I just learned today that Kestrel has accepted my story “DACAmented” for publication. It should appear sometime next spring. That’s a long lead time—nine months or so—but I’m grateful. This acceptance came out of the blue after a number of rejections.
Kestrel celebrates each publication with readings and other events, and they invite all authors to attend. I would love to go—what, give me a chance to talk about my writing?—but the publication is part of Fairmont State University, located in West Virginia. I’m afraid it would be too expensive to travel there. Plus, it’s the same weekend as Lisa’s birthday . . .
As for the story, “DACAmented” is related to my novel in progress, Zero Tolerance. When I’m working on a novel, I sometimes take certain events and spin them off into their own story as a way to develop the idea of that chapter or section better. In this case, the story relates a meeting between two characters in the novel, Tanya Cho and John Laughlin. But whereas the novel is largely about John, and written primarily from his POV, “DACAmented” is written from Tanya’s POV. Writing it helped me figure out more about where she was coming from as a character, and (I hope) enabled me to get that across in the novel even though it is written from another character’s POV.
It also allowed me to more fully express this character. I don’t really feel qualified to write from a Korean-American woman’s POV. But by learning about her position as someone who had conditional status under DACA, a status that can be revoked at any minute, I hoped to give some context to her actions in the novel, and also, bring more depth to her character and the book.
Beyond all that, I think the story stands up well on its own. I’m really pleased that Kestrel and its Fiction Editor, Suzanne Heagy, agree.