Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre interviews six of the seven writers who make up the core authors of the Uncollected Anthology project: Phaedra Weldon, Leslie Claire Walker, Annie Reed, Leah Cutter, Dayle A. Dermatis and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. (Absent from the interview, but a core member is Michele Lang)
The Uncollected Anthology of Urban Fantasy, is an ongoing project where, every three months, the authors pick a theme and write a short story for that theme. But instead of bundling the stories together, they each sell their own stories. So you can buy any one of them, or all of them. No fuss, no muss. But the tales are packaged using templates that bring them together thematically, and the authors have found the anthology as helpful for new readers to discover these books.
In the interview, Mark and the writers discuss:
- How they get together annually for a meeting and have planned the themes out until May 2018
- How the idea was born out of the Fiction River anthology workshops that Kris runs with her husband Dean. Dayle looked around the room at the talented authors and knew there were enough who wrote urban fantasy to put something like this together
- The process which includes deadlines for when the stories, the blurbs, the covers are all due each quarter
- The cross-promotional aspect of marketing each “issue” or theme of this ongoing series that includes the website and links embedded within each author’s books
- How, even though they are calling them “short stories” some of the stories go as long as 20,000 words or novella length
- The way Allyson Longueira of WMG Publishing designed the cover template for the group for them to have a consistent brand, look and feel (such as the consistent color that each of the themes employ)
- The inherent trust each writer has to have, above the existing contract which includes terms such as the fact that each author owns all the copyright on each of their respective stories
- The common request from readers about how they might be able to get all the stories together
- How every February the theme is urban fantasy romance
- How Leah doesn’t enjoy writing romance and yet, facing the challenge of that theme wrote a story that she loves the most – “The Midnight Gardener”
- How the themes help the writers explore different concepts and stories they never knew they had in them
- The brilliantly organic meeting that was the genesis of this collective, and the importance of community and an in person presence at writer events
- How Kris is sometimes known by the nickname “Tom Hanks” derived from the movie “Big” because of the storm of ideas that she has
- Emails, yearly meeting and a closed Yahoo group they use to communicate and share files
- A discussion of some of the challenges that have faced the group
- Some of the guest authors which include Dean Wesley Smith, Anthea Sharp, Rebecca Senese, Ron Cillins
- May’s “out of the woods” theme….
- The Fiction River workshops, how they originated based upon what used to be called the Dennis Little workshops at conventions
- The importance of being with other writers, the support they offer one another, the pep-talks, the understanding….
After the interview, Mark talks about the importance of what can happen when writers come together to share, to communicate and to network.
Links of Interest
Uncollected Anthology Main Website
Uncollected Anthology Books at Kobo
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I really loved this podcast! This is such a cool and innovative way to do an anthology without having to worry about the headaches of the financial/accounting aspects! I would love to do something like this in the future.