ROBERT FLEMING

Humans adapt. It’s what we do and why we’ve managed to survive generation upon generation.

The latest global pandemic has, if nothing else, shown that many among us can, in fact, work virtually, full-time without any noticeable loss in production or quality. To this end, Skype, Teams, WebEx, and numerous other video conferencing platforms have been proved to be more essential than ever before. Probably none more so than Zoom.

If you haven’t been in a Zoom meeting in the past ~400 days, then consider yourself lucky. To those of us who have been less fortunate, we present to you “Final Zoom Meeting” by Robert Fleming. It’s quite possible that after reading Mr. Fleming’s piece, you may never want to log into a teleconference again.

We hope you enjoy.

STEVE SAULSBURY

Have you read all of the first issue of Instant Noodles?

If you have, you’ve seen “Curious Knots,” the short story by Steve Saulsbury.

As soon as our reviewers read this story they knew we had to have it. It’s the kind of story, as a publisher, you wish you could have show up over and over, in different forms.

It has the feeling of a poem, and a perfect sense of place. I can see the whale; I can feel the wet cardigan.

If you haven’t read this story yet, what are you waiting for?

HARDBOILED AND LOADED WITH SIN

Welcome to HARDBOILED AND LOADED WITH SIN, the new anthology series by Hawkshaw Press. First issue drops 2022.

Here’s the deets:

Fiction only.

Short stories 1500-7,500 words. If yours is longer send us a query @ publisher at Devil’s Party Press dot com.

12 pt New Times Roman, double-spaced.

Authors over 40 only.

Submit everything through our Duosuma page as a Word or Pages file.

FEE: 10 bucks

PAYMENT: All authors selected for publication receive a one-time royalty of 25 bucks, a copy of the anthology, and our semi-undying love.

See HAWKSHAW to submit.

WHY I ENJOY READING AUTHOR BIOS

yurkovich-polaroidDianne and I just completed our sixth anthology, entitled WHAT SORT OF FUCKERY IS THIS? It was a long project, easily the longest project (both in terms of book length and number of contributors) we’d undertaken in our fledgling publishing endeavor. At times I wasn’t sure we could pull it off.

It may come as no surprise to learn that it takes longer to produce a collection than it takes to produce a full-length novel. The main reason, in my experience, has been that there is a lot more to do in terms of communication. When producing a novel, we’re working with a single individual. Conversely, when producing a collection with upward of 40 or so contributors, a lot more messaging is going on throughout the entire production process. It’s not good, but it’s not bad either. It’s just part of the business, though it does take time.

Of course, working with a number of authors means that you get to learn a bit about them. Not a lot, but a few things. With this most recent collection, I’ve been fortunate to engage with a few of the contributors beyond their manuscripts. Those brief exchanges mean a lot to me because they help me in terms of humanizing the authors we publish. For example, it’s pretty unlikely I’m going to meet face to face with one of our international authors during the production cycle. But in exchanging messages with them that transcend the work we are each doing, there is a greater sense of knowing each other. Which brings me to author bios.

I probably enjoy reading the author bios of our contributors as much as their actual work. Every bio is unique. Of course it is. And every author has a story to tell. I’m not referring to the work they are producing but the actual lives they’ve lived that has resulted in their unique, one-of-a-kind author bio that will publish in the collections where their stories are found. We also publish these bios on our website with photos of our authors. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy this small aspect of the process. Matching a face to a bio makes it even more real for me. To date, I believe we have worked with 59 authors in 21 months. Sometimes I wonder how we get it done.

One reason, of course, is that we simply put in the hours. This is why I’m awake so late on a work night, working on our Contributors web page, adding small photos and brief windows into the lives of the authors we’ve published, each a fascinating story of its own. Over the next few days the page will be fully revised, and there it will remain, until the next Halloween collection arrives in early October 2019, at which point I’ll be back here again, updating the page with new faces and new stories.

I look forward to making these new acquaintances, perhaps even yours.

DY