As an author, I’ve had the privilege of being part of several anthologies. All of them had a theme. In some, the authors worked closely with each other and in others we had no idea what the others were writing. All of them have been fun.
What’s the reason for being part of an anthology? The immediate benefit is pretty obvious—you get your name into the public arena just as you would with a single book, but you stand with other authors who might bring in readers you wouldn’t normally get. In other words, Author A writes romance, but with a new twist, and she/he has their followers. You write romance, too, with your own readers. Author A’s readers and yours will all buy the new book, and hopefully will discover new authors they might not have tried before. A side benefit of being part of an anthology is the camaraderie that forms between writers. You’re part of one effort and you all promote and fight for the anthology’s success. Also, the writing effort is less than for a whole book, from very short stories (10K words or less) to novellas (25K words or less).
Here are a few examples of the types of anthologies I’ve been part of. In Ain’t Your Mama’s Bedtime Stories (which sadly is no longer available for purchase), there were (I think) 10 authors who wrote individual stories based on fairy tales. We kind of coordinated with each other in that we shared the fairy tales we were going to turn into their adult versions. We kept track of our progress and did initial proofreading for each other before submitting the book to the publisher. It was fun to see the take on the different stories.
In Resolutions, the interaction was far greater. There were four of us (I said that we were four friends writing about four friends), and the theme was how four women fulfilled their New Year’s resolutions for the year. We had a single setting—a restaurant where the women were meeting for a New Year’s Eve dinner. As each course progressed, a woman told her tale. The ending of one story laid the dinner setting for the next story. We had to stay in touch with each other to make sure the opening and closing of each story meshed. In addition, we edited each other so that when the book was turned in, it was virtually ready to publish. I especially loved this book because I love the women I worked with. It’s quite a treat to collaborate with friends!
My latest anthology adventure is Mystic Desire. For this anthology, each author worked totally independently. The theme was the supernatural or paranormal, and other than establishing that, we had no other contact. We each sent our work to the publisher and didn’t know what the stories were, except for short blurbs that were shared at pre-release on September 1. It wasn’t until the book launch on October 1 that we were able to read everyone’s stories. This was the easiest anthology to be part of because there were no schedules to mesh or keep up with, and no editing duties. And you know what? It still was fun to be part of a successful whole, finished product. This anthology has some great writing in it!
If you are offered the opportunity to be part of a collaborative writing effort, I recommend you take the chance. The royalties are often not that great—whatever money comes from sales is divided among many people—but the fun of collegial sharing with other writers is worth it. Plus, who knows? You might be discovered by new readers!
Mystic Desire, Black Velvet Seduction’s anthology of paranormal romance tales is available now!
Mystic Desire is a collection of short paranormal romance stories. This is a chance to read and discover the work of a diverse group of very talented authors.
The themes in this book are varied, as are the collection of characters and artifacts, including Native American dream catchers, mystical jewelry, and characters such as lustful vampires, hot warlocks, a grumpy leprechaun, a ghostly terrier, a zombie apocalypse and things that go bump in the night.
From soft and tender love to hot passionate, kinky sex, there is something for everyone in this anthology.
Read stories by your favorite BVS authors: Alice, Renaud, Dee S. Knight, Anne Krist, Callie Carmen, Jan Selbourne, Suzanne Smith, Richard Savage, Zia Westfield, Lora Logan, Patricia Elliott, Carol Schoenig, R.M. Olivia, and Breanna Hayes.
“An Awareness of Evil”, from Mystic Desire
Amanda McMasters is a psychic living in small town, Idaho. Far from the usual episodes where she can sense a person needing help, Amanda is suddenly thrown into full-blown visions of a little girl who feels threatened. She feels the girl’s terror, sees the poor state of her home, and smells strange and awful things—like the blood pooled around her mother and the faint whiff of a body beginning to decompose. With the help of her visions and Detective Brendan Gilchrist, Amanda races to save the little girl before she meets her mother’s fate.
With a start, Amanda looked at the floor. The razor-sharp chef’s knife she had been using to slice onions lay within a millimeter of her bare feet. “That would have been bad,” she murmured.
Her hand shook as she bent to retrieve the knife and place it in the sink. The onions could wait a few minutes. She reached blindly for a chair at her kitchen table and collapsed onto it. She had never had an episode like this, in the middle of doing something else. Normally, she meditated, relaxed, let her mind open itself to the ether. This… This had come at her like a tornado, invading her vision and taking control. And it was so clear, so vivid. This was not the misty, uncertain sensation she’d gone to the police with. She actually saw the child.
The girl no longer heard her parent crying—her mother, Amanda sensed—but she was even more frightened than ever. The girl’s back was to her but there was no mistaking the trembling in her shoulders and the short, shallow breaths she took. A coppery smell filled Amanda’s nostrils and she had recoiled. That probably caused her to drop the knife. She felt the same fear as the girl and everything in her urged her to run.
Never, never tell.
The words came from a man but seemed to echo in the girl’s mind. They became part of her being, her mantra. Never, never tell.
That was the girl’s answer. Then the vision ended, throwing Amanda back into the reality of her kitchen and a nearly severed toe.
“My God. Who is this child? Where in hell is she?” Using two hands because using one shook the bottle so badly she feared she’d miss her glass, Amanda poured herself a healthy portion of wine. After a good gulp, she felt steadier.
Before she could talk herself out of it, she grabbed her cell phone and the detective’s card from her purse. He answered after only two rings.
“This is Gilchrist.”
“Detective, I’m sorry to bother you but I want to pass on any information I have no matter how small. Oh. Sorry. This is Amanda McMasters.”
“Yes, I recognized your voice.”
His voice seemed to hold a smile that Amanda liked very much. But now was not the time to ponder the man. At the moment, she was more interested in his status in the police department than the fact he was deliciously handsome and seemed open to what she tried to do.
“I had another sense of the girl. This time I actually saw her. There might be something that could help.”
To her relief, he didn’t hesitate. “Where are you? I’ll come by.”
About the Author
A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex. Writing was so much fun Dee decided to keep at it. That’s how she spends her days. Her nights? Well, she’s lucky that her dream man, childhood sweetheart, and long-time hubby are all the same guy, and nights are their secret. For romance ranging from sweet to historical, contemporary to paranormal and more join Dee on Nomad Authors. Contact Dee at firstname.lastname@example.org.