Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Shoot For The Moon

My short story, "Shoot For The Moon", was published recently in Monomyth. As has become habit, I'm briefly going to blog about the story's gestation. There may be spoilers for anyone yet to read it.

This piece began life as an idea for the anthology, "Astrologica", edited by Allen Ashley. The guidelines were to write a story based on one of the signs of the zodiac. I knew I wanted to write a piece, but as the deadline loomed I found it increasingly difficult to get my head around the concept. Eventually I decided to write about a travelling sideshow, where each exhibit was somehow linked to a zodiac sign. Of course, this left me with a problem as to which star sign to focus on as the main character, but doing a little research suggested the back story behind Taurus might be a good idea. I would have Taurus leave the sideshow and have the others try to get him back or get a replacement. After all, you can't have a zodiac sideshow with one star sign missing.

As I wrote, however, I found the story became shoehorned into the concept rather than something which grew naturally. In some ways it's quite different from my other work (similar, in fact, to the stories in a collection that Allen and I wrote together and awaits publication - after 8 years). Allen liked the piece, but pointed out my main character is the only zodiac sign that doesn't actually speak during the whole story. For that reason - and a couple of others - he felt it wasn't appropriate to take it for the book.

After a few edits I decided to send it elsewhere, and it wasn't long before it found a home in Monomyth. I'd never actually seen the magazine before, but it's a good home for the piece. The magazine reminds me of the 'good old days' of the independent press, where similar home grown products such as Grotesque, Alternaties, Peeping Tom and suchlike held sway. Check it out. (I don't think the current issue is yet showing on their home page, and I can't get up a list of contents).

"Shoot For The Moon" was written listening to Kraftwerk on repeat. I haven't made a note of the album, but I think it was "Trans-Europe Express".

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