A Look At My Fiction Writing Career

I have been writing since I can remember. There’s something so powerful and cathartic in having control over the events, characters, and ideas that you create and commit to paper. Though I have such a passion for writing, it took me years to actually work up the courage to start submitting things to anthology calls.

The first one I ever got published was in an eZine called Neat Magazine. The theme was ‘dirge,’ which is a word that means a lament for the dead. I wrote my story, “Listening to the Dark” for the anthology specifically and it was then published for their winter edition. Strangely enough, despite the theme, my story was the only true horror in it! The eZine is actually free to read should be interested, just click on this link and check it out.

My second story to be published was “Falling,” in Sanitarium Magazine, Issue 34. By this time, I was getting pretty excited. I had gotten my first official payment for publication, even better was that it meant my writing was apparently good enough to be chosen.

From there I published two stories with Fundead Publications – “The Family Home” (published in Shadows in Salem and focussed on a morbid German belief) and “Danse Macabre” (published in Night in New Orleans and a pretty gruesome tale at that.)

I was again published in another eZine – also free to read – called The Siren’s Call, Issue 34. “Of Lions and Mice and The Dangers of Doors” was an experimental story I wrote that jumped through the memories of an unreliable narrator.

One of my favourite stories ever to be published was “Godmouth,” which was chosen to be the featured story in a Lovecraft-themed issue of Hinnom Magazine. If I had to pick one story for everyone to read that really shows the joy I feel in writing, it would be this one. Not only is it a cosmic horror – much like the kind my idol, Lovecraft, wrote – but it captures my idea of what a really effective horror story should encapsulate: suspense, self-doubt, and the fragility of mankind’s sanity.

Last but not least, my last published story was “Mistress Edge’s House of Horror,” just released in Mummy Knows Best, published by Quantum Corsets. I do love writing horror but sometimes – as in this short story – I can’t resist a little humour, and maybe even some awful puns!

My submission to anthology calls has slowed down quite a bit in the past few months. While I am still writing and working on projects, most of it is going to be towards some personal projects I am working on – rather than general submission calls.

This can be tough, mainly because I love the gratification I get from receiving that notification that my story has been accepted for publication… but I also think it is important that I work on other things and expand my skills as a writer.

There is no worse thing than being complacent and loses your edge as an artist, so every day I make a goal to push and test myself in order to improve myself. One of my main goals is to write and publish a novel. It’s a huge endeavour and my hat goes off to anyone who has managed to do it already. Writing a novel takes such dedication and stubbornness that anyone who does it should get kudos. I hope to join your ranks one day.

Until then, do me favour and keep reading my short stories. I will post flash fiction on this blog, and you can click on the links above or in my Published Works section to read the short stories I’ve written that have been published (I highly recommend “Godmouth”!) Of course, I can’t promise that I won’t be able to resist putting aside my projects in order to writer and submit a story to an anthology in the near future, but that won’t stop me from working towards my goal of completing my novel!

Remember always that sharing is caring, also post a comment letting me know what you think, or send me a message through my Contact page!

x P.L. McMillan

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