It was some years ago that I first considered dipping my toe into the world of anthologies. Like, really trying it out. I’d done a couple print versions of Niteblade (which you could argue were anthologies but were mostly print versions of Niteblade) but I had an idea for an actual anthology I wanted to do and no idea where to start in making that happen. I didn’t know how to pitch it, where to pitch it, none of that stuff.
So, in 2011 I called a friend who knew a thing or two about anthologies, invited her to lunch and picked her brain. She was very encouraging, said my idea was a good one and offered to help in a handful of ways. I remember leaving the lunch and practically skipping back to the bus stop I was so excited.
That friend was Candas Dorsey and that conversation changed my life.
The idea I had was to do an anthology called Arcana which would contain one story for each of the major arcana cards from a tarot card deck. The story wouldn’t have that card in it but its theme would match the meaning of the card. So the story in the slot of The Fool would be about innocence, optimism and/or a fresh start, and the one representing The Hanged Man would be about Sacrifice, surrender, prophecy and/or submission. You get the idea.
The tricky thing with a topic like that is you can’t just do a traditional open submission window because people need to be writing to a different theme for each slot in the anthology. And I couldn’t specifically invite people to send me stuff for it because no one had any idea who I was. Couple that with the fact anthologies are notoriously difficult to sell to publishers in the first place and what I ended up with was a great idea for an anthology which I couldn’t possibly put together. So I shelved it for a time and worked on other things.
On other anthologies.
And I had some success in that arena.
But Arcana was always there in the murky back of my mind just waiting to be brought to life.
And so now I have.
I love the fact that it features interior illustrations by Marge Simon—the artistic force of nature who did all the artwork for Niteblade as well. Niteblade was where my editing career started and was the direct link to my deciding to try my hand at anthologies and since Arcana was the first anthology I ever wanted to do so it feels a bit like coming full circle.
All that is not meant to imply I’m done with anthologies, but I am super excited that the first one I conceived of will finally have a chance to find its audience. And I hope you enjoy it.
(From my Introduction to that anthology)