Saturday, May 1, 2010

Behind the Story: "What She Said"

This was my breakthrough. That's what I thought when I wrote it. But it didn't become my breakthrough for another decade.

When I wrote "What She Said," I was working for a city magazine in San Francisco and the executive editor wanted to publish it. Her boss, as it turned out, did not.


So I sent the story around to eight or nine other places. They all said no.

I gave up.

A decade later (give or take a couple years) I took another look at the story. It was lean and sharp and fast. I liked it. With a few small changes I sent it to the Beloit Fiction Journal. The editor at the time, Shawn Gillen, said yes.

Soon I had a work of fiction in print for the first time.