I’m delighted to announce my first sale of the year: a short story, “Girls Who Do Not Drown”, to Apex.
I am absolutely delighted by this. Not only is it my first sale to an SFWA qualifying pro-market (a goal I’ve been working towards for some time), but it’s a story that means so much to me. It’s set in the place I grew up – somewhere I don’t often go in fiction, and even less in real life – and it’s about violence and escape, gender and shape-changing horses. This is how it opens:
“There are girls who stumble along the beach, barefoot, heels in one hand and a premixed drink in the other, balancing upon the line between the smothering land and the vicious sea, hoping they won’t see morning.
There are girls who will, in the last moments of their life, fingers clutching the soaking mane of the beast below them out of pure instinct, blame themselves, for seeking adventure, for finding exhilaration in danger. There are girls who know that if they make it home they will be blamed or mocked, because who could be interested enough in ugly girls like them to tempt them below the waves.
There are girls who do not know they are girls until the sea comes for them.
There are girls who have been told the old stories, who know the old ways to resist, to save themselves. And there are girls who find their own ways.”
I’m not certain of the release date just yet, but I’ll post again when it’s out. It feels like an excellent start to the year.