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Posts tagged with: Anthologies

Building a Self-Published Multi-Author Anthology, with guest Trish Milburn

So I have this friend. And she writes good stuff. A lot of it. And I asked her to come talk to us today. :)

Yes, I’m clearly a writer, aren’t I? Such a way with words.

Okay. Enough screwing around. My friend (and super great author), Trish Milburn, recently self-published a multi-author anthology with a couple other friends of hers, and I wanted to know more about how they did it. So I asked her to come talk to us. Plus, the cover of the anthology is amazing! (If you don’t agree with me on this then you’re just wrong. Because it’s amazing.) So anywho, without further ado…I give you Trish. :)  (And I do apologize for my lack of professionalism this morning. It’s been one of those days already…)

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Imain author shot’m going to guess that at least a few of you reading this post have either been a part of a multi-author anthology or thought about being a part of such a project. In the past, the vast majority of these anthologies were put together by publishers, who handled all the logistical details. But in the new world of self-publishing, anthologies coordinated, written and published by the authors themselves are a viable option.

Several months ago, fellow author and bestie MJ Fredrick and I started tossing around the idea of a Christmas anthology. The conversation eventually led to it being set at the beach rather than some snowy locale. And we brought in the awesome Tanya Michaels as the third author. One thing led to another, and in early June we found ourselves meeting up in Orange Beach, Alabama, for a brainstorming and site research trip. Since we live in three different states, it was much easier to do the initial brainstorming in person. You see, we weren’t just brainstorming our individual stories for the anthology that would become Swept Away for Christmas, a Starfish Shores Holiday. We had to come up with a name for the town that wasn’t already in use by an actual town along the Gulf Coast. As crazy as it might seem, nailing down that town name proved harder than coming up with the story ideas.

It’s THAT Time of Year!

The Thanksgiving turkey’s gobbled, the stuffing’s packed away, and the mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie have taken residence on our hips and thighs. 

We all know what that means. 

No, not cooking, baking, or cleaning like a demented castle drudge, watching your ice cream melt while the local Obsessive/Compulsive Coupon Clipper argues expiration dates with the cashier, or driving yourself mildly – or not so mildly – insane in the never-ending hunt for the perfect gift.  Those things await either like the sword of Damocles or a long-anticipated visit from a friend (depending on your outlook) and are simply part of the holiday mayhem. 

What it means is the Holiday Anthologies are available.  They are the unofficial signal the holiday season with all its joys and demands is in full swing. 

I have a shelf full of these miniature treasure chests—for that’s what they are, each containing a variety of romantic riches—and look forward to new ones.  One or two (or five – depending on the day and the budget) will join those I’ve collected, read, and reread year after year for longer than I care to remember. 

Anthologies are perfect for this frenetic season when time is at a premium.  They are a bite-sized indulgence when reading is limited to a much-needed bubble bath, waiting for children to escape whatever rehearsal church and/or school functions require, or for those precious minutes between batches of cookies.

They can also distract you from the OCD Coupon Clipper—and others of her ilk—-thus giving you a reason to appreciate her fifteen minute argument over a quarter.  So much better than slapping her silly, don’t you think?  No handcuffs. 

AND, on top of keeping you out of jail,  they come with a dollop of Holiday Magic between the covers. 

If the thought of all the seasonal brouhaha brings out your latent Ebenezer Scrooge, a good holiday romance can jump-start your holiday spirit.  When you think you’re too tired to address another card, hang another light, or wrap another gift that touch of magic warms your heart, reminding you of all the possibilities the season engenders.  

So, before you dot another “I” or cross another “T”, Bob Crachet, you should grab one or two of these lovely treasure chests and keep them close at hand.  Anthologies allow you to read a story, enjoy a satisfying “aaahhhh” moment, and still have time for everything else the holidays demand of you.

As always, the Rubies are here to help, and our very own Hope Ramsay has contributed to a wonderful anthology that might be your ticket to a dose of holiday magic. 

 (Surprise, Hope!)  No, she didn’t know I would include her latest release in this post.  Truth is, when I originally wrote this (shortly after Halloween, actually), neither did I since I was unaware of its availability.  Once I knew, however, being a devoted fan of her Last Chance stories and a avid collector of holiday anthologies, how could I not?  Small town Christmases are right up my alley.  Lots of homemade goodies, egg nog, spiced cider, hot cocoa, twinky lights, sparkling decorations, beautiful music, and a fire in the fireplace to add a little snap and crackle to a lovely cuddle.
 
Gives me anticipatory shivers just thinking about it.
 
No matter what holiday you celebrate, may it be filled with things that give you those giddy shivers, making memories to keep you smiling well into the New Year.  Oh, and a hefty helping of holiday magic.   While it seems harder to find these days, it exists and is just waiting for you to discover it anew.
 
A good holiday anthology might well be your catalyst to finding that special magic once again.  It could also suggest a few ideas to fuel those wonderful memories.  Mistletoe over the bed comes immediately to mind . . .
 
Well, um, anyway . . . where was I?   Ah, yes.  The value of holiday anthologies.  Needless to say, I love them.  How about you?

 

 

 

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