Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Glass Parachute

As much as I tried to be positive when I wrote my series of blog posts on the small press, the truth was that the articles came as much out of frustration at the more negative experiences I'd had with certain editors and magazines as it did from wanting to praise the things I felt the small press was getting right.  There'd been some great experiences along the way, but at that point I felt as though the bad was outweighing the good.  In fact, by the time I wrote the last post, I'd more or less decided to back off from the small press for a while and concentrate on trying to shift my best and brightest stories to professional markets. 

Something I hadn't anticipated was that editors might come to me - but that was exactly what began to happen.  So my decision went straight out the window.  It's one thing to choose not to submit to markets, another entirely to say no when someone actually asks you for a story!  One of those editors was Eric Guignard, who's already had plenty of mention on this blog, and another was Matt Edginton, who, looking back, I seem to have failed to talk about quite so much.

Now that Matt's first anthology The Glass Parachute is out, containing my story Final Relocation, I get to redress that a little.  I've been getting steadily more excited about TGP as it got closer, and as it became obvious just how much love and care and graphic design talent Matt was throwing at it.  All of that's reflected in the final product, a charming, professionally crafted, lavishly illustrated and all in all very characterful book.  As first attempts go, it's every bit as impressive as Eric's much-praised Dark Tales anthology earlier in the year.

The strange thing is that my working experience with both Eric and Matt ended up being pretty similar, while at the same time different from the sort of time I'd had with most other editors.  Both of them came to me with a clear idea of what they wanted to do, and even with cover art already in place; both kept me updated as their anthologies came together, worked closely with me on the edit, asked for and listened to advice, and have continued to send out updates since their collections were released.  In fact, off the top of my head, I think they both nailed every one of those ten points I wrote about in my small press blog series; anyone thinking about putting out their first anthology could learn a lot from these guys.

On a related side note, the reason my banner at the top there is a whole lot funkier, more professional and less thrown-together-in-Paint-looking as of recent weeks is that Matt was nice enough to redo it for me, by way of a thank you for Final Relocation.  Which, thinking about it, is something else I sort of talked about back in the day.  So cheers to Matt for not only putting out a small press collection I can be proud to be part of, but also for making my blogular home a much nicer place to hang my blogging hat.

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