I’ve been putting off writing this blog post, and I think I know why. 2015 has been one of the best years of my life, possibly the very best, and I don’t want it to be over. Other years have seen incredible highs, but none can match this year’s sheer volume of thrilling moments. It’s also true that the great moments in other years have been tempered by losses, while 2015 has been good all the way through.
It is certainly the best year as far as my writing is concerned. In March I attended the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in support of my story “Days of Awe,” which was a finalist in the festival’s contest and therefore was included in the anthology, published by Bold Strokes Books. Once again, I was honored to be asked to read a selection from my story, which is always a double-edged sword of excitement and terror. Also as usual, I learned a great deal during the festival’s panel discussions by day, and, by night, lurked in dark courtyards, drinking and chatting with authors and publishers whose work I admire. (In many cases, they are the artists responsible for the stories I reviewed on this blog as part of last year’s 365 Short Story Review project.) I am incredibly lucky to have found, and been welcomed by, such an accomplished and inspiring bunch.
I want to say it was as a result of that experience that I found the courage to send my novel, Angels Fall, to publishers and agents, but that was actually a cumulative process. It included having stories in two of the previous Saints and Sinners anthologies and attending the corresponding festivals. Too, it was having a story in Best Gay Romance 2014 (Cleis Press), and one in Diverse Voices Quarterly vol. 6, issue 21.
In any case, shortly after this year’s festival I received a request for a partial, which gave me the courage to ask Steve Berman of Lethe Press if I might submit the manuscript of Angels Fall to that house. He said yes, and not too long afterward sent back a book contract. It was the day I’d looked forward to at least since sixth grade, and a part of me still cannot believe it occurred.
Steve not only took a chance on my novel, he then took a chance on me, by naming me the editor of The Role, written by Richard Taylor Pearson. A funny, thought-provoking, and highly entertaining tale, the book gives the reader insight into the life of an actor in New York City, right as he gets his big break. The author, Richard, turned out to be every bit as engaging as his work, and I have loved every moment of the process of bringing the book to completion. I am forever indebted to Steve for giving me this opportunity.
In June the Supreme Court made marriage a possibility for all of our nation’s citizens.
In the fall I received word that my story “Call for Submission” was accepted for publication in the anthology Threesome: Him, Him and Me, edited by Matthew Bright. That book will be released in March. It and The Role are currently available for pre-sale at http://www.lethepressbooks.com.
Lastly, just within the past two weeks, I learned that my story “Do Unto Others” is a finalist in this year’s Saints and Sinners Fiction Contest, and will be included in the festival’s 2016 anthology. The story deals with events which unfolded in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision.
It turns out I have a number of things to promote in New Orleans next year. I couldn’t be any happier or more grateful. That’s why I don’t want this year to end, despite the fact that 2016 promises to be great as well.
I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this dream of mine a reality. I wish each of you a 2016 filled with moments that bring you joy.
Happy New Year!