The Lure of Anthologies


It’s Thanksgiving Day in the US and I’ve seen snow (a couple of days ago) for the first time in a few years. It didn’t snow in SE Asia.  I’m trying to stay warm, and writing erotica is one way to generate a bit of heat. A delightful way.  I’m thankful that I’ve had some great opportunities to write and publish and friends and family who encourage me.

I’ve mentioned before that I am dedicating part of my writing time to writing on spec for anthologies. It’s an interesting game…tracking down anthologies that have a theme or focus that is interesting (in the sense that I think I might have a story that would fit) looking at the deadline, the minimum and maximum word counts and making the decision to give it a whirl. It isn’t much of a gamble, as writing an erotic short story is never a waste of time. Some stories never pan out, but I always learn something from writing them. The trick is to make sure the bad stories wind up in the bin. As Hemingway said: “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. ”

The process of writing for anthologies differs a great deal from the writing and publishing I did in previous years. Because it involves editors and publishers and marketing peoples and cover designers, it runs full tilt into the elements of hurry up and wait. I write to the deadline (and the precise specifications of the guidelines) then wait; get a yes, no or feedback, do more work then wait. Once the story is accepted and galleys are approved– wait again. This time for publication.

That can be hard, but only if the waiting is done while simply sitting around. If you (I) put your nose back to the grindstone right away, work diligently, you can wind up with several things in the queue. I currently have several stories under consideration in various places, and I am busy doing some rewriting for another editor. I will finish those edits and changes (she made some good observations and the story will be better when I’m done) and if she likes the new version, I’ll be announcing that one soon.

I’ve mentioned previously that I’ll have a story in the upcoming anthology Can’t Get Enough (Cleis Press), edited by Tenille Brown. Her blog gives the details of it here.  If you are excited about that book (I am) you can preorder it here. From my perspective that means I’ll have a story coming out in the summer that is all set to go. The publisher, the editor, all the other authors and I will all be promoting it, and that should help find us all more readers. For readers, an anthology, when well done, means they can find a number of stories that really tickle their fancy and meet some new authors along the way. It is a win-win situation.

I’ve got a number of projects in the works and intend to see this year out by finishing several. And I’m already looking forward to 2014 as another great year for writing and publishing.

I am thankful for and appreciate you, my readers.

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