What Goes into an Anthology?

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So this is an exciting week! Bewitching Desires: A Savannah Coven Anthology releases on Wednesday, October 1! I have a story in this awesome anthology called A Secret Spell.

I thought it might be fun to talk about the process around the process behind an anthology and writing my story which follows Isadora Blackwood through some historic Savannah sights as she attempts to find an evil, dangerous spell that was stolen from her.

This anthology began way back in February or so. I was super intrigued by the idea even though I’ve never written witchy story before. I do, however, love witchy stories. Obviously I’m a Potterhead. I love Practical Magic, both the book and the movie. When I began my brainstorming and researching, I realized that about 90% of the books I’ve read about witches were for children. There’s an entire world of witchy fiction out there! I read a few books and watched The Witches of East End which I really enjoyed and I’m very sorry it got canceled.

I had several moments of serious panic because coming up with an idea was very hard. As with all of my stories, I’m not exactly sure of the moment Isadora Blackwood and her story were born. I can never remember the exact origin of anything I write. I do know what jump-started the process. I am a history buff and it doesn’t much more historical than Savannah. I wanted to use some historical sights, some real and some imagined, in my story. I spent way too many hours on Pinterest and Wikipedia doing research. I was fascinated with Bonaventure Cemetery and I knew I had to use it. In my story, there is a spooky scene that takes place in the cemetery and mentions some famous Savannah ghosts.

Here is my Pinterest board related to my story.

http://bit.ly/1P1k0MT

Just for fun, I’ll also link the general board that all of the writers used to brainstorm.

http://bit.ly/1LgKGt8

Before I participated in an anthology, I had absolutely no idea of how much goes into the production. The twelve amazing writers involved turned in our first drafts in May. We then did critical reads for each other followed by editing, more editing, and even more editing. Each one of us spent many hours writing, rewriting, reading for others, brainstorming, and editing. Every time I complete a project, I look back on what I’ve learned. In this one, I learned to be patient with myself and not to panic about writing something that’s a bit out of my comfort zone. This was my second anthology experience, but each thing it is such a different process. And each one involves a lot of panicked messages to my writer friends.

“What if it’s terrible? What if it’s the worst thing that’s ever been written???” You know, that sort of thing. I feel really blessed to be working with my friends on this anthology because everyone is so supportive. Yet, they will call you on your crap and they will say “this is not great. Maybe try this!”

In the meantime, we either designed our own covers or worked with the amazing designer Rebekah Ganiere. I have worked with Rebekah on a cover before and I was so pleased. Once again, I was thrilled with the result.

Here’s the cover for A Stolen Spell:

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Not to be a total salesperson, but this is really the perfect collection of stories to get you in the Halloween mood. There is a little something for everyone here. It’s fun, spooky, romantic, funny, sweet, dangerous, etc. I can say that with authority because I’ve read all the stories. 😉

We have a lot of fun stuff going on with this anthology. Namely, a Rafflecopter with some super fun witchy prizes. You can enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c1b9f8682/?

You can preorder here:

http://amzn.to/1PJ5O9e

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