#23 John Henry Fleming

On this episode of Origins I speak with author John Fleming. A formidable player of disc golf, father, owner of cats, and instrument banger oner.

He has also authored the books:

Songs for the Deaf

The Legend of the Barefoot Mailman

Fearsome Creatures of Florida

The Book I Will Write.

Visit Dr. Fleming on his website:


Follow him on Twitter @FearsomeTweeter 

His author page on Amazon is:

He was also provided me with an example of the angst that went into Songs for the Deaf in terms of rejection.


My story collection, Songs for the Deaf, was just published by Burrow Press. Here are the rejection stats for the individual stories. Note to writers: Don’t give up! Also, remember that rejections are not always a statement on the quality of your work.

Rejection Stats for Songs for the Deaf stories
§ “Cloud Reader”: 17 rejections, 2 years. Published in Fourteen Hills. A NewPages reviewed called this story “beautiful and mysterious.”
§ “A Charmed Life”: 33 rejections, 8 years. Published in Better: Culture and Lit. (Publisher’s Weekly wrote that “A Charmed Life” shows “what a skilled writer can accomplish in just a few short pages.”)
§ “The Day of Our Lord’s Triumph (with marginal notes for children)”: 8 rejections, 5 months. Published in Kugelmass. [PANK] magazine wrote that “Fleming is atop his game in this story.”
§ “Weighing of the Heart”: 12 rejections, 6 months. Published in The North American Review.
§ “Revolutions” (from “A History of War in Three Parts”): 5 rejections, 6 months. Published in Atticus Review.
§ “The General” (from “A History of War in Three Parts”): 24 rejections, 4 years. Published in McSweeney’s.
§ “The Posse” (from “A History of War in Three Parts”): no rejections, 5 days. Published in Mississippi Review.
§ “Chomolungma”: 33 rejections, 2 years. Excerpted in Carve Magazine Premium Edition (“One to Watch” section) after book publication and later published in full at Fanzine. (New York Journal of Books called “Chomolungma” one of the “bright lights” of the collection. Publishers Weekly says that “Chomolungma “hits the mark.”)
§ “In the Shadow of the World’s Greatest Monument to Love”: 19 rejections, 6 ½ years. Published in Juked.
§ “Xenophilia”: 19 rejections, 6 months. Published in The North American Review.
§ “Coward”: 7 rejections, 6 years. Published inCarve Magazine (lost a contest at Carve but published in the magazine 5 years later. I’m now on the reading staff of Carve). An Amazon reader called this “one of the best stories of the 21st century.”
§ “Wind and Rain”: 5 rejections (probably many more; I lost the file for this one). Published in Georgetown Review after I had oral commitments from two other magazines that didn’t pan out.
§ “Song for the Deaf”: 54 rejections, 9 years. Published in Atticus Review.

Totals: 233+ rejections, 40 years


Music: http://audionautix.com/index.php


My fiction can be read on bryanaiello.com
follow me on twitter @bryaiello

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