The creation of this anthology, much like Niteblade, has sort of a sine wave of activity, one week I’m rushed off my feet and feel like my brain is going to explode and the next I’m coasting along with plenty of time on my hands and space in my mind.
With Metastasis things were really busy right at the beginning when we made the announcement and the first big wave of submissions came in, then the activity slowed to a trickle for the bulk of the time we were open for submissions, only to peak again right before the deadline.
After the deadline things got really hectic around here while I read subs and trimmed my selections down to a short list and then to the final bunch I accepted. It didn’t slow down then, though. Once I had the stories and poems chosen we jumped into editing mode, then came paperwork time and now there’s a slight lull, as I said, before we move into final pre-publication stuff and then, finally, onto promoting and selling the book.
This anthology is fantastic. It shines. It really does. And frankly, it had to. I am dedicating my efforts in this anthology to the memory of my mother, so while this is a professional effort on my part it is also very, very personal. And it’s not just personal for me, it’s personal for a great many of the contributors as well. So while I tend to try to rein in my perfectionist streak most of the time, I mostly let it run free while I was working on this book.
And editing it? It was in-freaking-tense. I read each story, each poem, over and over and over again. Through the editing process and again while I figured out the order to put the pieces in, and then again and again to make sure that it all flowed how I wanted it to. Over and over. And these are not light-hearted fun stories. Not even the lightest of them. They aren’t all grim but, I mean, we were dealing with cancer as a theme, it’s pretty tough to make that all rainbows and cotton candy. I didn’t realize just how deeply it was affecting me until I was sitting in a movie theatre watching Pacific Rim and while giant robots and humongous monsters were destroying cities and using ocean liners as maces to smack each other around, I had a constant stream of tears flowing out from below my 3-d glasses. #truestory
Which is not to say the process between accepting stories and now was without its light moments. One of my favourites came as I was playing World of Warcraft and one of my best friends, BD Wilson, sent me an in-game message which said, “For the sake of my ego I submitted to Metastasis using a fake name. Now that my story has been accepted can we publish it under my real one?” Good times.
So I think what I’m trying to say is working on Metastasis has been an emotional roller coaster ride and, well, it’s not over yet 😉