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Meme It Up Big Time

(Via the intrepid Doug Lain.)

Describe the first story you ever sold to any publication. What was the title of the story? The name of the publication? The plot? The public reception to your work?

The first story I ever sold was called "Demonheart," to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, back when it was a going concern. It was set in a generic fantasy universe (no elves or dwarves, tho'). The hero was a young man who was a crewman on a merchant ship with a sorceress who was a passenger. Her power (and the title) was because she had a demon curled around her heart that whispered secrets to her. Constantly. Their relationship is one of fear (on his part), but she gives a magic whatsit to get him to calm down. During the voyage, the ship was attacked by pirates, who were led by a former apprentice/sorcerer-associate of the sorceress. He, unfortunately, had been driven mad (mad, I tell you!) by his own demon's mutterings and as a result, is out for revenge. The pirates take the vessel, the young man is badly wounded, and the sorceress and sorcerer have a throwdown on the deck. The sorceress is losing the duel when the young man intervenes by throwing a dagger at the sorcerer (with the magic whatsit wrapped around the handle). Sorceress wins, ship is saved, young man loses consciousness. He wakes up with the dead sorcerer's demon implanted in his chest, as that was the only way he could survive his wounds. Story ends with him becoming the new apprentice, hoping to learn enough to not go insane himself. Gosh, I'd forgotten how cheerful it all was.

To the best of my knowledge, there was no public reaction to my work, except for a review I saw in Tangent back when it was a print magazine. The review was generally positive, although it said the duel reminded them strongly of something from Magic: The Gathering. Ironically, I had never (and still haven't) played Magic; no, I was ripping off the duel scene in Deryni Rising.

I sold that ten years ago. Jesus, I feel old.