The Nessie cover is drawn almost exactly to detail from my story. As a way of repaying Johny Perkin's the artist, I had a character in the story named Perkin.
Now I'll be the first to admit that my Crow: The Beast in the Lake story is not exactly as I wanted it to be read. The tale started life as Lochinvar and the Beast. It was the famous knight from Sir Walter Scot's poem battling the Loch Ness monster. I wrote it in third person present tense and used Scottish vernacular and Scots based anecodotes all through the story.
But the editor didn't want a third person, present tense story in the anthology. Thought it might confuse the readers. (Hey, don't ask me, I'm not American.)
So...I then changed it to past tense. Then we had some issues with all the Scots content.
I was about to give up by then, as ye might ken, me bonnie lads and lasses. (Or sassenachs, as the case may be.)
So...because I knew the painting for the cover had already been commisoned and produced on the draft version sent to the artist...late one night, in one sitting...I re-wrote the story yet again...in first person, past tense, having removed all the Scottish content.
Then had it edited again...then again...and by now I was pretty sick of the whole thing...it was starting to read like I hadn't written it at all. The editor and I reached a compromise and he accepted the last version I submitted. Which was just as well, because I wasn't going to submit any more after that.
Now some might think (if they read it) that Crow: The Beast in the Lake is a pretty good tale. And in a basic way it is...but it's not a shade on the original Lochinvar and the Beast story.
But I guess the editor saw something in it that he liked. And at the end of the day they're paying me, I'm not paying them.
I fully expect to enjoy the majority of the other stories in the anthology...I mean a whole book about giant monsters and mighty warriors and nubile (naked?) young maidens...how bad can it be? ;D I'm looking forward to getting my copy so that I can check it out. And that Nessie cover is just awesome, all by itself.
I'm quietly hopeful that the Lochinvar and the Beast story might soon be published in England/Scotland by a UK publisher. If that happens I'll let you know.
Well...perhaps I'm too critical of my own writing.
An American author who has had quite a few action/adventure novels published read both versions of my story this week and said that while he thought Lochivar was ok...he also thought that Crow: The Beast in the Lake was equally as good and suited the style and theme of the anthology much better.