The Darkness Below in The Colored Lens Autumn 2014 issue

"The Darkness Below" appears in The Colored Lens #13 Autumn 2014 issue. The speculative fiction magazine is $2.99 in the Kindle Store. Prime members and Kindle Unlimited subscribers read for free. 

It's like a dream come true.

Almost in the literal sense. This sci-fi story was based on a vivid dream I had fifteen years ago. The journey to publication was a long one, but worth the wait.

About the story: Captain Erin Waite and her team descend into the depths of a cave in search of an alien, but what they discover is beyond anything they could've imagined.

This is my first paid publication. See my name down there? On the cover? Right side? That's me! It's official.
Also visit the magazine's website

I've decided to give the concise version for this story's publication journey. For full details, click HERE and you'll be directed to the complete explanation.

"The Darkness Below" is about 9,000 words long. A previous version called "A Black Gaping Hole" was about 10,000 words. That story received an acceptance in 2012 by a paying market, and that would've been my first paid publication. After signing a contract, I waited. The date of publication came and went, but my contract was never fulfilled. I discovered through some online research that the magazine was taken over by a new publisher.

After a few emails between a staff member with the assurance that my contributor's copy and check were "in the mail," I eventually received notification from that same staff member that there were major problems at the company and she was resigning. From there, I attempted to contact the editor directly and received no response to my queries.

And I was bummed out.

A fellow author, a lawyer, suggested that due to their breach of contract, I should edit my story, rename it, and submit elsewhere with a note stating something along the lines of: "This piece is unpublished in its current form. A previous version was accepted for publication in 2012, but the contract was never fulfilled."

I took the advice. The 10,000-word story became the much tighter 9,000-word story that has been published. I received four rejections before an acceptance. All said and done, I'm very pleased that my original story was never published because a better story came out of the experience. The acceptance was an answer to prayer.

Although some of that process was extremely frustrating, I'd like to offer some advice to writers who find the submission process (any kind, fiction or non) intimidating or defeating due to lack of response or rejection. I, too, live in that place where every RE: YOUR SUB email is most likely a rejection, not an acceptance. It can be really hard. If you're serious about writing, don't give up. Be purposeful about submitting to the proper market for your novel, story, or article. Perseverance will make it easier to not take rejections to heart and keep searching for the place that will offer an acceptance.

I hope you enjoy the story!