By Jayne Kingsley
Months ago—pre-Covid—a group of authors sat down over a bottle of fizz and an idea was born. One that involved a yacht, New Year’s Eve and a mystery benefactor.
Next week (November 1) Love & Fireworks: A New Year’s Eve romance anthology will be out in the world and boy was it fun to write this anthology with some of my fantastic and fabulous author pals.
I thought for my blog I’d share insight from each of us into why we all loved writing this anthology together.
First up: Anna Foxkirk
“Let's start with the fact that being asked to contribute to this anthology felt like an act of inclusion, extending the hand of friendship. Last year, I was supposed to contribute to Christmas on Hope Street, but for a number of personal reasons, which I won't bore you with, I couldn't. I was therefore beyond thrilled when they offered me a second chance. Ever since meeting at the RWA conference in Brisbane in 2017, we've gelled so well as a group, and I feel nothing but gratitude for having met these authors, for their support and the joy of having become part of this writing crew.
The actual process of writing and reading others' work, giving feedback and editing the Love and Fireworks anthology became a bonding of writers, a real team effort. I immediately loved the premise - a mega party on a mega yacht on New Year's Eve. So exciting, I could envisage the fireworks already! When I sat down to write, the story flowed, as if it had been tailor-made for me to write - that is such a zen moment for a writer! An additional bonus was the opportunity this experience gave me to learn from Jayne, Megan, Stella and Marianne, in terms of studying their writing craft, but also benefitting from their savvy and know-how as self-published authors - as someone just embarking on a self-publishing career, boy, I have a whole lot to learn!
Last but not least, working on this anthology has meant sharing the hard work needed to produce a book. That's no mean feat and I feel incredibly proud to have been even a small part of this collaborative effort. With less than a week to go, I can't wait to sing and shout about Love and Fireworks, but even more wonderful is that instead of celebrating solo, it's a shared joy, effectively a party!”
“I enjoy working in collaboration with others, and the give and take to make sure that all the stories work as individual romances, but also as part of a broader theme. Having five stories all set around the same yacht party definitely involved some creative problem solving and negotiation, but it was such fun to work out those small details like the size of the yacht or the details around the countdown to create, hopefully, a consistent and fun read to ring in the new year with.”
If you want to find out more about Megan Mayfair and her upcoming works of fiction check out her website: https://www.meganmayfair.com or follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meganmayfairwrites/
“I’ve had stories published in four anthologies. I enjoy writing to a theme and joining in with multiple authors to achieve a common goal, which is to produce a high-quality product that reaches as many readers as possible.
The Love and Fireworks anthology was a collaborative process with my writing group. This is the second anthology we’ve written – the first was Christmas on Hope Street – and this, like our first, was a passion project. I loved working on these two anthologies. The excitement as we brainstormed the concept, nutted out details and fine-tuned the words was infectious and united us more. We each drew on our individual skill sets to contribute to the book, whether it be editing, formatting,
proofreading or promotion and cheered each other on as the deadlines approached.
This all-in method is a lovely way to work if you have trustworthy, reliable, supportive collaborators. I’m so fortunate that I do have such writers in my wonderful writing group. They make working together to produce a beautiful book an absolute delight.”
If you want to find out more about Marianne Bayliss and her upcoming works of fiction check out her website: https://mariannebayliss.com
“Some anthologies are grouped together around a loose concept, like regency Christmas romance, or valentine's day. Others -- such as our Love and Fireworks anthology -- have a specific event or cast of characters which need to be included. These anthologies are the type I enjoy writing for, as the collaboration process is so fun!
The collaboration process also means you have to employ a little writerly discipline. You cannot let your characters be in charge, you have to make them fit the premise of the anthology, which can feel a little like having to create jigsaw pieces out of words.”
If you want to find out more about Stella Quinn and her upcoming works of fiction check out her website: https://www.stellaquinnauthor.com or follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stella.quinn.author/
Lastly – me! I love reading anthologies, particularly ones based around a theme, so writing one was an absolute joy. To be able to write with some of my closest author friends is such a pleasure and a privilege. I also feel it takes the pressure off in some ways as you don’t feel so alone with your story (which often writing can be).
Plus writing about New Year’s Eve and finding love aboard a glamour filled yacht was just plain fun!
So how about you? Do you like reading Anthologies? If you’re an author do you like writing anthologies with friends?
I love to love... the sound of rain falling outside whilst I’m cosy inside with a good book
I love to laugh... with my friends over our typos (ice cub anyone?)
I love to learn... how to make giant paper flowers