Global Short Story Anthology Released
MCCALL, IDAHO-Words to Music: A Short Story Collection has been unleashed on the reading world. The year-long effort of 40 authors (including me) from 12 countries spanning the globe is available through Amazon.com and many other online booksellers.
The book contains 49 fiction and non-fiction short stories written by authors from Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.
The anthology’s fiction offerings run the gamut of genres: Crime, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Literary Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction and Westerns. The collection also includes nonfiction stories.
The authors all met at the Harper Collins website for aspiring authors, http://www.authonomy.com. In January 2010, Michael Wells, an author living in McCall, Idaho, presented the authors at the site with an opportunity to write a short story anthology with stories inspired by randomly generated songs. Many authors jumped at the chance and 40 authors stayed with the project to the end.
“I am still in awe of the opportunities our modern world presents us, should we choose to dream,” anthology publisher Michael Wells said. “Reaching across borders and cultures, our technology now allows us to work together in an open environment with people we never would have met only a few years ago.”
The 40 authors have also generously donated their royalties from the book to nine deserving charities worldwide.
“It’s a rather diverse group of authors and stories in a book that is going to aid an eclectic group of charities,” Wells said. “I hope we can make some sort of difference in the lives of the people these charities help.”
Having 40 authors from 12 countries around the globe seemed like a daunting challenge to Wells when the project began in January 2010, but the authors all held a shared vision, he said.
“What I found most interesting with this process was the commonality among our authors,” Wells said. “Everyone seemed to be operating on the same page throughout the process, which was surprising considering the mix of people involved.”
Inspiration from the randomly generated songs worked well as most authors never flinched at their first offering. Some of the authors had stories ready for review within 48 hours, Wells said.
The process of creating a book was helped along by the creation of a website the authors used to communicate with each other.
Wells set up a website for the project and every author signed up and went to work at that website. A forum on the website allowed the authors to discuss various aspects of the process and share drafts of their stories. Then the authors split into several editing teams to review each other’s work over email, which helped the process along further.
“With any creative collaboration there were differences of opinion, but in the end we came up with a common denominator that worked,” Wells said. “I received a lot of feedback on my first story for the anthology (“The Penitent Man”) that I think helped make it much stronger than it was initially.”
Coming up with a cover for an anthology of this scope was an early problem that was solved when author and artist Bradley Wind, of East Coventry, Penn., signed on to the project.
“Bradley’s artwork for the cover and his story are priceless contributions to this short story collection,” Wells said. “He’s incredibly talented and easy to work with.”
The United Kingdom supplied the most authors in the book with 14, 12 authors came from the United States, Australia had four authors, Japan two and one each from Finland, Canada, Ireland, Lebanon, South Africa, Spain, Germany and New Zealand.
“It was a gratifying experience getting to know these authors. Each and everyone of them have talents for storytelling that needs to be shared and this book hopefully will expose them to a vast reading public who one day will clamor for more,” Wells said. “That is my hope for each of the people who were involved in this process.”
The book is available from Amazon for $17.95 US at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1456532081, it is also available from CreateSpace at https://www.createspace.com/3511238. Soon it will be available virtually anywhere good books are sold.
“Give the authors in this book your undivided attention for a short break during your day, and I promise you will soon want to read more of their work,” Wells said.