The first time I went to the Twilight Tales Reading Series was on September 6, 1999. I read my story “Maggie Anne & the Raggedy Man” at the open mic. I was nervous, reading outside under the stars, but, all in all, I was happy with how it went. Afterward I got to meet Tina Jens, who started Twilight Tales and ran it for many years. She was editing Twilight Tales’ next anthology, BOOK OF DEAD THINGS, and asked if she could publish “Maggie Anne” in the collection.
Talk about receiving a good response! I was walking on air!
Unfortunately I had the story submitted elsewhere and it would’ve been bad form to have it published while it was under consideration somewhere else.
Now, here it is 2007 and Tina and Twilight Tales are doing an expanded reprint of BOOK OF DEAD THINGS. This time around it’ll contain a John Weagly story. It’s not “Maggie Anne and the Raggedy Man” (that story’s available in UNDERTOW), it’s a more recent piece called “Love in the House of Nowhere.” I’m thrilled it’s in this anthology, especially since I never thought it would find a home. It’s a hard sell, since it’s not really a horror story, but has too many horror story tropes to be considered anything else.
I’ve done a lot with Twilight Tales since September of 99; attended conventions, co-edited anthologies, many, many, many readings. Twilight Tales even published my short story collection, THE UNDERTOW OF SMALL TOWN DREAMS. But this publication is among the sweetest. A lot has changed with Twilight Tales over the years, both for the good and the bad. I’m not nearly as involved as I used to be. Having this story published kind of brings things full circle, back to when Twilight Tales was, for me, something new and fresh and wonderful.
Oh, and they pay more for stories now. That’s cool, too.
Go to Twilight Tales to order BOOK OF DEAD THINGS.