The inside story on The Devil in Jackson County

If you scroll down a bit, you'll see a story about the devil which has never before been published. There are reasons why this is so, but I first want to dispell two possibilities.

Myth #1 - Maybe it was never published because Torres never sent it out or sent it to the wrong places. This is false. I sent the story out to a handful of magazines. Rejections tendd toward personalized, "good writing, but the story is not for us." I also try to do a bit of market research before sending out a story so that I'll know if it is in general a good fit. My research led me to believe I was sending the story to the right places.

Myth #2 - Maybe it was never published because it was a bad story. Well, to that I can say "read it yourself." I don't think it is a particularly bad story, but then neither is it a partiicularly good story and that remark brings me to the reasons I think publication eluded the Devil.

Reason #1 - The story doesn't know what it wants to be. Is it humor? Can't be. There's a lynching. Is it, then, serious? Not quite. The devil has a few good lines. Is it religious? Well... there is a conversion, but then the Devil comes off as sympathetic. That might be someone's religion, but not mine, so...shall we call it mainstream, literary, fantasy? Or maybe hodge-podge? Strangely, not many publishers looking for hodge-podge.

Reason #2 - While it is a decent story, it's not a great one. The concept of the devil being bested in a bargain is not new. The wager he proposes doesn't really gel as one put forward by a worldly wise negotiator, more like a high schooler. There are some good lines, but really the story was constructed for the punch line and could have been half as long, I think.

I've certainly seen worse stories in print (this was the basis for my starting my first novel - I could do better) but that's no reason to think the story deserves publication. File that under "two wrongs don't make a right."

If you have other reasons why the story struck out (over and over) let me know. If you're a publisher who would like to contact me about publishing stories of a similar quality, let me know also. I've got loads of them.

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