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Weldon Writes ... Almost a Blog

Moving From Anthologies to Novels: Interview with Weldon Burge by Suspense Magazine

The following was published in the June 2011 issue of Suspense Magazine. I enjoyed the interview. Thanks to Shannon Raab for the great questions!

Being best known for his gardening articles hasn't stopped Weldon Burge from trying all sorts of things, literary-wise. He does freelance writing for many nonfiction and fiction publications. His nonfiction has appeared in Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Gardening How-To, Birds & Blooms, Flower & Garden, National Gardening, Delaware Today, Country Discoveries, Grit, Back Home, The Almanac for Farmers & City Folk, and other national magazines.

His fiction has been showcased in Suspense Magazine, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, Grim Graffitti, The Edge: Tales of Suspense, Alienskin, Glassfire Magazine, and Out & About (a Delaware magazine). His stories have also been adapted for podcast presentation by Drabblecast, and have been accepted for the anthologies Don't Tread on Me: Tales of Revenge and Retribution, Pellucid Lunacy: An Anthology of Psychological Horror, Ghosts and Demons, and Something at the Door: A Haunted Anthology. Weldon had several projects brewing, including a police procedural novel and an illustrated chidlren's book. He is also one of Suspense Magazine's book reviewers.

Currently, Weldon is a full-time editor for Independent School Management, which provides a wide range of products and services for private schools. He's been the editor of Ideas & Perspectives, the company's flagship publication, since 1993. He created, posted, and maintained ISM's initial Web site starting in 1995, and is still involved in its development and content. He is also highly involved in the production of the company's other publications.

This month, we showcase our own Weldon Burge. He is always ready to do whatever we ask, and we are so honored to bring him to the forefront in Suspense Magazine's Contributor's Corner for the month of June. Enjoy!

Suspense Magazine (S. Mag.): Fiction, nonfiction, blogging, full-time job, and a family. How do you juggle it all?

Weldon Burge (WB): I do most of my writing around 2 a.m. on Saturdays.

Just kidding—but not entirely. I write wherever and whenever I can find the time: during my lunch break at work, in the evenings after dinner, or even at 2 a.m. on Saturdays. I live a life of deadlines (I’m a full-time editor), and I learned long ago how to prioritize my time. Family comes first. Everything else shakes out from there. So, I set deadlines for myself, but often find that I certainly can’t find time for everything—and that’s when prioritizing comes into play. The projects I deem the most important are the ones that get done. I have an extensive, ever-growing to-do list.

S.MAG.: You’re active in your local writing group, what is the biggest personal benefit of that association?


WB: The writing life is a lonely one. I welcome any opportunity to collaborate with other dedicated writers, both for the camaraderie and for the learning experience—and those are the biggest personal benefits I get from the writing group. My group, the Written Remains Guild, has been instrumental in helping me gain focus on my work from other member perspectives, as I in turn help them by providing my thoughts on their work. The critique sessions are illuminating as well as fun.

Being with the group has also given me the opportunity to perform my first public reading of my own work, alongside four fellow members, at a public library. What I assumed would be a terrifying event was actually fun, and gave me a chance to talk with the audience members afterward. It was a rewarding event, one I look forward to doing again in the future.

S.MAG.: What’s left on your creative “bucket list”?

WB: Novels! I’ve written many short stories and have seen them published in anthologies. I love anthologies, by the way. And I write a lot of nonfiction, particularly gardening articles. But my dream is to publish as many suspense novels as possible before I kick that bucket. I’m currently writing a police procedural set in my home state of Delaware. It involves voodoo, drug running, and freaky violence. I’m having great fun writing it, and I hope it eventually becomes a series. Literary agents out there, please take note!

S.MAG.: What did you want to be when you “grew up”?

WB: A chemist, believe it or not … well, up until I actually took a chemistry class in high school. Ugh! When I was around 10 years old, I loved the idea of taking different chemicals and combining them to create a wholly different product. There’s something magical about that. When I began writing short fiction in high school, I found out that it was much like chemistry, taking raw and often disparate ideas and turning them into a story. Not much difference between good storytelling and alchemy, is there?

S.MAG.: If you could write a message to future aspiring authors and place it in a time capsule for them to read years from now, what would you write?

WB: START NOW!

My only regret is that I didn’t take my writing career more seriously earlier in my life. My advice to aspiring writers is simply don’t put things off. Just do it, whatever it takes. Pay your dues. Churn out writing and market it. Always keep your work on the market. You get a rejection, fix the manuscript if you must, and send it out again. I’ve always believed that the key to successful freelance writing (aside from talent, of course) is momentum and persistence. You just keep at it, evolve as a writer, and success will be your reward.

