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Saturday, August 20, 2016

My First Published Fiction -Throwback Thursday


On select Thursdays, I like to share a throwback to past writing, book trailers, or randomness about me and/or writing life.

While I was scouring my old archive folders in search of this month's TBT post, I realized two things. First, the oldest file date I saw on my fiction was early 2002. I'v been writing fiction for  more than 14 years. Mind blown.  Second, it hit me that I'd hit another milestone and needed to update my bio. I am no longer the author of "over twenty" or "twenty-five" books. I crossed thirty last month.

My first published fiction isn't included in that number because it wasn't a novel. I wrote about a half dozen short stories over a two-year period before I managed to get one published. Technically, my first work to be pubbed was a romantic urban fantasy titled The Christmas Present,  a contest winner published on a website. My first work in print, however, came out the following year, 2005, and it was very different indeed. This was a murder mystery titled A Kink in the Tale that was published in FMAM, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine.

The pitch blurb I sent in with my submission read, "Lowell is after his aunt’s money. Will her most beloved companion become an unwitting accomplice to murder?"

Here's the opening from that 3,000-word story:

It lay in wait, blazing eyes of amber piercing the inky darkness.  Lowell Denton froze, a small muscle twitch under his left eye the only movement as he considered his situation.  He could head back the way he’d come and risk the predator striking while his back was turned, or press on towards his destination--an archway fifteen feet away--and face an attack before he’d made it halfway. 

The portly man decided to take his chances and inched forward, anger prickling at the back of his neck as he went.  Why did he have to deal with this?

Five feet.  Six.  He kept a wary eye on the figure crouched nearby.  It continued to watch, silent.  Ten feet.  Twelve!  He could make it.  Lowell’s eyes shifted to the archway lying just ahead.  In that instant, the animal lunged.  Catching up to him in two quick strides, it sank its claws deep into Lowell’s fleshy calves.  He shrieked in pain.

“Damn you, Hershey!”  He kicked one foot out behind him to dislodge the cat attached to his lower extremities.  “How’d you like a dent in your spine to go with that tail?”

Unfazed, the feline sauntered off and struck a majestic pose a few feet away, satisfied with its conquest.  The sleek black fur and lean body presented a striking picture marred only by an abnormal kink in its tail, a souvenir from a run-in with Aunt Cathy’s rocking chair.  She’d been so distressed that the chair was discarded immediately. Lowell had been disappointed that it hadn’t caught the cat’s neck instead.

Heh heh. Gotta love stories with cats, although there's definitely no erotic romance in this one! It was written long before I veered into the steamy fiction I was destined for. But it was a super fun story to research and write, and I was over the moon when the editor, Barb Lakey, contacted me with an acceptance offer. It was the beginning of a long and glorious friendship with fiction writing, and I never would have dreamed that a dozen years later, I'd be sitting here typing about that first publication with thirty-one books and roughly fifty short stories under my belt.

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I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over thirty books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

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