The first issue of Dark Yonder drops today and with it begins a new, ahem, chapter in my life. Dark Yonder is a new literary journal that focuses on publishing neo noir short stories. Crime fiction author Eryk Pruitt and I are serving as co-editors. Putting together Issue #1 was a joy and, out of hundreds of submissions, we found 10 that we think illustrates what the world is truly like today. I'm excited about it and hope that you'll give it a shot. You can buy the paperback version here or buy the ebook version here.
As the introduction to Issue #1 indicates, I am drawn to neo noir because it recognizes the have-nots in our society, and the realities of their world, plus the truth behind the façades of wealth and privilege. Plus — since a “to the barricades” revolution is no longer possible — promoting neo noir is as close as I can get to fighting the modern’s world upside down economic system.
We’ll be putting out an issue four times a year, so look for the next one in April. If you're a writer and want to submit something to Dark Yonder, you can learn more here. We've already started reviewing submissions for Issue #2 and I'm happy to see that there are far more women submitting stories this time around. To whoever helped pass the word: thank you!
While Issue #1 has some great content in it, this issue represents so much more than just my rediscovering the joy of short stories. It's also the first time I have publicly identified myself as an editor. For years, I have been privately editing books for friends and colleagues. And, in truth, I love it almost as much as I love writing. What’s not to love about it? Essentially, editing is telling other people what to do. But I also have a sort of combination OCD/perfectionism/love affair syndrome when it comes to words, ideas, and the best way to present them. I don't like cleaning up my house. God knows, I don't like cleaning up my house. But I sure do love cleaning up a manuscript. To bring order to a plot so readers can immerse themselves in it? To shorten or clarify language so that the essence of the work can shine through and readers don’t drop out before the pay-off? These are all things I love. There's also a gratification in editing that comes from helping an author with something to say become the very best writer that they can be.
For all of these reasons and more, I hope you'll join me in toasting this new role in my life, one that I know will complement my identity as a writer.
I'm grateful to the authors who submit their hard work for our judgement and to the readers who support us by buying copies of Dark Yonder. I hope you will join me in supporting writers unafraid to tell it like it is, especially because we are working really hard to ensure we're publishing the best of the best.
If you're a reader, please share this information with your friends who may enjoy neo noir. And if you’re a writer, even if you're not normally into neo noir, consider spreading your wings and trying out a new genre. We'd love to see the work that results.