Anthologies… are such wonderful books!

Aurora in the Dawn
There are many good things about Anthologies. They are created for all sorts of reasons and can be a good way to discover new writers, because that’s often how new writers first get published. There’s nothing like the thrill of getting your very first story accepted to be part of a book – it’s almost as big a rush as getting your first novel / novella published.

My very first anthology wasn’t for a story, it was a poem that I wrote when I was a teenager. Having that print book in my hands made me feel very grown up and gave me the bug to continue. I ended up having my poetry in another two poetry anthologies, but sadly all three are now out of print and I only have the ISBN to confirm that two of them ever existed.

Novus Creatura

My first entry into Story Anthologies was actually through Horror and A.E. Churchyard.
House of Horror was a fairly popular webzine that also put out anthologies, so as well as getting my work published on the webzine, I made it into several anthologies. Sadly the ‘zine closed, so all I have of that part of my writing career is a print copy of each of the five anthologies I appeared in.

Flash!

The next part of my writing career actually ran concurrently with the Horror section… I began experimenting with Flash stories…

Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature of extreme brevity.There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as fifty-three words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.
– Wikipedia

So it was inevitable that I ended up getting some of them published. Flash Stories can be addictive as there is a certain satisfaction around getting a whole story done in less than a thousand words…

For a long while after that, I concentrated on writing novels and novellas. I still wrote short stories for fun, but I kept them to myself – they ended up going into my first short story collections “The Necklace of Harmony”  and “Darkness in Mind“.

words to music

Then I got involved in a charity anthology through Authonomy.  I actually almost ended up with two stories in it, but at the last minute the Editor dropped one of them – which was a good job because that story then went on to become a novella… which is currently on the rewrite list.

 

By this time, Facebook and it’s myriad of Procrastination Stations had entered my life and I met a whole load of new people – the majority of them authors. Also by this time, self publishing had become a massive thing in my life. It also meant that the world was suddenly bursting out with anthologies and the next one I slipped into was a fun one – full of murder and mayhem.

bump off your enemies

And that brings us up to the present and the latest anthology to include my work. The story was a swift scribble down based on a conversation with my fiancé and I’m very proud to have been asked to submit it for such a worthy cause.

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The best thing about anthologies is that they are books that you can pick up and put down, perfect for holiday / beach reading or for those days when you can’t read for more than a few minutes at a time.

I realised this morning,  that I didn’t have a page for displaying the wonderful Anthologies I have been a part of. So that’s the whole point of this post… to point you in the direction of some truly wonderful books that you can find under the heading of – OTHER BOOKS TO PERUSE… – in my menu system.

I’ll update it whenever I manage to get a story into an anthology, so keep an eye out!

Feature Friday…

…what is it?

Well, actually it’s Show and Tell day, when I acquaint you with something I have found (on the net or otherwise) and give you a few salient factoids about the object/website/picture etc, etc.

So, what am I going to show you?

* * * * *

One of my favourite  EVER Google Doodles…

On 9th June this doodle appeared on the homepage –

The Doodle was in celebration of Les Paul’s 96th Birthday and as well as being a great deal of fun (you can record thirty seconds of yourself playing with the strings and then you get a link that plays it back to you), brought back some very happy memories for me –  sitting listening to my Dad play the guitar and if I had been especially good that day, he’d sing “Puff the Magic Dragon” to me.


This is one of the most beautiful songs about the innocence of childhood that I know.

I used to sing it to my children to get them to sleep and when the book came out a little while back, I snapped it up – especially as there was a CD with it featuring the soothing voice of Peter Yarrow, one of the original singers.

Puff, the Magic Dragon (Book & CD)

My six year old daughter loves it so much that just listening to the CD can calm her down. It’s useful at bedtime as well, because if she’s sleepy she’ll just drift away to the music.

I still want to learn to play the Guitar – maybe one day I’ll be able to and then I might be able to sing it to my grandchildren; assuming either of my children decide to make me a grandmother!

But it was Puff that set me firmly on the Fantasy course and made me love Dragons so much – he’s the reason that I call my muse “Puff” as well, although my Puff is blue and purple, rather than green:


And obviously this representation of him is a Star Pet, but Puff holds a very special place in my heart and always will.

So, what memory from your childhood does this Google doodle bring back? Follow the link below, have a play – maybe even record yourself! But please come back and tell me about the memory it evokes and why it is so special to you.

http://www.google.com/doodles/les-pauls-96th-birthday

Words to Music eBook

Click to go to the Kindle Version...

You may recall a while back that I was involved in a collaboration on a book of short stories for charity.

The book was called “Words to Music” and involved a whole slew of writers from Authonomy in the creation and execution of the anthology.

Originally, brought out in paper back, the tireless and stupendous Mr Michael Wells (the originator  and co-ordinator of the idea) has now made it available as an e-Book!

If you are in the UK, just click on the book cover (above) and it will whisk you away to amazon to purchase a copy… If you are in the US you can pick it up through Amazon.com or Smashwords.com.

It is still available in paperback, through Amazon.com as well.

So please, if you haven’t bought a paperback copy yet, pick up a digital one – remember, this is for charity !