Saturday, May 10, 2014

On collections

"The Clock Struck None" is my third collection in five years; "Fantastic Texas" was published in 2009 and "Texas and Other Planets"in 2010. "Clock" seems to be getting the best reviews of the three so far; the positive review in the Reference Library of Analog is very gratifying.

I picked up two tricks over the years from various writers that have contributed to all these collections. First, I learned from Jay Lake that — while learning of one's craft — it doesn't hurt to submit often and everywhere. There are some authors who only submit to pro publications or publications of a certain level. But I saw a long time ago that Jay Lake was willing to submit to any publication which — in the phrase used by a fellow author once on a panel — "has a pulse". Jay is certainly an accomplished author, and I have to say that I think the constant writing has helped me improve my craft; 82 stories published in 11 years is a testament to that.

I learned from Joe Lansdale that developing a large body of published short stories gives you the ability to assemble a collection whenever needed. Joe has had hundreds of stories published over the years and he can pull together a collection with any theme whenever asked.

Fantastic Texas was obviously a collection of Texas-themed stories. "The Clock Struck None" is all alternate or secret history. Eventually I suppose I will be able to assemble a collection of space opera or time travel stories, too.

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