Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My Life and Stuff

By chance today I was looking through my electronic copy of Gila Queen's Guide to Markets, and I stumbled across an anthology that's looking for Biblically themed horror. When I saw that, I was so excited, I nearly peed. Thing is, I've got this "trunk" story called "Jawbone of an Ass." It's a story I wrote many years ago specifically for a Biblical horror anthology, which for reasons yet unknown to me (the fools!), they passed on it.

I love this story, though. I chose the topic by thumbing through the Old Testament and randomly putting my finger down on a passage. No, surprise, it's a bit obscure. I ended up in a story I knew only a little about, that is Samson. Not the more famous one of Samson and Delilah, but of Samson's first wife, a woman from the rival tribe that really kind of gets screwed by Samson and his people. Anyway, I thought that story would make a great horror story if you made it from her perspective, rather than that of Samson's.

I also ended up making other changes. "Jawbone" is completely removed from ancient Israel. I thought it would have more modern resonnance if it were retold in a similar kind of religoius battleground, so I set it in 1980s Northern Ireland. Samson is now an IRA man (with God on his side) and the unnammed wife a Protestant.

And then her life just sort of unravels, as told in the Bible. I actually follow the scripture's plot (which, honestly, makes it that much more surreal) up to the point Samson ties a bunch of foxes together and lights their tails on fire -- I made that a dream. But, if I do say so myself, I always thought that successful or not in terms of a Biblical retelling, the story is one of the most poetic/literary/atmospheric stories I've ever written, and thus I've always wanted a bigger audience for it.

But try selling an obscure Biblical retelling to a mundane audience. Suffice to say, the only place it ever saw print was in the Wyrdsmith's chapbook. I came clean about that pub to the editor of this new anthology, but I hope he won't hold that against the story.

Cross your fingers. Wish me luck!

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