I've had the great pleasure of working with Amanda Pillar in the past on our award winning anthology, Grants Pass. She’s a talented editor and her anthologies are always word reading. I’ve read Bloodstones and it’s a darned good book. Today she talks about her kind of urban fantasy.
I’ve wanted to edit an urban fantasy anthology for quite some time. I’ve worked on horror, post-apocalyptic, dark fantasy and thematic collections, but never a true urban fantasy. I’ve loved every book I’ve ever helped produce, but the genre I tend to read when not editing or writing...well, you’ve guessed it.
But I didn’t want something that involved vampires, werewolves or witches. I love a good vampire story, it has to be said, yet I wanted to pull together an anthology that was different. Unique. And so I needed a theme, something that would interest me and hopefully the future readers of this book. A collection that would make you think; where love and hate and death all danced upon a stage with monsters that may never be popular, may never be truly appreciated, but their appeal unable to be denied.
So, perhaps a little surprisingly for some, I turned to mythology. For me though, it seemed a logical choice. I am an archaeologist in my day job, and have spent far too many hours reading and researching ancient religions and mythologies. From my work, it seemed clear that there would be no end to the inspiration found from old myths and tales; that the authors who submitted to my collection would have a rich field to harvest from.
And I was right. The authors delivered. More than I could have hoped for. The final stories that made the cut were sown from cloth threaded with new takes on old creatures. There were gorgons, minotaurs, ghosts, kraken, faeries, toyols and even a mummy. There were new creatures, too, beings that were inspired by old myths: the foam born, gravelings and killers with odd histories.
The authors involved in this collection searched far and wide for their new – or in some cases, very old – ‘monsters’. There was never one source of inspiration, with the depth and grit of the stories showcasing the authors’ talent.
I’m pleased to say this collection is unique, and that I was truly lucky to work with such a talented group of authors. Without them, after all, this book wouldn’t exist.
Dirk Flinthart – ‘The Bull in Winter’
Nicole Murphy – ‘Euryale’
Penny Love – ‘A Small Bad Thing’
Jenny Blackford – ‘A Moveable Feast’
Pete Kempshall – ‘Dead Inside’
MLD Curelas – ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’
Joanne Anderton – ‘Sanaa's Army’
Richard Harland – ‘A Mother's Love’
Christine Morgan – ‘Ferreau's Curse’
Thoraiya Dyer – ‘Surviving Film’
Kat Otis – ‘And the Dead Shall be Raised Incorruptible’
Karen Maric – ‘Embracing the Invisible’
Dan Rabarts – ‘The Bone Plate’
Alan Baxter – ‘Cephalopoda Obsessia’
Erin Underwood – ‘The Foam Born’
Vivian Caethe – ‘Skin’
Stephanie Gunn – ‘The Skin of the World’