Extra, extra, read all about it…
My protege has her first publishing credit in Akashic Books Fri-Scifi. Check out her flash fiction piece here:
To tell the story of how proud I am of her for this next step in her writing career, I have to go all the way back to the beginning.
Breanna, or as I call her Tali(We are both huge Mass Effect fans), got stuck with me about five years back. At the time I was finishing up my MFA and was literally owned by the great and lovely Kaylie Jones who had me 40 hours a week on an internship and an additional 20 as a graduate assistant. One day while slaving away at building the ground work for Kaylie Jones Books in my mother’s basement(I know such a writer cliche), I get a phone call from Kaylie.
As had become my custom I watched the phone ring for about ten seconds pondering what task was about to get added to my list that I had titled First Thing Needing Done(The list had well over 40 things on it at one point). I took a deep breath and answered that call.
“Justin, I have a couple of young writers here who like writing sci-fi. I told them I don’t know shit about that but I know a guy who does. Would you be okay with me giving them your information?”
Of those young writers, Breanna was the only one with the fortitude to survive me. I put her through the paces(Good old Stephen King’s On Writing) and kicked her writing teeth in when necessary. Somehow though she has stuck around. I was always tough on her and explained that a day would come when she’d face down publishers and editors(worse yet, reviewers) who don’t care about the blood, sweat, and tears a writer puts into their work so if she didn’t have thick skin she wouldn’t make it.
Over the past five years Breanna has become a nearly daily correspondent in my life, and has grown from fledgling writer into a valued friend of mine. I’ve told her from the beginning that my goal was to give her everything I learned, and to make her better than me. With this short glimpse for the world to see her brilliance, I do believe we can all agree the student is closing in on the mentor.
Proud of you, Tali.