Halloween Guest Post: What Would You Do For Extra Time? by Trish Wooldridge

Guest author Trish Wooldridge

Guest author Trish Wooldridge

Hint: Don’t edit an anthology…

The search for extra time has always lent itself to the weird. Deals with the devil, infernal machines, djinn with their own agendas…

There is always a cost. Usually one that is more valuable than money. One most people are too scared to pay.

The irony that I’d joined forces with a long-time friend and writing colleague, Anthony Francis, to edit an anthology called Doorways to Extra Time–when neither of us had extra time to go through submissions, make choices, edit, proof layout, etc.–was never lost on me. It still isn’t as I try to find time to promote this anthology I paid a good deal of heart and soul for the time to make it happen. As did my co-editor.

We don’t regret that price, though.

An anthology always costs more than you think it will… in time, money, effort…sanity.

First, we had far more submissions than we thought we’d get. Yay our theme resonated with people! Crap…we have to read all these.

And we did read nearly all of them in full. Actually, I know for a fact Anthony did read Every. Single. Submission. In. Full. Even the ones with unintelligible grammar or that had nothing to do with the topic. He’s the nice editor.

On top of the large amount of submissions, we got a larger-than-normal amount of really good submissions! Yay!

Then we found out we had 20k fewer words than we’d hoped.

The really hard and scary part set in: We’d have to send rejections to stuff we loved. In a few cases, to people we considered close friends.

Doorway Stained GlassConsidering and weighing the stories and picking just the right mix made us later on our responses and eventually sent us into an editing frenzy against our deadline…something that would haunt us until the final release date and hoping the books made it to my hotel at Dragon*Con.

Oh… and another scary part? We both decided to have a budget to invite a few pros to play in our anthology. I asked two authors who I’ve known and loved for years, Walter H. Hunt and Jody Lynn Nye. They accepted! But…now we also had to edit these author icons!

But it was so worth it. Walter H. Hunt wrote a short story based on his upcoming novel, Elements of the Mind, and Jody Lynn Nye, who’s humor is inimitable and sent us one of the few truly happy interpretations of our theme.

The time–that infernal price–that it cost us was so worth it. Worth every stressed second. Because now these stories are out in the world…and they can touch others as they touched Anthony and me.

While it’s a given that anthologies are not generally “moneymakers” for most presses or most authors, they have value. They cost time, they cost money, but they often boost an author to bigger and better markets.  I got my start in anthologies, and I still submit to them regularly.

And to those who enjoy short fiction and its various themes, anthologies offer little escapes. Little adventures that take you to a whole new world. Give you a new thought. Introduce you to a new person, a new idea.

And those escapes don’t cost you a lot of extra time.

In fact, they just might show you a door to extra time. Without the hefty price tag. Or at least show you where to look.

Happy Halloween!

Doorways CoverDoorways To Extra Time, edited by Anthony Francis and Trisha Wooldridge, featuring twenty authors’ takes on finding extra time, is available as a trade paperback or ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and anywhere books are sold–ask your local bookstore about it!

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31.  Join us all five days for Halloween fun!  Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour!

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