In 2021, I swore two things to myself, the first one was that I would direct my first short film — I ultimately did not. The second was that I had to be published in English.
Back in 2019, when the world was supposed to be normal but was really fucked up and spiralling towards the pandemic, I entered a contest here in France. Goal was to write a thriller novella. I lost during the first round, promised myself if the winner was what I thought it was I would never once again write in French when the results rolled in, I altogether stopped writing in my native language.
Am age 32 writing this and my writing seriously was a long and slow process. I wrote a bunch during my childhood. Truth would be I wrote an entire book about a pirate which my parents lost during their tumultuous relationship. In grade school I started writing anew first by writing fanfiction about a table top games named Confrontation. It was my first forray in showing my work, and I appreciate I did so during the early 2000S when forums were all the hype.
This got me tough criticism but an even tougher skin. Exactly like Guillaume Pierret did with movies. In highschool I used to write instead of listening to class and after that the blue collar life and the drug addiction and the bad choice fucking crushed me and that’s all right, we all fucking make mistakes that’s called living.
Problem was I grew up with a dad always saying that if I had been an artist I would have gotten something out by whatever age I was at the time. One of you might be struggling with such shite, bullshit spun at you by unconsiderate parents or acquaintances and let me tell you this is all lie. I found out discovering Peter Cheyney who started writing and publishing stories around his thirties before gainign fame and disappearing once again. This peculiar trajectory of a British writer became an engine for me.
Someone could not have tried to publish before hitting whatever age they wished. You just have to try.
In France, I had to deal with quite a few rejection, some coming from my favourite publisher and I swallowed them and I tried to push on until this fucking contest.
In the meantime I started this blog and I began to write more and more in English, I had written in English in the past, mainly because I studied English in University before dropping my studies to become a package handler but that’s another story.
In December 2020, Gabino Iglesias started a submission call for his Hall-Dark Holidays anthology and I decided I could at least try. I did not make the cut, but the Beta Readers and Gabino himself seemed to dig my story, so Ipushed on.
In February, one of my short story almost made the cut in Max Booth III’s Lost Contact anthology and I split up with my girlfriend of seven years. I tried to fight the current, the motherfucking rainstorm all around and I pushed even more paper, and a few more short stories.
Give me a few more months and I began to wonder about ending my life.
For almost a year I had been writing probably nonstop, putting short stories after short stories while maintaining my blog up-to-date. I guess the fatigue stepped in.
By this time I had a small array of English short stories and they were rejected one after the other after the other. Imma be real, sometimes I thought I submitted to publication when I did not. I beta read for Twitter moot during this time, I continued to spread every submission call I stumbled upon (yup, you can give me a follow if you’re interested in this).
How it all began
One year ago, I began to write. First on Facebook for my friends then I began my Medium account. Here’s a translation…
If I’m recounting all of this, it’s mainly because recently i told one of my best friend I was gonna be published and he didn’t know. Still, he went on to tell me how inspiring I was and that I was the one that proved everyone it wasn’t only the writing, one had to push on and submit everywhere and never give up and i don’t know y’all.
What he said is probably true.
But here’s how I lived it. At the lowest point of my depression, when I stopped talking to my friend so they would not feel guilty when I killed myself, I was still submitting stories to a bunch of publication. In January I ahd written the Loneliness of Malabron for Eerie River who had rejected it as fast as it came. On the 25th of November, another publisher rejected it.
I had hold on to this small fiction because I thought it was worth it. That it was special and didn’t deserve to just end up on my blog being read by only 3 people. On the 28th November came a mail from Sliced Up Press asking me if the story was available and here was the contract and they wanted me in their new anthology.
And I cried. Alone on my couhc. For over an hour.
I won’t lie, I signed the contract, told them how they could pay me and since there was no public annoucement of my participation I still thought this was all a mistake.
It wasn’t, on the next day, Slicedup Press annouced I was part of Monstroddities and then came a round of edits which I totally fucked up. They demonstrated how inexperienced I was and how patient the editor was. And I’ll always be thankful to them and they’ll never know how much.
Two days ago I received my digital author’s copy and it’s weird thinking I’m in the same Table of Content as Joe Koch, seeing how much I respect his work. But there’s a book and I’m in it and maybe I’m over thrity and single and I wanted to kill myself and everyone told me I was not gonna make it.
Yet the book will be released on the 28th of February, and you can preorder it here if you like the short story I release on the fourth Friday of each month.
Whatever your parents told you, your age doesn’t matter. You just have to keep going.
I just received my author’s copy, it contains my first ever published story.