Last Tuesday, a little over a week ago, I uploaded a FREE Halloween e-anthology to various websites. Past The Patch was an idea that sprang up over the summer during one of the many manic e-mail trading session between the guys at Dark Red Press. Since I was the one promoting the idea (and I had always wanted to try my hand at editing an anthology), it became my project. It was early August when I sent out the first round of submission queries, with an early October release slated.
I wanted around a dozen authors, mostly because that number seemed managable for my first time stepping into editor shoes. Pretty much the same reason we decided to make the thing free. I had an idea of what I wanted with this anthology, and I went outside the normal realms of modern horror and dark urban fantasy. As I state in the brief introduction of Past The Patch, I’ve always been most impressed with the anthologies by the likes of John Joseph Adams, Al Sarrantonio and Harlan Ellison. It seemed they were less concerned about genre and more so about theme. I liked that. So along with the usual suspects, I attempted to snag authors who were more accustomed to writing romance, fantasy, mystery or poetry. I wanted stories about Halloween, a holiday and all that it encompassed in our collective culture, not just a collection of spooky gore-fests.
Authors wandered in, some wandered out. A few new ones showed up late to the party with more beer, as it were. Multiple times I found myself screaming at the computer for whatever reason. The release deadline of October 11th had been set, and I was still agonizing over the cover art. I think I may have annihilated a few galaxies in my stressed-out rage.
Finally all the tales were in and it was a matter of deciding upon the “track listing” and hammering out the formats. Looking over my submissions, it was quickly apparent that I was going to end the anthology with “The Witch Of Mistletoe Lane” by Court Ellyn. Almost a novella in length, it’s so well written, so heart-breakingly beautiful and poignant, I knew it was the perfect note on which to end. J.T. Warren’s “Halloween Candy” seemed a great choice for the opener with it’s unique take on an old holiday fear. In between, all the tales were decided by their word count and subject matter. I didn’t, for instance, want to put two shorter tales next to each other, nor did I want to place two stories that had children as the protagonists back-to-back. Cue more screaming at the computer.
And then suddenly… it was done. The cover embedded, legal crap page, ISBN# acquired, contents, bios, everything. It looked good! I sent it to the guys at Dark Red Press for a look-over, got the thumbs up, and started uploading. I promoted it for a few hours, then I think I passed out for a day. Past The Patch was done, and damn, it did look good!
The main download site, with various links, is on the DRP site. Who knows how many PDF’s we’ve directly downloaded, but it’s all here… http://www.darkredpress.com/read-now/past-the-patch-a-free-collection/
We’ve had 97 downloads off Smashwords as I write this. That site is here… https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/95432
We’ve had 74 reads over at Scribd. That site is here… http://www.scribd.com/doc/68259166/Past-the-Patch
Finally, it’s also available as a PDF at Goodreads, along with the e-anthology’s page and links to all the contributing authors. Feel free to snag it or give us feedback here… http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12845734-past-the-patch
I’m proud of what was accomplished with Past The Patch, and I’m ever more proud of all of the authors who contributed to the anthology. It’s a fun collective of tales, and I’m thrilled these amazing authors gave me a chance to combine their works in this fashion. Please, as October 31st lurks closer, I invite you to check out this FREE e-anthology and get ready for Halloween!