Yes, “The Strangers” is the eleventh story accepted for publication in an anthology this year and it has a slightly unusual history. I originally wrote it for a different publisher and it was rejected. “Ouch,” yes it always stings. However, I read that John Green was looking for stories to be included in his “Tales of the Southwest” anthology on Facebook. I happened to casually mention that I had a story that might fit but A) it’s set in Idaho (not exactly the southwest) and B) it has aliens. He told me to send it to him anyway.
He liked the story, but asked if I could change the location from Idaho City, Idaho to Cedar City, Utah. I did the research and although the presence of the Mormon church in late 19th century Utah complicated things a bit, I made the edits.
I received the PDF proof copy and the cover image (above) this morning and saw John was posting the cover on Facebook, so I guess that means I’m not only “in” but I can talk about it. John, me, and four other authors are contributors and I’m pretty thrilled. Yes, I wrote a western, but it’s a weird western. I’m particularly proud of my main character, a hometown kid who found success as a San Francisco newspaper reporter, but I think the scene stealer is the town’s old sheriff.
I don’t know when the book will be published, but once it is, get a hold of a copy, read my story, and tell me what you think.