So, I posted a bunch of announcements this week. I’ve got four stories coming out in four different anthologies, all releasing June 1st from Tell-Tale Press.
No, it’s not a fire alarm. It’s just me. I might be a tad excited.
Tell-Tale Press had previously published one of my tales, “Stories Lie.” Through that, the publisher and I began talking. I found out that she was planning a set of four anthologies, each a different genre, but all with the same theme: Nabu Carnevale. Literally, a festival of stories. Each story had to involve a story of some kind. The four genres were fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery/crime.
She invited me to submit to the anthologies. I considered, and out came “Stories Dance.” It’s a fun tale about a story made flesh that comes to dances held at various fairs. I had fun puzzling it out and figuring out how to tell the story. The editor enjoyed it and offered to put it into the fantasy anthology.
But then another idea began ping-ponging around my head. An idea for a festival of stories in a science fiction setting. Should I bother writing it? I sent to the editor and asked if I could submit a story for one of the other volumes. With her blessing, I sat to write “The Stories We Leave Behind.” This story took some wrangling and saw a good amount of development, but eventually I submitted it. And the editor accepted it for the science fiction volume!
And I think it was at that point that she dared me: Think you can get a story into each volume?
Well, horror is something I’ve dabbled in, but I wouldn’t consider it a strength of mine. But, what the hey. Horror can be the close cousin to both science fiction and fantasy. There’s a lot of crossover there!
The story began with a totally different name and only a slightly related premise, but eventually I wrestled out, “The Stories You Eat.” It involves some unique predators at a county fair in modern America. I was pretty happy with how that one ended up. And the editor agreed!
That left one last genre, and one I’d never written in: Mystery/Crime. I haven’t even read extensively in that genre. How do you even construct a mystery?
I pondered this one for a while. I had a setting I’ve used before called Barrelbottom; it’s the home of rejected ideas. I had used that setting to pile up a whole bunch of mismatched characters, like the Shopping Cart Pirate and his archnemesis Rootbeard, or Siberian Husky, Russia’s only overweight superhero. It could be fun to revisit that setting, right? It would give me the chance to just be weird.
And weird the story is: “The Festival of Rejected Stories.” I should note that none of those characters I listed appear in this tale. Instead, the main character is the Prairie Mason. Yes, he’s supposed to be a rejected parody of Perry Mason.
This is the one I was most nervous about… but once more, the wonderful editor accepted the story!
And thus… I’m in all four volumes of Nabu Carnevale!
I’m really excited about this. Tell-Tale Press has been a dream to work with, and I cannot wait to hold all four books in my hands. It was a challenge to try and stay both on-topic as well as in-genre for all the various stories.
And the fun part?
Tell-Tale press does this often. This is the third set of such anthologies they’ve done, and the editor and I have already been talking about the next set… Of course, there’s no guarantee my stories would be good enough to get into that next set. And that’s good. I don’t want a guarantee. That’s a good way to guarantee lazy writing on my part.
But for now? I’m appearing in a set of four anthologies coming out June 1. I’m excited. I hope you give them a chance and get just as excited!