I received a very cool rejection from Lon Prater at Neverary. I never really tried this market before because it is almost always closed. He said some nice things:
Thanks for sending me this story. It held my attention throughout and some of the swashbuckling elements–even the humor at the end–reminded me favorably of Dumas.
That said, I’m sorry to inform you that I am going to pass on this one. The story is very close, and probably spot-on perfect for a venue such as Adventure Fiction Online, SDO Fantasy, or maybe even Black Gate (if you can stomach the long wait time at BG.) I think the thing that pushed this over the edge for me into non-buy territory was more a matter of personal taste. Specifically, a lot of the action seemed too Hollywood-predictable, and also (again a matter of personal taste) your sentences seemed too uniform in structure. I tend to buy stories with more of a mixture of structures, for what it’s worth.
All things considered, you obviously know how to pen a decent yarn. I’d be happy to see more from you this reading period, if you have anything you think might suit Neverary.
I haven’t read Dumas since I was 14. I did like The Man in the Iron Mask best, though and that’s the sort of feel I was going for in this story. Unfortunately, SDO fantasy and AFO have already nixed this one. Maybe I’ll send it into Black Gate for a year or two. NOT!
Ilenna will have to wait a while before she can see her namesake in print. I need to research who can publish this. I hate to send it out to a free site, but that way I don’t have to worry about it any more.
I need to strike here while the fire is hot. Neverary closes soon and I don’t have anything to send him. I hope A&A rejects the Speed Trap story and I can send it off to Neverary.