So far I’ve bought a few novels so that I may master the art of appreciating successful writers, the obligatory Writers & Artists 2013 yearbook to ponder which lucky publication/s I could send off completed pieces to and a book on e-publishing, in case I go down that route. I haven’t sold a single piece to offset the expenditure of course. My project is not at that stage yet.I also bought a copy of Writers Magazine . Deep within its pages is a section full of competitions and markets for short stories. And, as I flicked though, I came across a rather arresting photo – the subject was a bespectacled, petite, woman of my age or more in a black vest top. Perhaps unusually she was also wearing scarlet red leather gloves and clutching a teddy. She had an over eager smile – and looked rather naughty. I liked her.
It turns out her name is Mitzi Szereto and she is both an author of erotic titles and an anthologist (to be honest at first I thought it said anthropologist which confused me a bit). It transpires that the teddy is also a writer, has a loyal fan base and had chilli for dinner last night. I now follow them on Twitter.But it gets better. She is compiling erotic zombie stories and is looking for submissions. Well, what’s a girl to do? I’ve had sex at least twice (sorry mum) and at least twice pretty much wished at least one of us was dead before, during or afterwards. I’ll give it a go I said to myself.
But as it turns out I know very little about zombies – unless you count what I learnt from Shaun of the Dead (and mostly I was watching Simon Pegg during that, on nom nom). I had to go to Wikipedia and do a little bit of film studies, where I learnt that zombies are rather rich and complex literary characters.Full of new-found zombie wisdom I put fingertips to keys determined to do for zombies what Twilight has done for vampires. I even found a way to make light of the drooling. But I fear I came up terribly short (insert obligatory joke about me being 5ft 2).
I truly struggled to get anywhere near the 3,000 word count. Until I remembered the novel I had just finished (Wonder by R.J. Palacio). In this book the writing cuts back and forth between characters – giving them each as turn as narrator. And it’s a great technique for adding depth to the events within the story. So I did that, and pretty soon, we have a zombie, his lover and her mother to play with.
I made the word count and submitted my story (once I managed to spell Mitzi’s email address correctly that is). While, it’s highly unlikely to get accepted, it was fantastic practice – and I got to justify some of my recent expenditure. And it has led me to Mitzi and that bear.
I feel my horizons have been broadened, not least because I’ve had to think about zombie sex, red leather gloves and Teddy Tedaloo. Maybe next week I’ll have another new topic to titillate us?
Come back and find out!