A happy Halloween

Re-Vamp Cover

Cover of Re-Vamp, art by Leah Jay

It’s my birthday! Which means it is also Halloween! Which means it is also the day that Re-Vamp officially comes out!

Three happy things on the thirty-first of October. I’ve always seen three as a magical number, and it seems even better on All Hallow’s Eve.

It’s pretty hard to believe that it’s been a full year since Die and I, almost on a whim, decided to launch the Re-Vamp project. We’d been kicking around the idea for some time–maybe even as long as a few years–back when we were maintainers of another horror livejournal community. At first the idea was some sort of short fiction challenge or contest, to bring back the monstrousness of the monster. After that Die and I thought maybe we’d just write a few stories–we didn’t think, at first, that anyone else would really join in, though we sent out a few tentative invitations to writer friends of ours. But we were pleasantly surprised to find this was not the case at all! In fact, by the end, we got many unexpected and wonderful stories without having to beg for them ;).

Die’s been such an incredible force for our little project, recruiting new authors and poets to the cause, spreading the word about Re-Vamp near and far. Die braved a case of nerves to get in touch with life-long writing heroes like Susan Price, who, as busy as she is, has been a wonderful supporter of the project. (And I was also very very pleased to be introduced to Susan Price’s work, which quite frankly I absolutely love. I have a post about fairy tales sitting in the wings, very much inspired by recent readings of the Ghost World Sequence books.)

We’ve also had amazing support from our readers–Mandybling comes to mind as someone who’s always there with a thoughtful comment, but there were many of you, including a couple of marvelous fans who gave a Re-Vamp flyer to Clive Barker!–and from our authors. And we were, quite frankly, totally overwhelmed by the response to the Monster Makeover Contest. We only expected to get three or four entries… in fact both of us feared getting none at all… and instead we had thirteen marvelous stories! That was brilliant and, well, we learned a few lessons about how to run a contest, but we also got an amazing collection of stories, which you can still always read on the Re-Vamp Livejournal.

Die and I also learned so much about producing a book. I’ve done some minimal layout work–program books and comic books/comics anthologies and brochures and the like–but never a full length anthology like this. I ended up reading up a lot on book design and, well, let’s just say it’s not as easy as it looks, even though the whole point is that it’s supposed to be unnoticeable if the job is done well! (Also now I notice “rivers” in books I’m reading–Oh dear!) Die really stepped up and tackled the ebook side, dealing with Smashwords and Kindle and producing a fantastic digital edition of Re-Vamp.

I also really must give a shout-out to our amazing, amazing cover artist Leah Jay and also to the wonderful Sophia McDougall who copyedited for us.

But sincerely, thank you to everyone who supported Re-Vamp. This project never would’ve succeeded without you. The anthology’s just the cherry on top… the real reward was the amazing yearlong journey. I’ve met authors and readers I would never have met without the Re-Vamp project, and had a wonderful time of it. I won’t say it was easy, but it was worth every gnashed tooth and tear of frustration shed.

Thanks everyone, and happy happy Halloween.