My copy of Loving the Undead showed up in the mail today! Yahoooo! My first published work. I tore open the bubble wrapped envelope and for the first time ever, ignored the check and snatched up the book (odd, since I'm a loot before card kind of guy–rude?) My initial thoughts? Cute cover, kinda cheap, but better than I expected. From the Asylum is a small small small press, after all. Good people, though. Katherine Sanger works hard and you have to respect our independents; They're heroes.

So…I open it up and find my story (Page 99, if you must know), read the first couple of paragraphs and shut the book. What the Hell? How did I let that out?

Reading the story, in this format, brings up an interesting subject (and a little of my lunch): Should a writer read their material after it's published?

I'm going to go with a big NO on that one. I found way too many things I'd change, if I were even to submit it again. Don't get me wrong, I'm beaming. But from now on I'll love my babies from afar.

Thoughts? Comments? Horror Stories?


Joe said…
My first novel came out from Putnam in the Year of Our Lord 1994 -- now mercifully out of print. I wasn't able to read it then, and I can't read it now, unless I'm pretty drunk. Then the best I can say for it is that it seems unfamiliar to me, the work of some well-meaning college studen. Even worse is the author photo, complete with torn jeans and moussed hair. A coworker recently ordered a copy and told me how much she liked it; I said thank you and smiled to keep from cringing. Since then, I have learned to look at the words on the page without reading them, thus sustaining the illusion that I am a genius.
Mark Henry said…
So if I cross my eyes just a bit the words can become blurry and nice. Just pretty lines and curves. I like it. Blank stares from now on!

Oh, and by the way, my word verification for this comment is bizag.

It's the new glitter. Bizag!
Anonymous said…
Did your story in Loving the Undead contain the same characters in Undead Socialite, or was it something completely different?

Mark Henry said…
Same character but all first person attitude, less story structure. I had just written and submitted the story two weeks, I think, prior to pitching it as a novel to Liz Scheier at Penguin. It might not have happened if it weren't so fresh in my head.

I had to change her up a bit, make her more sympathetic–if only slightly–tricky to do with a flesh-eating zombie, the humor was the key.