That’s how I feel every time a story or a piece of artwork arrives in my inbox for Fireside, my multigenre fiction magazine. We’ve been publishing for a year now, and you’d think I’d be used to it, these sparks of brilliance (like the gorgeous fire scene Galen Dara did for our current Kickstarter pictured below). I think maybe that’s a sign of good art, that no matter how much you’ve read or how many pictures you’ve looked at, when something is beautiful, or powerful, or whatever it is that is grabbing you by the soul, you can’t help but be moved. And I’ve been lucky to have found so many brilliant people to work with on this magazine, people who get what we’re trying to do: tell great stories.
Before I launched Fireside, I had all these ideas: focusing on storytelling rather than genre, paying creators fairly, experimenting with crowdfunding. Then came all the work: finding writers and artists, figuring out how to write contracts, putting together the Kickstarter, running the Kickstarter, succeeding in the Kickstarter (WHEE!). Then I waited, because the deal I had with everyone was that they’d write and create the art only if the Kickstarter succeeded. I didn’t want people doing work they wouldn’t get paid for, if the Kickstarter failed. It was a gamble, I guess, since I didn’t know what the stories were going to be, and I was locked in with the writers I had signed up. What would I do if I got a bunch of stuff I hated?
One morning a few weeks later the little (1) appeared next to my email Inbox. It was from Ken Liu, and his story for Issue One, “To the Moon,” was attached. It was the first story I got to read for Fireside.
It was wonderful. And I knew everything was going to be OK.
Fireside is a lot of work, especially running Kickstarter campaigns. We had a Kickstarter for each of the three issues we published last year, and today we’re launching a new one, to fund an entire year of a totally revamped monthly magazine. We’re hoping to put Fireside on a more stable footing. It will still be a lot of work, but it also means even more magic in my email. And then I get to share it with the world. And I hope the world, or the tiny slice of it that we reach, anyway, has one feeling when we arrive every month:
Brian White’s day job – well it’s really a night job – is as a newspaper copy editor. He has a healthy obsession with bourbon and fedoras. Brian lives in the Boston area with his wife, Lauren, and two cats: Bast and Peep. Find out more about Fireside magazine at its website or on twitter: @firesidemag.