Drops of Crimson accepted my short story “Death Storm” for their February ‘Blood and Roses’ issue. I’m happy about this. I’ve always liked this story and its character, Takeo Sugawara. I’m glad it found a home and will now have readership.
“Death Storm” is one of my Sugawara tales and a personal favorite of mine. I love Japanese culture and it often arises (as does martial arts) in some of my fiction. (Oh, yeah, I often write about Russians, too.) I readily admit I’m a Japanophile and I’m entranced with the Samurai culture. (These stories take place pre-Edo Period.) I like the honor and loyalty and selflessness. Anytime you put poetry, flower arrangement and swords together you’re on the right track as far as I’m concerned. Of course they were also very violent which has story potential, especially for a brooding loner like Takeo Sugawara who has one big Mad-On. He carries a famous sword called “Falling Flowers” (Many of the famous swords of that time had names) because when he uses it heads fall like…well, you guessed it.
When I was writing about him his stories often wrote themselves. I toyed with the idea some years back of writing a full-blown Sugawara novel. But the market place is up to its eyeballs with Asian-based fiction and I’ve never been one to jump on a bandwagon. But that’s okay, too. I’m not sure there’s a novel there anyway, if truth be told, and the stories I’ve written and had published over the years pretty much tell his complete tale, although not in chronological order. (That is, they weren’t written or published in chronological order.)
There’s still one Sugawara story idea that’s been clanking around in my head for many years. Maybe someday I’ll write it. I hope so.
Anyway, I’m happy about this placement. I like Drops of Crimson, I think they publish good work and I’m happy to be associated with them. And the editor, J. Lee Moffatt, said she “loved, loved, loved” the story which made me feel really good because, like I said, this has always had a special place in my heart, too.
I’ll provide a link and stuff when then story appears next February if anyone is interested….