News, News, News!

FR-Risk-Takers-ebook-cover-CCI’ve been so busy with workshops, editing, (an icky cold), (a sick cat), and writing, I almost forgot to tell you a few things—and I almost missed my window on them. Before I do, though, let me tell you about the writing. I’m finally finishing a planned series of novels about the Interim Fates. We’re probably going to market the books as YA, but they’re for anyone who has read my Kristine Grayson books. The first book, Tiffany Tumbles, is in production. I just turned the second, Crystal Caves, about five minutes before I started this blog post. Next up, Brittany Bends, which I start later in the week. I’ll have covers for you in a week or two.

I’m also finishing a new writing book, based on some of the blogs, and I’ll have more news on that shortly. And while doing all that, I’ve written seven short stories. (Well, five short stories, one novella, and a novelette.) I hope to finish two more this week. Busy, busy, busy.

In addition, I have several new editing projects that I’ll announce soon. And, I’m currently line editing some Fiction River volumes. Which leads me right into the news:

Risk Takers is out! I love this volume of Fiction River and I didn’t even edit it. Dean did. But let me tell you a story about the volume.

Risk Takers was assigned as part of last year’s anthology workshop. We’ve been doing anthology workshops for more than a decade now, and sometimes we’ve had “live” anthologies and sometimes we haven’t. By “live,” I mean anthologies that are already sold. Last year, we had six Fiction River anthologies as the assignments. Here’s the thing: there’s no guarantee we’ll get any stories from the workshops. I remember one year that everyone missed on something called Fairy Noir or something like that. Not a single story in the bunch.

So we editors always expect to get a few stories for our anthology, but we never hope to fill the anthology. Last year, Risk Takers was up first, and of the 50+ stories Dean had to look at, he found very few. Mostly he got stories about people with gambling addictions–not at all what he wanted. He wanted stories about people who take risks, not people who need to find a 12-step program. He did not fill the anthology.

9780615783543_p0_v1_s260x420-1Except he had a plan: he stole stories from every other editor’s issue. He had a list of other stories he wanted, and if the other editors passed on them, he took them. He ended up with enough for his anthology and more.

I had no idea how these stories would go together. Then I read the final version of the anthology. Wow. I think it’s one of our strongest Fiction River volumes yet. It crosses genres from thriller to steampunk, from historical to science fiction, but every single story centers around a character taking a major risk. Including my story, “Rats,” which Dean asked for. He had read it long before the anthology came up and remembered it. It’s a dark and rather weird tale that I would put in the crime category, although it’s even a bit strange for that.

So here’s Risk Takers. It includes two marvelous stories from Dan C. Duval (in different genres, natch), a great sports story from Chrissy Wissler, a surprisingly little fantasy tale from Anthea Sharp, an nifty urban fantasy tale from Phaedra Weldon, some great Westerns from Cindie Geddes, and Kerrie Hughes & John Helfers, some fascinating gambling stories from T.D. Edge, Lee Allred, and Brigid Collins, some stories I’d be hard-pressed to categorize by Annie Reed, and Robert T. Jeschonek (you have to read this one!), a Poker Boy story (also, natch), and two World War II stories by Christy Fifield and Russ Crossley. I don’t think I missed anyone. Lots of great reads, several bestselling and/or award-winning authors, and all kinds of adventure. Risks! Excitement! And, in two different cases, the saving of the entire world! What more could you ask for?

Cover001If you’ve never tried Fiction River before, and you want a little more bang for your buck, then head over to Storybundle.com. For only four more days, you can get a group of novels and anthologies for as little as $5. Another of Dean’s Fiction River anthologies, Time Streams, is in the Time Travel bundle—along with one of my novels (Snipers), one of Dean’s novels (The Edwards Mansion), and a lot more. In fact, most of the novels in the bundle that I’ve read are in the bonus section (which will cost you all of $14–the price of a trade paperback–and you get 12 ebooks!). I think of bundles as anthologies for book-length fiction, places where you can discover new-to-you writers while getting a deal on one of your favorites. So hurry on over before this deal goes away

The other news? The March issue of Galaxy’s Edge (it’s not too late to tell you about March, is it?) contains my story “June Sixteenth at Anna’s.” I’m particularly proud of that story, which is the first thing I could write after 9/11. Also, my story “Play Like a Girl,” is in this amazing audio edition of Stars, which is up for an Audie award. If you’re an audio fan, you need to give this one a listen. Both Galaxy’s Edge and Stars are edited (well, in the case of Stars, co-edited) by Mike Resnick, who is Hugo-nominated for his editing work this year. Mike co-edited Stars with Janis Ian. The stories in that volume are based on her songs, and she read some of the stories in the audio edition. Pick it up.

That’s the short fiction news. More news later in the week, but I now need to get to the weekly professional writers lunch before they eat everything in the restaurant….

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5 responses to “News, News, News!”

  1. Great question, Harvey. We at WMG have had frustrating results with Smashwords meat grinder in the past and have found that the only way to ensure the ebooks meet our quality standards is to upload our own epub, rather than have the meat grinder convert it for us. That could change in the future, but for now, that is our practice.

  2. Harvey says:

    Hi Kris, I just bought Fiction River: Risk Takers at Amazon. I read on a Kindle. My first choice always is Smashwords, mostly because the writer gets a larger royalty and I like supporting Smashwords. As a writer myself, I just wonder why you guys don’t make your books available in Kindle format at Smashwords as well as .epub? Thanks.

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