I love a good anthology. A single book with a bunch of short stories all with a similar theme, especially a fantasy one?!? Sign me up!
When the opportunity to interview an author of such a short story belonging to such an anthology presented itself, I pounced on it.
Laurie Lucking happens to be on online friend of mine. We both belong to ACFW and Realm Makers, we’re in the same critique group, and we might be working on a top-secret project of our own 😉 She’s also the author of the amazing YA fantasy romance, Common, to boot.
We sat down (virtually, of course) and discussed her short story for the Mythical Doorways blog tour.
Jeb: How is writing and publishing this short story different from your experience publishing your novel?
Laurie: I find writing short stories to be a refreshing break from full-length novels. There are fewer characters and subplots to worry about, and it’s so encouraging to be able to complete a project over the course of a month instead of a year! (Yes, I’m a slow writer.) I also feel like I can be more experimental with my world-building in short stories, because it only has to work over the course of ~10,000 words instead of an entire book or series. The satisfaction of a novel is getting to know the characters and setting so much better, the opportunity to show more character growth, and tying together all the different story threads. So it’s nice to write some of each!
As far as the publishing experience, the anthology has come together so quickly! The editing process wasn’t quite as extensive, and since things like theme and cover design were determined before any stories were even submitted, it made for a much more streamlined process. It’s been fun and interesting to work as a group to tweak the back-cover blurb and make other marketing decisions, and I’m so grateful for H.L. Burke’s leadership and guidance throughout! Working with my publisher on Common gave me more influence in some ways because it incorporated my individual input instead of a whole group, but there my publisher had the final say, where for the anthology we’ve been encouraged to take responsibility for our individual stories. I’ve learned a lot through each process and would be happy to repeat both types of publication in the future!
J: Did it take long to decide on an idea that fit the theme or was it an easy brainstorm?
I actually hadn’t planned to take part in this anthology because I had too many other projects going, but a story idea came to me anyway so of course I had to write it! It started with an attic door in someone’s closet that was actually a portal to a Neverland kind of fantasy world. The idea for the central conflict of the story came several days later when my husband and I watched the episode of Doctor Who called “Amy’s Choice” (Series 5). In the show, Amy is faced with a decision about which reality she wants—an ordinary existence with her fiancé or continued adventures with the Doctor in his TARDIS. Suddenly I was brainstorming more about my character with the portal in her closet. What if that portal were going to close, and she had to choose where to spend the rest of her life? From there, the themes of growing up and finding a place in the world fell into place pretty easily.
J: Favourite story in this anthology and why, besides yours 😉
L: Ooh, that’s so hard! I read the entire anthology a few weeks ago and the stories are fabulous! “Everwild” by J.M. Hackman was beautifully written, H.L. Burke’s “Jericho and the Magician’s Daughter” was so fun and creative, and “The Hallway of Three Doors” by D.G. Driver was like a brand-new fairy tale, with a bit of surprise romance thrown in! But I think my favorite was “Idiot’s Graveyard” by Arthur Daigle, though I wasn’t necessarily expecting it based on the title! I loved “Idiot’s Graveyard” because the main characters, Dana and Jayden (a Sorcerer Lord), had such a fun friendship. They clearly cared about each other, but had lots of witty interactions—it reminded me a bit of Doctor Who and his companions (yes, I do realize that’s already my second Doctor Who reference…). And the world-building was very cool, especially the situation at the tower and the way they worked together to stop it.
This anthology has such a great variety of stories that I really think there will be something for everyone!
J: Finish this sentence: If I were an imaginary creature, I would be a…
Mermaid! I’ve always loved the water, and swimming would be so much more fun if I didn’t have to worry about coming up for air all the time. What an amazing way to explore the ocean! Plus, my hair is always a disaster after I’ve been swimming, but apparently for mermaids it just floats around and looks pretty, at least according to Disney 🙂 And I love to sing, so I think I’d feel right at home among Ariel and her sisters!
J: Thanks for joining me, Laurie. Can’t wait to read your story!
L: Thank you so much for inviting me to visit, Jebraun! I hope you enjoy the anthology as much as I did!
J: Don’t forget to check out the Facebook party and find a link for the FREE e-book below!
Step through portals and into adventure as the authors of the Fellowship of Fantasy take you on another journey into fantastic worlds. Travel through time, space, and realities to encounter monsters, mechanical foxes, and the Fates themselves. You’ll fly with dragons, save implausible beasts, and perhaps find your true home. Choose your path wisely, for dangers lurk in the lands beyond.
In the third anthology from the Fellowship of Fantasy, eleven authors promise you journeys into fairy lands hidden within the modern world, futuristic universities, and lands of ancient myth. So what are you waiting for? Cross through our Doorways for the adventure of a lifetime!
Download the e-book (free to download starting March 27th) at your favorite digital store!
Mythical Doorways Authors
(Click the author to learn more about them and their books!)
The Fellowship of Fantasy and Deep Magic E-Zine have joined together to offer you an awesome paperback giveaway! Dive into eleven new worlds by entering to win a paperback of Mythical Doorways! (US only.)
About Deep Magic E-Zine: The name Deep Magic pays homage to C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. Deep Magic is a quarterly e-zine dedicated to creating a safe place for minds to wander in the worlds and universe of SFF. We want all who visit to feel welcome and confident that they will encounter professionally written fiction of the highest quality that is safe for all to read.
Facebook Party Information
Fellowship of Fantasy is celebrating their third short story anthology release, Mythical Doorways with a Facebook Party!
Whether they open onto new worlds or just new opportunities, doorways allow us to step through and uncover great adventures, discoveries, and risks.
Where will these Mythical Doorways take you?
Grab your favorite drink and snack on March 29th at 8 PM EST (7 PM CST and 5 PM PST) and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with multiple authors, games, and giveaways!
Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island in a town filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, and enjoys creating fantastic worlds. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.