S. MAG.: Weldon Burge, always at the ready with great advice and an honest opinion of a book he's just read. What more can you ask for! Suspense Magazine is proud to have him on our team. Thanks, Weldon. Keep up the great work. If you'd like to see more of what this very talented man is all about, check out his Web site at www.weldonburge.com.

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Something Dark in the Doorway: A Haunted Anthology

There's nothing like a collection of ghost stories for late-night reading, and Static Movement's Something Dark in the Doorway: A Haunted Anthology certainly fits the bill. But, as editor Greg Miller noted in his introduction, stories about hauntings can take many forms: "While reviewing the submissions ... I simply didn't anticipate the extraordinary variety of ways in which the word [haunt] can be interpreted." Here you will find stories of people haunted not only by ghosts, but by other supernatural creatures as well as human emotions, regret, and worry.



My story, "DWF," is the first of the 22 stories in this volume, and it was written in the classic ghost story style (e.g., M.R. James, Arthur Machen), with a decidedly modern slant. It was first published in the Delaware magazine Out & About (October 1996), and won First Place in its "Fright Fiction" contest.

Other stories I enjoyed in this anthology include:

  • "Haunted by the Self" by A.J. French—a study in ego and paranoia that is provocative and tests the imagination
  • "The Door of Gingercove Hotel" by Joshua Brown—a haunted hotel tale with a Lovecraftian flavor
  • "An Apple for Teacher" by Anthony Cowin—about a teacher and one of her problematic students, and fruit trees
  • "The Patience Factor" by Rick McQuiston—sometimes patience isn't golden
  • "My Ghost" by Gregory Miller—a poignant story about how childhood memories can be haunting
  • "The Doll Keeper" by Mason Kuldinow—a story involving a sea monster and a bizarre "collection" beneath the sea
  • "Mirror, Mirror" by Bruce Harris—sometimes even reflections can prove to be "haunting"



If you enjoy horror stories, especially those involving hauntings in various forms, you're sure to find stories in this anthology that you'll enjoy!
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Ghosts and Demons

Who doesn't like ghost stories? (Heck, the Ghost Hunters show on Syfy is one of my guilty pleasures!) Not only do I love reading ghost stories, but I love writing them.

Static Movement just released the anthology Ghosts and Demons, with 33 stories filled with apparitions, demons, and paranormal mayhem of every stripe. My short story, "Blue Eye Burn," is included. This is one of my favorite stories, originally published in Out & About, a Delaware magazine, back in 2004. The tale is about a Vietnam vet who is visited by a child from his past, a child long dead.




Some of the many other stories I enjoyed include:

  • "Death Comes for Gil Bates" by William Wood—what the future holds for the Grim Reaper
  • "Walking the Dog" by Rick McQuiston—will make you take a second look at man's best friend
  • "The Green Washing Machine" by Gayle Arrowood—a different take on appliance hell
  • "The Winter Experiment" by William Todd Rose—a chilling encounter with Yuki-onna, the mythical snow woman
  • "Happy Slapping" by Jason D. Brawn—a violent street punk gets his just reward
  • "The Rendezvous" by Gregory Miller—sometimes it's better to avoid old loves
  • "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" by Ken Goldman—a story involving a langsuyar, a malevolent ghost of a woman who has died in childbirth ... but much more


This anthology also contains five works by Yolanda Sfetsos, a writer hailing from Australia. The book ends with three of her stories, which are preludes to her novel HELLBLAZE.

If you enjoy horror stories—and ghost stories in particular—you'll find plenty to enjoy in this anthology! Halloween is just around the corner (hint, hint).
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The Almanac for Farmers & City Folk

I just received my 2010 copy of The Almanac for Farmers & City Folk. I've been writing for the annual publication for the past five years, and I'm pleased that the Editor, Lucas McFadden, and the Executive Editor, Thomas Alexander, selected six of my articles for this edition:

  • Garden Huckleberries
  • India Rubber Plant
  • Succulent Swiss Chard
  • Vertical Cukes
  • Crotons: Brash and Bold
  • Ornamental Bananas



Of course, the issue includes 14-month weather forecasts, fishing and planting tables, nostalgia, cooking tips, the zodiac, bizarre stories--the usual fun stuff you find in almanacs!

Keep an eye out for a copy at newsstands and book stores in the coming month or so! You can also order a copy hereRead More 

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The Other Side of the Desk

If I have any advice to offer someone who is serious about freelance writing, it would be this: Get a job as an editor. Even if it’s a part-time gig for a small local publication, do it! I’m convinced there is no better way to learn the business of writing than to sit on the other side of the desk. Working with other writers, helping them to produce stronger writing that is tailored for the publication you edit, forces you to view your own writing in a less myopic way.  Read More 

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