Several years back, in November 2005, I brazenly emailed Shawna McCarthy and asked her if they were interested in running a YA review column. To my amazement and glee, they decided to give me a shot with a sidebar, approximately 1/3rd of a page. Nothing huge: just a few books, a paragraph or two each, plus covers. And I tackled it enthusiastically. Every few months, as the deadlines insisted, I turned in my sidebar.
Over time, there was change. I was handed off from Carl Gnam to Laura Cleveland, and I managed to get a full page for my column, leading to a consistant 8 books per installment. I covered all manner of YA fantasy and science fiction, representing dozens of authors and all the major publishers and then some. In all that time, I was occasionally a little -late- for deadlines but I never missed one entirely. In all that time, from the February '06 issue to the upcoming final issue, I was only left out once, after marketing stole the space for ads.
So, as the news of Realms of Fantasy's closure spreads, I look back on this time as one of the best gigs in the industry I've ever had. I'm going to miss it. The people I worked with were always accessible, professional and friendly. They paid me even when I didn't ask first, sent me cartons of books, and made me feel like part of the team. When I got back into the fiction submitting game, I immediately sent a story to Shawna ... unfortunately, we'll never know what would have happened now.
So. /raises a glass to Realms of Fantasy. Here's to you guys.
Anyone happen to have a need for a slightly demoralized YA SF/F Book reviewer?
I'm housebroken, do simple tricks on command, thrive on deadlines, already well-connected with most major publishing houses (and many authors), and come with my own supply of books. I work cheap, but do like an audience.