Being Published in the anthology “Magical Reality”

magical reality

Announcement of the “Magical Reality” anthology from Pixie Forest Publishing

Sunday morning, I woke up to some wonderful news. Actually, when I saw the email from Pixie Forest Publishing with the title, “Decision for The Dragon’s Family,” I was prepared for another disappointment at being once again being rejected. Then I read this:

Thank you for submitting your short story “The Dragon’s Family” to Pixie Forest Publishing’s modern fantasy anthology. We really appreciate you letting us consider your story. After much consideration, we have decided we would love to include your story in our anthology.

I was still swilling coffee and trying to wake up, but at that moment, I could have been dancing on air.

Later, I found out that there had been 62 submissions to the “Magical Reality” anthology, and only 11 stories had been picked, including mine, “The Dragon’s Family.”

There was also an invitation to join a private author’s group on Facebook. I was already a member of their public Facebook page, but on the private page, the authors and publishers/owners can interact more candidly.

“Pixie Forest” is a smaller publishing house just getting off the ground. On their website’s publications page, they have only one book out so far, Love Dust, published at the end of last August. So far, out of 11 customer reviews, 91% have been Five Star with the remaining 9% being Four Star, which is pretty fabulous.

I’ve been told that the publishers are shooting for March 1st as the publication date for the hard copy of “Magical Reality,” with the e-book version available for pre-order in February.

The theme for this anthology is fantasy that occurs in our real world. After some internal deliberation, I chose to adapt the very first story I ever wrote for my grandson two-and-a-half years ago, originally called, “The Day a Dragon Came to Live with Us.” I made the online version on my blog private so it can no longer be viewed. The edited version which will appear in the anthology is called “The Dragon’s Family,” and chronicles the events of a retired Grandpa and his widowed son finding and sheltering a wounded dragon in their home with the son’s two young children, a seven-year-old boy and a 14-month-old girl. It’s a tale of mutual loss and pain and healing.

I don’t make New Years resolutions, since the arbitrary beginning of a new calendar year doesn’t have to mean a sudden increase in motivation and effort, but a day or two before, just within myself, I was determined to double down on my writing efforts so that 2019 would be the year my fiction was published.

That happened pretty quickly. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.

I re-read my master copy of the story and saw ways I could improve upon it. I think there’ll be a window available for edits, so I can further smooth out some of the remaining rough bits.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am at this prospect. I know, I’m not on the New York Times bestseller’s list and I’m not likely to win any awards, much less fame and glory, but after nearly a year of seriously trying to get my fiction published, it’s good to see this accomplishment.

Oh, besides telling my wife about all this Sunday morning, I waited until I could see my grandson Landon, now almost ten-years-old, that evening about the good news. I wasn’t sure how he was going to react, but he was thrilled, both that I’d been published and because it was a story I’d written for him. Afterward, we continued to work on our current project which is to mutually author his first fantasy novel.

Thank you Donise and Jensen at Pixie Forest for liking (loving) my wee tale enough to let it see the light of day, and hopefully many readers will find it within the pages of “Magical Reality” and enjoy it as well.

I can’t wait to read the other stories in the anthology.

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41 thoughts on “Being Published in the anthology “Magical Reality”

  1. Wow this is so awesome, congratulations. I can only imagine your elation. I am in the process of finding an agent for my work, not even really close to finding a publisher. It feels like such a daunting task. Bit hearing of others getting their work published gives me hope to keep working. Thank you for sharing.

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    • There are tons of online periodicals and anthologies that have open submissions and you don’t need an agent. I have an agent for my non-fiction work, but she originally called me. Unfortunately, her agency doesn’t handle fiction, so I’ve pretty much had to reinvent the wheel. You might want to subscribe to this magazine (it’s free) to get the latest updates on who’s looking for what, including publishers of full-length novels.

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      • With so many smaller publishers cropping up, plus self and indie publishing, there are far more options available for budding authors than just the “big box” book publishers. I follow a number of indie authors. We’ve got to stick together.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is very true. I have self published to books recently with amazon ‘s KDP program, and while the process was easy, I have this itch with my third book to go the traditional route. Mainly because of the Marketing aspect. Trying to get work infront of the right kind of readers has been a whole new ball game for me. I appreciate the insight.

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      • Ah yes the risk, It is part of why I love to write. I risk finding out who I truly am by facing my fears with each new story. I am excited to see if anyone is willing to take the risk with me. You gained a new fan today James. I really hope you continue to have victories with your writing. I will be reading and following along as you keep us updated.

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      • Thanks. Years of working with big box publishers as a textbook author has taught me something of how they think. In that world, having an agent makes a big difference. I think an early version of Andy Weir’s novel “The Martian” was self-published, but it caught the attention of a publisher, so he polished it up quite a bit and the rest, as they say, is history. That doesn’t happen too often.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not a clue. Back in the day, I had been working with an independent acquisitions editor. I’d been recommended to her by a mutual (online) friend. After doing a number of projects for her, when talking with an agent, the agent asked who they’d recommend, and my name came up. I couldn’t have been more surprised when she called me and said she wanted to represent me. I had no control of the process at all.

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      • I’m sure you’ll find as I have, that beyond raw talent, educating yourself to be a better writer, and determination, dumb luck is often the deciding factor in success.

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    • If you get an agentand try to go the trad pub route, you are wasting years of your life on what may well be a lottery number.

      Here is my advice as a guy who wotrks with a small press and talks to self-published authorrs, some very successful, all the time:

      Forget the agent. Go indie. You will get your money faster – much, much faster – and you will see a higher – much, much higher, wven if you work with a small press – percentage of it.

      If you want to be a success, you will need to do two things.

      1, and by FAR the most important, write, write, write, and keep pushing out those books.

      2 is market. Get a blog. Starting networking with other folks in the small press biz. Soread the word very far and very wide. Get a mailing list.

      Trad pub is obsolete now. It is unbelievably difficult for you to get published, and if you do, somehow, we’re talking months or years from signing to release and you take 5% cut of a book they won’t market. It’s a lottery ticket.

      But there is hope. It is very hard to make it as an indie. Very hars. BUT! It is NOT a lottery ticket. With hard work and dedication, making enough money to make a living CAN be done by anyone. It isn’t easy, but such is the life of the writer.

      Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the information. I have self-published two books in the past two months on Amazon and am working on my 3rd and just assumed Traditional pub. Was the star to aim for. I have started blogging everyday and love it. Like every Author my biggest fear is what I write is crap my second is that no one will ever read it.

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      • I’ve been to your blog and I’d like to suggest that you create a “Publications” page with a brief blurb of each of your published novels and links to them on Amazon. That way if someone likes the writing on your blog, they can easily have a look at your books and decide (perhaps) to buy. Just a thought.

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  2. I’d just like to add my congratulations to those already expressed here. I am sorry, though, that you’ve locked out readers from going back to view your online original version. I, for one, would like to compare how your latest version differs from the original, to see the developmental effect upon it as you have pursued the effort of preparing and adjusting it for publication, and where, in your continuing saga, you had to cut it off for a stand-alone story (to be followed, perhaps, by sequels that might be published as additional episodes of a series).

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    • It’s out of necessity, PL. Typically, publishers ask for six-months exclusive rights for a story before it appears elsewhere, and although some allow it if the story previously appeared on an individual’s blog, others are more strict. I’m just playing it safe.

      Thank you and I hope this is the first of many similar successes in the coming secular year.

      Liked by 1 person

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