Monday, July 20, 2015

Ethereal Tales: The Fine Art of Legacy

Ethereal Tales is no longer in print, but from its first issue in October, 2008 until it stopped publication in September, 2011, editor Teresa M. Ford gave many an inspiring writer the ability to cut their teeth on writing dark and Gothic fantasy and confirmed the artistry of a number of seasoned authors.

Though I had been published many times before, Ms. Ford was the editor that demonstrated the patience needed for me to learn the finer tones of submission and editing. The contributor copies she sent me are some of my most prized possessions and I shared magazine space with many other accomplished writers: Eric S. Brown, Michael A. Kechula, Sarah Deckard, Vonnie Winslow Crist, James Rawbone, and countless others.

My own bibliography in Ethereal Tales began in Issue # 3 with My Pretty Pony which was also featured on the Ethereal Tales Audio Book narrated by John Snell. Other stories quickly followed: The City of Sarkomand: A Guide for the Traveler, Chapter 32 (Issue #4), The Vampire Mice of the U&G: A Tale From The Universe The Next Door Over (Issue #5), A Fairy Tale (Issue #7), Greengate (Issue #9), and in the final issue, I penned Storyteller in honor of Teresa, herself. My final contribution to the legacy of Ethereal Tales came in February, 2014, when Morpheus Tales, a British  independent magazine of weird fiction, published an issue in honor of Ethereal Tales. Unable to let such an opportunity slide by, I submitted In The Father's Image, which was published in the special issue.

By the bye, you can still purchase back copies of Ethereal Tales at Teresa Ford's online store, Cute N Creepy, which is located here. The Ethereal Tales Special Edition published by Morpheus Press can be purchased here.

My short relationship with Ethereal Tales was a potent one. As already mentioned, the art of submission and editing for publication are skills writers have to learn on top of how to craft a good story. The experience of being published "across the pond" was a badly needed affirmation that my writing could cross cultural and international boundaries. To learn how others reacted to my writing was a lesson in itself.

No writer stands by him or herself. We all stand on the legacy created by other writers who influenced us with their own work as well as those editors who took the time to comment and critique and, yes, even reject our best work.

Ethereal Tales and all those involved in its history form an important part of my story as a storyteller. In my present and in my future writings, you will easily hear faint echoes of the impact the short-lived zine had on my voice and professionalism. 

It's certainly time for me to express my grateful appreciation and acknowledge one more giant upon whose shoulders I stand.

For Teresa Ford and all those who helped forge the literary legacy of Ethereal Tales, thank you.

I will try to do you proud.

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