dianne salerni author
dianne salerni author

I am pleased to announce the release of Visions Volume 2, the second in a series of pulp fiction anthologies published by Strider Nolan Media in cooperation with Visionary Comics. Ron Fortier, of Pulp Fiction Reviews and Airship27 Productions, calls Visions “the real deal, an honest-to-God modern pulp magazine!”

This volume contains my short story Greydeere, in which a wily thief matches wits with a ruthless, upper-class ruler. Mike Katz has contributed Forlorn Hope, the story of a policeman caught between a bizarre supernatural creature and an enigmatic team of monster hunters. (I’ve had a sneak peek at this one and can highly recommend it!) I am also looking forward to Bernd Struben’s story of post-apocalyptic Earth, and Barry Yelton’s meld of the supernatural and the Civil War. Other contributing authors include A. David Lewis, Nathan Meyer, Bryan Baugh, and C. Edward Sellner.

Not only is Visions packed with short stories, novellas, and serialized novels in a variety of genres, it’s beautifully illustrated. In fact, I ordered a print of the Necromancer illustration from the first volume. It now hangs in my house and frightens small children. Rumor has it that the production crew from the television show 30 Rock also ordered a print and may use it on the set sometime this season. Anxiously waiting for that episode …

Visions is my first experience with a pulp fiction magazine. I’m honored to be a contributing author, and anxious to get my hands on a copy of this new edition to read! Visions can be purchased at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

I wonder if authors appreciate their editors enough. Writing is a very personal thing, and, especially in fiction, the characters and events created on the page can be vividly real to the author. I imagine that the initial reaction of most writers, when asked to change their work, is: You want me to dismantle my baby??

However, I have found that a gentle (or not-so-gentle) nudging by a good editor can revive a listless piece of writing. I recently sent the first few pages of a new short story intended for the Visions pulp fiction anthology to my editor at Strider Nolan for feedback. Frankly, I knew I was struggling, and I needed a push in the right direction. Mike sent me back a whole page full of ideas. My first thought was: No, that’s not where I wanted to take my story. My second thought was: Yeah, I was planning to take it to a much more ordinary and boring place! Subsequently, I scrapped my first draft and began to re-envision the story from a completely different angle.

I learned to trust Mike’s judgment when we worked together on my story, Necromancer, eighteen months ago. He told me that the ending needed work and suggested two alternate ways to conclude the story. I knew he was right about the original ending, but at first I resisted both his suggestions. With some encouragement from my husband, I decided to go ahead and re-write Necromancer using suggestion B, after totally rejecting suggestion A. I was very pleased by the results and emailed Mike the new draft only to have him send it right back. “That’s good,” he said. “Now, revise it again so that readers think you’re going for ending A and surprise them at the last minute with ending B.” My jaw dropped. It was brilliant. I would never have thought of that on my own.

So now I listen, and I’m ready to dismantle my creations and put them back together as needed, willingly making multiple Frankenstein drafts. When my Sourcebooks editor gently suggested changes to the We Hear the Dead manuscript this summer, I think I surprised her by my willingness to delete and re-write. And when my producer (it’s so cool to say that!) told me to trash the first 30 pages of the WHTD screenplay and re-write the beginning, I didn’t freak out. I got excited.

Revisions … bring them on.