A story of firsts - part two.
While "But Before I Kill You ..." was my first sale, between that blood-stained event (see last week's post) and the publication of the anthology, I sold a couple other stories which came out before ... and so my first publication was "The Dreamweaver's Dispute" in Leading Edge Magazine.
This story was written from a series of random inspiration - five images drawn from a fantasy art site with absolutely nothing to do with each other, and woven together into a story. The underlying premise became: what if the fairies came to you and told you that if you didn't fulfill your late husband's bargain with them, they would return your first-born child? So "Firstborn" was written.
It got a few encouraging responses in submissions, including a lovely reply from Strange Horizons. I was extremely excited when Leading Edge accepted it, and quite curious when I heard it would be illustrated, but there were a few hurdles to overcome first.
First, I had to change the title. They had printed a story in their last issue with the same title ("Firstborn"), by Orson Scott Card. Titles have always been a weakness of mine, so I came up with a list of every character, plot point and theme in the story, brainstorming with the help of my mother (hi!) until I finally hit upon "The Dreamweaver's Dispute" - a reference to the main character's profession. Not perfect or brilliant, but it was catchy and would work in a pinch.
Second, for whatever reason, they didn't receive my contract, and I found about this pretty close to the publication deadline. There were some technical issues I can no longer recall the details of - maybe the file was too big to email? - and back and forth that eventually required me to call the magazine office. Small snag: being a student-run publication, the office was only open a few days between 7-9pm. ... MST. So I had to wait until 9pm my time to try them.
But finally got it sorted out just in time for Leading Edge #51 to go to print with its lovely illustrations, and "The Dreamweaver's Dispute" on the table of contents.