Woot, I say! Short story number six is now listed at Queerteen Press, and it’s “Erl-King”, which turned out to be the hardest story to revise for me. It’ll be released in April.
The story was already written a certain way when I decided to submit it to the publisher as part of my short story collection with them. Then I had to change a bunch of things, basically ripping out at least half of the story I wrote originally and then picking through the rubble and recycling passages for the new version. It was brain-draining work, which is why it was the last story I submitted to them. It’s also a retelling of Goethe’s ballad, which you can read here.
Here’s the story blurb:
Baltasar grows up in a world of absolutes, of black and white, right and wrong. Just as his brothers and sisters who went before him, the boy is groomed to follow only one road, at the end of which is a life no different from his parents’ and grandparents’. His parents’ strict teachings and the naïveté that results, however, render him ignored and friendless, and Baltasar spends much time alone.
During one of his solitary wanderings in the countryside, he stumbles across an enchanted land and its melancholy, ageless ruler — a land full of color and magic, and a bond that defies everything he’s always known about the world. But what’s unusual, tempting, and exciting doesn’t always lead to a clearer path, and Baltasar is forced to choose between two wildly diverging worlds, with each exacting a high price.
Erl-King is a retelling of Goethe’s ballad by the same title.
And an excerpt can be found here. As for the rest of the short stories, we’re down to the last two titles to edit and process, and those will be out sometime in May, according to my publisher, with the print and e-book anthology containing all nine stories set for the end of May.