Some time ago I spent a good six months working in fits and bursts on a short story idea that needed time to percolate. Most stories do, usually for much less time, but this one was special: it meant something to me.
I'm talking about religion here.
Having spent many hours reading books on Zen Buddhism and Buddhism in general, my programmer's mentality was drawn to the one religion that struck me more as a philosophy or system for living than an excuse for worship or mind control. Draw whatever assumptions you like from that, but Buddhism seems to be the only religion I know of that actively encourages people to question it.
Of course, one of my other main interests over the last few years has been crime fiction. Talk about the other end of the spectrum.
Like many before me, I wanted to 'write what I know', but I also wanted to keep it within the realm of crime fiction. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I stumbled upon a way to combine my interest in Buddhism with my interest in crime fiction.
It may seem like a strange idea at first, but a few prisons in various parts of the world have experimented with the teaching of meditation to inmates, as a way of helping them deal with their time behind bars.
All this percolation and back story eventually led to the publishing of my story, BUDDHA BEHIND BARS, over at that ezine that is the hardest of the hard, Thuglit. About six months later and we're back in the present, where I've been lucky to have that story included in the second Thuglit anthology (whose cover should look something like that above), called "SEX, THUGS, AND ROCK & ROLL."
Like the first anthology, HARDCORE HARDBOILED, a handful of guest authors added their contributions to the swath of stories from Thuglit herself. It's going to be great to be included among such fine writers as Joe. R. Lansdale, Marcus Sakey, Allan Guthrie, Scott Wolven and Jason Starr.
The extra special bit about all this for me is the feeling of signing my very first publishing contract, which was quickly followed by the realisation that it will take almost two years to come out.
But that's the biz, and now that I have a taste of it, I want some more.
EDIT: I neglected to mention that the editor, Todd Robinson, is one sexy mutha.