by Walter Vance Awsten
"Why are there all these cutesy pictures of kittens and baby dragons?" one of them asked. "I've never read any stories about kittens and baby dragons!"
My immediate reaction was that they had identified an unfilled niche in the market -- judging by their popularity in art, we clearly needed more stories about kittens and baby dragons. So I wrote one.
How to sell it was not quite so obvious, but I had just sent another hard-to-market story, "My Mother and I Go Shopping," to Carol Serling's Adventures in the Twilight Zone, so I figured, what the hell, give her a choice, and sent her "Mittens and Hotfoot," too.
She bought both of them, but wanted a different author name on one of them. It was an easy choice -- "Mittens and Hotfoot" was, like its feline protagonist, just a bit of fluff, so I put my usual Watt-Evans byline on the other one.
Normally the next name in line would have been Nathan Archer, but Nathan is a science fiction/thriller writer, he doesn't do light fantasy. I had other names available, though, so Walter got his first byline.
And there we are.
That's it; here's your list of handy exits: