I don't usually blog about rejections anymore. A waste of time, really, 'cause we all know they happen. But two I've received in the last month really crawled under my skin and laid eggs. Each was for a different story, but both mentioned bad things happened for "no reason". One rejection came from a very prominent science fiction/fantasy publication...the other from an upstart.
One rejection, for the flash story "Communion", explained (in a very snarky manner) that they wished people didn't think killing children for no reason was entertaining. For the record: I don't think killing children is entertaining. Secondly, if you've read the story (and most of you have--thanks), I think the reason was pretty clear. Lord of the Flies is a helluva good book, and a couple toddlers short of a handful get whacked in that one...but I digress.
The second rejection made me feel dirtier, to the effect of a man stalking a woman and murdering her for no reason isn't my idea of entertainment. Okay, you haven't read this story yet (and I hope you will have the chance), but the protagonist a) isn't stalking anyone; he's experimenting with his new "powers" and b) he doesn't plan on killing the woman--he's just faced with a moral choice at the end: one life for another--and he doesn't choose the woman because she's a stranger. But I still felt dirty.
"Horror writers" get a bad rap. Some of the nicest people I know are horror writers. I'm going to put that on a t-shirt.
I don't write splatterporn. I don't like to read splatterporn. I hate movies that are nothing but splatterporn. (um, Sorority Row* anyone?) Bad things happen in my stories (usually), but my goal is usually to tell a broader story than the bad things.
Look, this is life. Bad shit happens.
...and Johnny Cash makes me feel better.
*check out the trailer...didn't I see this when it was called I Know What You Did Last Summer? Oh wait--it's a remake. I want my money back.