It’s always the assistant editors and first readers that like my stuff. The young people. The cool kids. I’ve always imagined them as trendy little hipsters sitting around the slush pile with bloodshot eyes and paper cut fingers. They’d find my submission and connect with the vernacular while forgiving my mechanical missteps. They’d read it and like it because we had something in common and then put my story on the “maybe” pile.
But eventually, they’d have to awake the senior editor. They’d walk into his tomb armed with torches and open his creaking coffin to find him dressed in his sweater vest. He’d sit up slowly, pinch his monocle between his brow and his hooked nose, and then peer down onto my manuscript. “What is this?” he shrieks, “This heathen befouls our beloved publication by submitting stories about hillbillies with superpowers? Bah!” Then, of course, my story would disintegrate into ash as the senior editor sucked out all its promise. The ashes would fall to the floor with all the others as the senior editor reclined once more into his coffin to drift back into a slumber chalked full of dreams about killing puppies or some such. Absolute bullshit.
Martian Lit, on the other hand, is piloted entirely by the cool kids. They recently accepted one of my submissions and published it here: http://martianlit.com/magazine/1407/ken-doll-jesse-anderson/. They even commissioned artwork for it, which I love, and helped me to polish off a few mechanical discrepancies so I could make the best possible first impression with their readers. The antithesis of bullshit.
Remember that song “Plush” by STP? The Rolling Stone Magazine dubbed that song “best song of the 90’s”. You could make a strong argument for “Alive” by Pearl Jam but whatever. “Plush” still kicked ass. I’d sit in my room for hours in front of an old TV, with its glowing convex glass, watching MTV when they were still deserving of the acronym. The red and washed out video for Plush would come on and I’d drool in rapt attention. I didn’t understand the lyrics (seriously, what happens “when the dogs begin to smell her?), but I loved the opening chords. In fact, it was the first song I learned to play on a shiny black guitar I got for Christmas. Well as it turns out, the guy who wrote those opening chords for STP is now one of the writers for Martian Lit. How awesome is that? My story, Ken’s Doll, comes right after something written by a man that influenced my life years ago. All the other authors published by Martian Lit seem to have PhD’s or publishing deals and I’m honored to be in their company.
The artwork they chose to go with my story comes from Christopher Coffey; you can find more of the work he has done for Martian Lit here: http://martianlit.com/author/christopher-coffey/. I absolutely love what he came up with, and once I get better at stalking people through Twitter, I plan on tracking him down so I can con a book cover out of him.
Anyway, I just wanted to write this to thank the good people over at Martian lit (Jeff in particular) for giving me a chance. I’ve made it onto the “short list” at least twelve times for half as many publications, but until recently, I had only made it into print once. Thank you Martian Lit.
Please go support them: http://martianlit.com/