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Friday, November 8, 2013

NEWS: Winter In The City plus Guest Post by R.B. Wood (by Mihir Wanchoo)


I’m always looking out for new, cool projects on Kickstarter and this one titled “Winter In The City” caught my eye. Here’s what it says on their main page

 "The City. Noisy, crowded, ever in motion, the City is an unrecognized character in Urban Fantasy. Much more than just a setting, the City is the ever-present constant companion to the characters in the genre. Sometimes antagonist, sometime protagonist, the city surrounds and engulfs a good Urban Fantasy yarn." 

"Winter in the City: A Collection of Urban Fantasy Tales will be a celebration of stories that take place in different cities around the world during the bleak—sometimes harsh—season of winter." 

With such an intriguing setup and my interest in urban fantasy, I asked author R.B. Wood if he could tell us about the inception of this anthology & all that it entailed. So here’s RB on Winter In The City


The idea for the anthology came about after I attended three specific panels at ReaderCon this past July. The first panel was a discussion on what is Urban Fantasy: the stories may involve magic and monsters, but could also contain aliens or mythological creatures; romance is often found, but not necessary. Many answers to this question were presented, leading me to realize the vastness of the subject. 

The topic of the second panel was the city itself, that there are good and bad people in each socio-economic class squeezed together in a few square miles of concrete and glass real estate. 

Author M. J. King and I discussed both panels and our own experience with Urban Fantasy—ranging from the romance-driven story invariably involving some sort of vampire (for the record: back in my day, vampires were written as terrifying monsters), to the gritty, more horror-bent stories that would be comfortable sitting on a shelf next to Jim Butcher and Stephen King tales. 

But regardless of what we consider Urban Fantasy to be, it always involves the City. Chicago, New York, London, Bangor, or Singapore—it doesn’t matter: the City is the ever-present constant. A multifaceted character in its own right. We’re talking real cities here, not fictional cities. 

Wouldn't it be cool,” M. J. and I surmised, “to read a story celebrating all that there is about a city that makes it so beautifully intriguing and horrifying at the same time?” 

Wouldn't it be better to read multiple stories of the same ilk? Thus the concept behind Winter In The City was born. 

We knew we wanted to have the best editor. Again, through my ReaderCon attendance back in 2010, I had met Marty Halpern, who was promoting his just-released anthology Is Anybody Out There? We corresponded, met again at Readercon in 2012, became friends; he even assisted me with my own novel, The Prodigal’s Foole. When I approached him about the WitC project, he wholeheartedly agreed to join the team. 

But, the even bigger question was: How to fund the project? How would we go about that? Which brings me to the third ReaderCon panel I mentioned earlier—a panel on Kickstarter. M. J. and I learned about Kickstarter and how it has been used to breathe life into various literary anthologies. In point of fact, during the panel, a friend’s Kickstarter project was concluding (successfully, I might add) for the anthology Time Travel Tales

Over the next few months we spent a great deal of time researching and asking questions—a lot of questions—about the possibility of building a fundraiser for Winter in the City:
 - Was it a valid concept? 
 - What sort of budget do we need? 
 - What perks would be attractive? 

After many more such questions, we agreed to make a go of it and built our Kickstarter project. To attract some of the best writers in the field, we knew that we had to pay pro rates: we've set 7-cents per word as our initial rate, and if the project surpasses its goal, we hope to raise the per-word rate for all the stories. 

We have dozens of award-winning authors now interested in contributing stories for Winter In The City. As of this writing and eight days into the fundraiser, we have raised 15% of our $15,000 goal. 

November will be a busy month for us. With your help and the help of “the crowd,” by December 1st we will have the resources necessary to deliver to readers an exciting set of stories that show what Urban Fantasy is. 

At least from our perspective. 

You will find our Kickstarter over here and we thank you in advance for your support!

*----------*----------*----------*

You can find more about the anthology over at its official site. Also to find out the list of contributing authors, go HERE.

Guest Author Information: R. B. Wood is a technology consultant and a writer of Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction and quite frankly anything else that strikes his fancy. His first novel, The Prodigal's Foole, was released to critical acclaim in 2012. Mr. Wood is currently working on the second book of his Arcana Chronicles series called The Young Practitioner, multiple short stories, a graphic novel and a science fiction trilogy that he dusts off every few years. Along with his writing passion, R. B. is host of The Word Count Podcast – a show that features talent from all around the globe reading original flash-fiction stories.

R. B. currently lives in Boston with his partner, Tina, his dog Jack, three cats and various other critters that visit from time to time. He can be found over on his website, twitter account & Facebook page.

NOTE: WITC cover art by Kip Ayers. Author photos courtesy of the authors themselves.

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