Debrief: “The Sharpshooter”


Amazon | Goodreads

Never look too close at anything in the Myriad Carnvial; everything there is an illusion. Beneath the makeup and the wig and the costume in the gunslinger’s tent is Yves: French, genderqueer, armed with an enchanted gun. Trouble comes for Yves, but what happens when the West’s best shot is no great shot at all?

Publication date: 2/17/2016

Completion date: 7/31/2015

Number of times subbed:
Just once. I saw the call for queer and weird stories under the big top that Matthew Bright, the editor, put out on twitter, and could not respond fast enough. I’d worked with Matthew before, and he gave me the go ahead to put something together. I was THRILLED.

The story of the story:
I immediately had three of four ideas for queer and weird stories. The one that kept sticking and building out in my mind, though, was spurred by something that Matthew had mentioned: that there had been a weird west story slated in the anthology, but that the author had pulled out, so there was a hole, now. That plot just came together so fast, and so thoroughly.

“The Sharpshooter” is ultimately born from that seed–a weird west story where once you scratch the surface nothing is what it seems. Of course a western has to have a gunslinger, a suave and rakish gunslinger who ends up fighting a duel for their life. That’s the core of the story.

The fun part was digging into the nuts and bolts of this story. Why was this character a gunslinger? How did they end up at the carnival? What, exactly, was up with their gun? Were they going to get out of this scrape in one piece against all odds, and if so, how? It was an enormously fun piece to write.

Placing the story:
Easy peasy! This was one of those lovely times where the stars align, and the call to which you wrote the story actually accepts it.

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