After what felt like continual rounds of rejections this year – the vast majority so frustratingly close and more often than not turned down due to reasons of fit with other stories – it’s been nice to see something actually make it. My story, The Way of the Mother, is featured in this collection and is linked to my current WIP, The Five Turns of the Wheel (now out for beta reading). It lives and breathes the same world, although it features new characters.
Set in the Weald, a hidden corner of England, six villages form a Wheel and within this wheel is a path leading to Umbra, a ShadowWorld of strange creatures and inhuman ‘humans’. These ‘humans’ venture into the real world to ensure the laws of Mother Nature and her son, Hweol, Lord of Umbra are obeyed. But the Weald has to be protected from the encroachment of modern life, its borders being maintained by Johnny Hedgerow. In The Way of the Mother, the Umbran returns to the Weald to rebuild a damaged border using traditional methods and careful selection of materials. The result is both bloody and tragic. I hope those of you who buy the book will enjoy it. I know I can’t wait to read the other stories in this anthology.
Another story, again linked to Five Turns, was sadly rejected by a publication but a reader’s response to it was:
“Wonderful fantasy story with fantastic world building. However, the ending is too abrupt, and left me wanting more.”
Another reader also made similar comments, again referring to the ending, so that is where I’ll focus my attention when I get back to it. What pleased me was that it was generally enjoyed and so carries hope for this particular tale.
It seems my spiritual home for the present is definitely in the furrows.