part in my first reading and signing, I committed to attending the inaugural, but now defunct, Anthology Convention (AnthoCon) in New Hampshire.
I had a fantastic time at the convention.
After the reading, I took part in my first signing. Epitaphs: The Journal of the New England Horror Writers did well, selling out the 100 copies we had on hand. Then it continued to sell at other conventions and at online retailers.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this was my first opportunity to share pages with the late great Rick Hautala (sometimes billed as the other writer from Maine, as he was Stephen King’s roommate in college), one of the authors who inspired me as a teenager during the 1980’s horror boom.
Here’s some information on the anthology:
The anthology features 26 stories and poems from the delightfully scary to the deeply macabre.
Epitaphs, edited by author Tracy L. Carbone, includes an introduction by award-winning author and publisher Peter Crowther, as well as a cover by Danny Evarts. The table of contents in this chilling anthology is as follows:
Perfect Witness – Rick Hautala
To Sleep, Perchance to Die – Jeffrey C. Pettengill
The Christopher Chair – Paul McMahon
A Case of the Quiets – Kurt Newton
Build-a-Zombie – Scott T. Goudsward
Not an Ulcer – John Goodrich
The Possessor Worm – B. Adrian White
Make a Choice – John McIlveen
The Death Room – Michael Allen Todd
Stoney’s Boneyard – Holly Newstein & Glenn Chadbourne
Kali’s Promise – Trisha J. Wooldridge
The Sequel – David Bernard
Malfeasance – David North-Martino
Private Beach – Stacey Longo
All Aboard – Christopher Golden
Holiday House – LL Soares
Lines at a Wake – Steven Withrow
A Deeper Kind of Cold – K. Allen Wood
Alone – P. Gardner Goldsmith
Pandora’s Box – Roxanne Dent
Chuck the Magic Man Says I Can – Michael Arruda
Burial Board – TT Zuma (Tony Tremblay)
Windblown Shutter – John Grover
Cheryl Takes a Trip – Stephen Dorato
The Legend of Wormley Farm – Philip Roberts
Church of Thunder and Lightening – Peter N. Dudar
Wow! What a talented group! Looking back, I find it humbling to have been part of this project.
Epitaphs is now out of print, but an ebook version is still available. Since you can still purchase the anthology for the low sum of $2.99, I won’t be publishing Malfeasance on this blog. Although, I am planning on recreating my reading, a reading that at one point in the narrative initiated a gasp from the crowd. Once I make a video and upload it to Youtube, I’ll link to it on this blog.
Here’s a mixed review of my story by a reader on Amazon. It’s interesting, I was actually trying to make it feel like the reader was on a train, looking out a window, and seeing that the bridge is out ahead, knows nothing can be done about it, except take the plunge.
Malfeasance by David North-Martino: This was perhaps the most maddening story in the bunch. Just as with the previous story, I knew how it would end very early on. And yet it was crafted so intricately, I kept thinking no, I’m wrong, there’s a twist here I’m not seeing. But then… it ended just how I thought it would. Disappointing in that regard, yes, but it was still very much worth the read.
Still, it’s good feedback, and I’m always trying to improve. Many times, a mixed or bad review can teach you much more than a fawning one. Check your ego at the door.
If you’re interested, you can read a sample and get your e-copy here.