GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ annual Days of the Dead blog tour: The Appeal of Anthologies By Gail Z. Martin + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Monday, November 4, 2019

annual Days of the Dead blog tour: The Appeal of Anthologies By Gail Z. Martin + giveaway

The Appeal of Anthologies 

By Gail Z. Martin 

This year, I've had stories in six anthologies that released during this year, and one slated for a Kickstarter to come out next year. Some anthologies pay well, while others pay in author copies and non-tangibles. What's the appeal of anthologies, and why do authors do them?

I've been in over 40 US and UK anthologies. Some won reviewer acclaim, while others passed largely unnoticed. All of the anthologies I've been invited to participate in tend to be created around a central theme, which shapes the sort of stories that fit the prompt. That's part of what makes it fun and challenging, especially when the concept pushes you out of your comfort zone.

The first anthology I did scared me to death. I was used to writing thick epic fantasy, so the (seemingly) tiny short story word count boggled my mind. But I took the challenge and wrote a story I was very proud of, one that, oddly enough, more than ten years later, became the jumping off point in two separate series that weren't even conceived of when the original story was written. 

Anthologies can open doors. My Deadly Curiosities series grew out of a short story for an anthology that the editor liked enough to offer me a contract for books in the same world. Since I learned that I could write a satisfying story, I gained the confidence to participate in many different anthologies with a who's-who of well-known authors, and made friends with new editors and fellow writers.

Once a short story from an anthology reverts back to the author, it can be sold to another anthology, used as a newsletter-builder hook, expanded into a longer work, or sold individually. I've done all of those things, depending on the situation, and found that stories that tie into my book series make wonderful 'appetizers' to encourage new readers to try out my worlds.

Sometimes, you do an anthology just for the fun of the prompt, or because one of your writing idols is part of the project, or because a friend asks you. In other cases, it's for the challenge of stretching outside safe territory, or to play with a new concept. And anthologies can also be a great way for readers to meet new authors without the 'commitment' of a whole book.

I've had a diverse slate of anthologies this year. Release the Virgins came about because of a conversation in a hotel bar at a convention with a table full of writers, an editor and a publisher. Someone said, "Release the virgins!" Someone else said, "That sounds like an anthology!" And yet another person said, "I'd publish that." And we were off and running. Every story had to include that phrase, but there were no other rules. We ended up with a fine slate of tales.

Legends is the third David Gemmell tribute anthology and required dark, maybe even grimdark, fiction. Tales from the Old Black Ambulance, a horror anthology, had to have a hearse somewhere in each story. Hath No Fury, a somewhat ill-fated anthology that survived publisher woes and arrived a couple of years late, persevered and ended up being a fine collection. Across the Universe (due at the end of the year), presents stories that envision what might have happened to the 'four lads from Liverpool' had the Beatles not become rock gods. Christmas at the Castle is a romantic suspense collection with stories by various authors all set in the same fictitious English castle. I'm working with a wide range of fellow contributors in those anthologies, and my stories tie into three different series (and one story doesn't tie into anything else). Give them a try--I hope you'll find them to be as much fun to read as they were to write! 

About the Author: 
Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Inheritance, Vengeance, Convicts and Exiles, and Assassin’s Honor. Together with co-author Larry N. Martin, new books include Spells Salt and Steel: Season One, Night Moves (Spells Salt and Steel #5), Wasteland Marshals and Cauldron: A Joe Mack Shadow Council Archives Adventure. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Books include Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series.
She is also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign

My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with brand new guest blog posts, giveaways and more! 
You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! 
Get all the details about my Days of the Dead blog tour at 

Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle Prize Package with a free ebook copy EACH of Tangled Web and Assassin’s Honor

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