The title of this blog entry is the first line from ‘Hello!’ a short creepy horror story.
It was some months ago that the editor of Firewords magazine (Dan Burgess) approached me asking if he could use ‘Hello!’ in an upcoming literary magazine.
I was interested but I asked a few questions before agreeing. I was keen to know exactly what Firewords was, and what ideas Dan had for the magazine.
Dan replied promptly. I can’t remember the exact words, but he basically said that the majority of the published short story magazines were visually uninteresting or uninspiring. He wanted to do something different. He wanted to have visuals that complemented the stories. That would interact with the stories.
I gladly agreed to Dan using ‘Hello!’ I was keen to see what he would come up with.
On Saturday a surprise package arrived through the post. It was an edition of the small print run teaser edition of Firewords.
This is the first time I’ve seen my work in print and the feeling is euphoric. Five years of effort finally comes good!
However, I’m going off topic. Having now seen Firewords I totally get what Dan was aiming for. To say I’m impressed is an understatement.
What Dan has done with ‘Hello!’ is fantastic. I don’t think the photo I’ve taken really does it justice. ‘Hello!’ was written in a traditional way, except my use of space, but the look was the same as any short story.
Dan has taken the story and…well the picture above tells its own story. I had no idea that he was going to do any of the above. I suspect that anybody reading this won’t have read ‘Hello!’ but trust me, the story is even more effective because of the way it has been presented. The presentation fits the story exactly, and really is complimentary.
The rest of the magazine was impressive too. In another story called Rock & Roll the text gets lowered mid-sentence and then rises again. The same story has a line printed at an angle. It sounds mad, but the story ends with a character in love with a rock. Again, the visual representation is matching the story. It really is a creative approach.
I’ve mentioned text, and the photo above maybe suggests the effects are only achieved with text fonts, but that’s not the case. The magazine makes use of photos, and illustrations. Each story is accompanied by a visual style that suits that story, or indeed poem. Yes, poetry has a place in Firewords.
I’ve been reading small press magazines since the early nineties and I haven’t quite seen anything like this. I’m proud to have my work published in Firewords. The other works in Firewords were all of a high standard including a fine story by Dan himself.
As I said earlier this was a small print run. Dan intends to do some more work on the magazine and produce a larger scale print run sometime during 2013. I wish him all the luck. Getting a print magazine produced can be hard and costly work, but this one deserves to succeed.
Take care and keep an eye out for Firewords and its talented creator Dan Burgess.
M J Wolfson - That's me.