So, I heard back from John O’Neill at Black Gate regarding two submissions I had sent his way.
The first was rejected. As usual, Mr. O’Neill had some nice things to say and some suggestions. I mean, I really can’t get too depressed over a rejection that says: “I enjoyed this one — it’s fast paced and splendidly written, with remarkably solid characterization in a real economy of prose.” Got to love that!
But, there’s gotta be a catch. He said no, right? Well, again, as usual, Mr. O’Neill laid it out for me. “Unfortunately, the battle and the outcome are fairly predictable after the first few pages, and it’s not as original as I might wish. We see a few too many tales of wandering samurai demon-slayers, I’m afraid.”
See, this is one of the reasons I will always submit to Black Gate first, even though the response time can be slow. Mr. O’Neill has consistently told me where I could improve. Granted, I understand why so many markets use form letters–because they have too many submissions to do otherwise. I can’t fault them for that. I just appreciate that Mr. O’Neill has always told me point blank what the problem with the story is. That’s helped me improve stories that have found homes elsewhere.
The second submission was a reprint. That one is being held for further consideration. That kinda balances it out, but I still haven’t placed a second story with Mr. O’Neill.
Now, I need to get something else finished so I can shop it to Black Gate.