Long-Distance Dedications, as a book, is a relatively new idea (maybe a year in the planning, so far), but some of the stories within it are already over 20 years old. “Hackettstown”, for example, was written when I was around 18, and in all likelihood, I will be including a story I wrote when I was in high school. The title right now is “Waiting for the Weekend”, but that’s subject to change, because I might revise the story to be about something else.
One of the things I have to do is figure out what’s in and what’s out. There are certain Dave Riggler stories that just won’t make the cut. One example is “Hit and Roll”, which I wrote for a site called Wikinut, to try my hand at paid Web content creation. Essentially, it’s an excerpt from “Hackettstown”, with a few of the details changed. If you want to get a feel for the writing style (but not the plot) of “Hackettstown”, I suggest you check out “Hit and Roll”.
Story order in Long-Distance Dedications is something I decided on almost immediately. It’s going to go in chronological order. So far, the earliest story in the book is “The Borrowing Contract”, so that will be first. And the latest story that I’ve written so far is “Rolled”, but the last story (so far, untitled) has not been written yet.
The first story I wrote specifically for the book was “And Ye Shall Be Healed”. Initially, the title had been “…And Ye Shall Be Healed”, but I dropped the ellipses when I submitted for the first time to a magazine. To be honest, I’m still not 100% sold on that decision. I might change that for the book.
That brings me to another issue: The stories in the book will be slightly different from the versions that have been published in magazines. “Rolled”, which will be published by Empirical Magazine in April, will have a dedication in the book, and will have another minor change. “Leaving the Union”, which I published through Amazon on Kindle, will have a few minor edits. And, if I’m lucky and “The Fight” finds a home in a magazine, that will be in a different form in the book, too.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy following me on this journey, both on the blog and in the book. It should be quite a ride. 🙂