This is another post from my old blog that I wanted to share here.
I used to think I was a patient person; that was until I started writing. Waiting to hear back from a publisher has been about the worst part of writing for me. Most people would think the dreaded rejection emails are the worst, but not in my case. I’d much rather have an answer about my story being published or not. I don’t mind being told that my story wasn’t good enough to be included in an anthology, because it gives me a reason to go back a few days later and look over what needs to be fixed. I fix them and turn the story into something that becomes better. I strongly believe that any type of criticism is good. Fixing those mistakes is what molds a story into something special, something that should be shared with people. Writing is a process, and sometimes that process just takes a little longer than one hopes for.
The reason I believe I hate the waiting part of writing is because you get so pumped up and excited about finishing your story. You proofread it 547 times (maybe not so many, but it feels like it), revel in the satisfaction of completing something you’ve worked so hard on, and then you just want lots and lots of people to read your masterpiece. Well it usually takes a few weeks to hear anything back from a publisher, and that may not seem very long, but just thinking about if it’s gonna get accepted or not during that entire time is just awful! Writers just want their stories to be read, and be read by LOTS of people. So waiting to know if it will only be read by the publisher or by anyone who buys the book just stinks!
Right now at the time of writing this blog, I have one short story and a novel that’s out there under the microscope of publishers at this very moment. I have spent years writing bits and pieces of the novel until I finally finished it a few weeks ago. It’s called “Dead Are Alive: A Western Zombie Novel”. I’m very proud of it and really hope the publisher accepts it. If you’re familiar with videogames then you maybe thinking “Red Dead Redemption: The Undead Nightmare RIP-OFF!” And believe me; I was very discouraged when it came out. I have been writing little notes and bits on this thing since 2007. I just kept getting sidetracked and stopped writing for long periods. After I heard I was gonna be included in First Time Dead 2 it gave me a whole new drive to finish it. I haven’t played the Red Dead expansion, or the main game, but I have researched the storyline some just to make sure they weren’t anything alike. From what I have read, the only thing the two have in common is zombies. I just got discouraged in thinking people may think I was trying to copy the game. My short story is called “King” it’s about an old man living on his own with his faithful pal, his dog King. They encounter the Appalachian crypto-creature, The Wampus Cat.
Now enough bellyaching! I thought I would share some of these very encouraging reviews about my short story “The Hungriest Zombie” from the anthology First Time Dead 2 that I have read during this horrible time of waiting. First are some reviews from Amazon…
- Jason Thacker takes a more comic approach to the zombie tale with “The Hungriest Zombie” as he tells his tale from the zombie’s point of view. This is the first zombie story I’ve come across where, between the chuckles, I actually felt sorry for the zombie. – M.J. Evans
-I may be weird — no strike that — I am weird but I found “The Hungriest Zombie” by Jason Thacker to be an amusing and heart warming tale. The author managed to make me feel sympathy for a zombie. The “scary” scenes appear to be deliberately written to pull a laugh from the reader. I read this one twice. – Stuart D. Cooper
- The Hungriest Zombie by Jason Thacker – The way it read like a nature documentary was really clever, and once again, good dark humour. – Chantal Boudreau
- “The Hungriest Zombie” by Jason Thacker reminds us all of the horrors of gingivitis. – John Lemut (This was one of my favorites. Gingivitis really isn’t a laughing matter!… lol)
And now a review done by AnythingHorror.com (You should go check this site out; some really awesome reviews on movies and books among many other things over there!)- “The Hungriest Zombie” by Jason Thacker, had me laughing out loud and almost feeling sorry for the titular zombie. This story follows Ed, a 70-something year old who was turned. But poor old Ed has a problem though: He has the voracious hunger of the dead but doesn’t have any teeth!! All he can do is gum his victims or get some other zombies’ sloppy seconds. There’s not a lot of zombie stories that come from the creature’s point of view, but Thacker does a really great job here. He has us laughing and almost feeling sorry for old Ed, but he never lets us forget that Ed’s a zombie and horribly kills people … or tries. But good old Ed stumbles upon a solution that works in his favor, even if only temporarily. It’s a great story.
And lastly, here’s what Joe McKinney, author of Dead City, Quarantined, and many more great novels and short stories had to say about my story… (SPOILER ALERT!!!! A little about the ending is discussed toward the end of Joe’s comments.) – Your story was a standout. I think what really appeals to me about your story is the way you’ve given Ed a real personality, largely through implication. A narrative strategy like that is not easy to pull off, but you did a great job of it. And I still love the cruel twist at the end of this story. You don’t want to root for Ed, but you do anyway, and when he gets put down at the end, it becomes highly reminiscent of that old Twilight Zone episode starring Burgess Meredith, the one where he’s an avid reader who survives the apocalypse only to break his glasses so he can’t read. Your story carried the same emotional punch in the gut as that one, but with the added irony that we loath ourselves for rooting for him.
I would like to thank all of these reviewers and my family and friends who have read The Hungriest Zombie for their very kind words about my story; it’s really encouraging to me to know my words are making such a connection with people. I love knowing this little story I made up is making people laugh and feel this emotional connection with a toothless zombie. So hopefully I can do this more often with more stories… and soon! I guess we all will be waiting together. Keep in touch! My links are up on the right of this page, come tell me what you think, I would really love to hear from you! Oh, and one more thing, I’ve been getting a lot of comments about the picture at the top of my page, I have a lot more of my photography over at my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=41316&id=164498536903678&l=6506b6164b Come “Like” my page and let me know what you think. Tell your friends to check out my page’s and story too!
Until next time, take care!