Earlier this year I talked about my involvement with an anthology called 'Dark Heart'. The idea of the anthology was to invite authors (either previously published or not) to submit a Young Adult Dark Fairy Tale.
Little Bird Publishing House is my publisher. LBPH aims to create an ethical publishing house that has an open door policy, encouraging new talent and supporting authors getting their work into the hands of readers. It is a great supporter of the indie movement and believes passionately in the freedoms and autonomy that self publishing brings, not only to the author but to the reader.
When we set about this project, myself and Kitty (Editor and general big cheese) of LBPH were unsure as to how successful the project would be. We knew that there was a whole load of talented writers out there doing their thing but we weren't sure how many would support a project by a new and not yet established publisher.
Six months down the line and what a journey. Firstly we had over sixty submissions - an incredible response and one wholly unexpected. After much reading and heated debate we settled on the collection of tales we have now published.
What I love most about Dark Heart is that at no point did the editorial team look at the author's biographies or previous works before making our selections. As a result we have managed to collate together an incredibly varied, fresh and interesting collection of stories.
No part of editing this anthology felt like work and it didn't matter how many read throughs had to happen, I found myself visiting each story with fondness.
There are seven stories in the anthology, written by eight writers. (Bethany Rockey and Marya Heiman come as writing pair - something I marvel at!) The stories are as varied in their style as they are in their subjects; from fairy assassins, to magical trees, to demonic night beasts, to goblins and witches. There is sure to be at least one story that you fall in love with.
I'm now really looking forward to working on our Volume Two later in the year. We have the cover all ready to go and already writers are asking us when the next volume is coming out, which is a really good sign.
In the mean time, I wish all of the contributors a really wonderful and positive 2013. I know we are going to see many more wonderful stories from them.