Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Impromptu Blog Tour

As you might imagine, with the release of Spring Fevers, I've been running around crazily for several weeks. Between the salary-paying job, the freelance work, the demands of being a daddy to twin 3-year-olds, being one of the parents of a new publication offered its own challenges and rewards.

On the list of things that still need to be done, I have one I'm sort of going to address here: A blog tour. Usually, such things are done on other people's blogs, and I'm more than willing to do so. But I've not set anything up, so I figured, I have a few minutes here, why not do something on my own blog!

Luckily, I'm a journalist for a living, so I can make up questions on the fly if the interviewee becomes problematic.

How did the idea of doing Spring Fevers begin? It started as an idea bandied about among a few of the moderators of Agent Query Connect. Cat Woods and I liked it in particular, and I think I reached out to her to see how serious she was. From there, the idea blossomed. I knew that I wanted Robb Grindstaff to do the copy editing if he was available, and when I approached him, he liked the idea as long as he could submit a story too.

Is that kosher, having people who are publishing the anthology also contribute stories? I don't see why not. There's still a vetting process involved.

Well, it seems likely your stories would be published. Isn't there some sort of conflict there? Stories were rejected. I can speak for myself and say that at least one of the stories I'd intended to submit wasn't ready -- especially after seeing the quality that started coming in -- so I didn't even offer it. I won't embarass anyone, but there were stories by excellent writers that were turned down for a variety of reasons.

What was the percentage of stories that were accepted? I don't want to go into that.

It's a fair question. Yes, I know, but it's an awkward situation. This was the first anthology we were doing, and our goal was to impress people with the quality of the writing. The submissions came from people Cat and I personally asked to submit stories. We chose them because we believed they were of the caliber we wanted in this anthology and who were comfortable writing on the theme of relationships. We limited it to a maximum of three from each writer. Most writers submitted more than one. Not every writer who submitted saw a story published. Not every writer we approached offered a submission.

Was it more than half? Put it this way: sixteen stories were published. I will say that dozens were submitted.

So, at least twenty-four. Is this an interview or a math quiz?

Ok, back to where I intended to go. Thanks

How long did the process take? I'd have to go over my notes, but I think Cat and I asked people for submissions in the spring of 2011 -- maybe it was summer already -- and we gave them a deadline in the early fall. We knew we were looking at February 2012 to publish and just worked backwards from there.

Why February? In part because relationships seem like a nice spring topic. You know: New life, new love, new problems.

February is still winter. Technically. But I have flowers trying to bloom. Plus, Valentine's Day is in February. You can't swing a dead Christmas tree wreath without hitting something heart-shaped and red.

Problems? We're writers. Without problems, there's no tension. Tension moves stories.

You didn't want warm and fuzzy is what you're saying? No, that's not the point. We wanted excellent stories and characters who stuck in our heads and thoughts. One of the early and obvious definite yeses was Mindy McGinnis's First Kiss. It was and is creepy, but it's one of those tales that sticks with you. When we discussed the order of the stories, we all liked the idea of having that lead off. This is not your grandmother's relationship anthology.

More to come...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Any Day, Now. Any Day

I don't mean to sound coy, but Spring Fevers is almost ready to launch. It'll be any day now. In fact, it could be as soon as this week. We have the cover (isn't it purrrty!) and all the copy is ready. We're just finalizing some of the legal mumbo jumbo, as one of our writerly friends likes to put it, before we pull the string on the chute.

I'm also in the midst of updating my Website and intend to have links both there and here. If all goes as expected, there'll be versions available through Smashwords and Amazon.

Stay tuned!

Friday, February 03, 2012

I Could Get Used to This

The signed contracts from the writers in our upcoming anthology, which is called Spring Fevers, have started rolling in. Soon, I'll be able to post our launch date and where else you can find these writers online. For me, nothing beats writing. But I must admit, publishing has its cool elements too.