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Monday, December 11, 2017

The Lost Lore Anthology Cover Reveal + Interview with the editors & authors (by Mihir Wanchoo)

Today at Fantasy Book Critic, we have the wonderful opportunity to do the official cover reveal for the LOST LORE Anthology that features sixteen authors and several luminaries from the past and present editions of SPFBO (hopefully some future SPFBO contenders as well).

The creative minds behind this awesome collection were very kind to grant me the opportunity to reveal the magnificent cover for it featuring artwork by Andreas Zafeiratos & design/typography by Colleen Sheehan. Check it out in all its glory above.

OFFICIAL BLURB: Hidden pasts. Secrets untold. Legends half-remembered. Sixteen fantasy writers gather to bring sixteen tales to life, each one a unique glimpse into a wholly original world.

In Midgard, a humble priestess takes it upon herself to move Valhalla and earth to bring justice to lands unfairly ruled by men, gods, and giants.

On the Emerald Road, a dead Sage triggers a brutal trial beneath the forest floor. There, a young man must fight—and kill—both friends and enemies to become the next wielder of the fabled Emerald Blade.

And in the Yarnsworld, the Magpie King teaches two brothers a dangerous lesson about the power of stories. Sticks and stones may indeed break bones . . . but they cannot hurt the Bramble Man.

In worlds ravaged by flood, fire, and frost, mere mortals strive to make their own legends amidst demons and deities alike. And in lands racked with human strife—where evil endures and no one is ever safe—scarred heroes fight forces even darker than their own personal demons.

Why do they fight?

Some seek to better the world, or themselves. Others are out to right old wrongs. But whatever their goal - reward, redemption, or just respite - the truth will out eventually. For no story is ever truly lost so long as there exists one to tell it.

So there you have it, featuring sixteen different tales by sixteen exciting voices, readers will have the opportunity to be transported to several different realms and find out more. The anthology will be released on all platforms on January 15th 2018.

The line up consists of the following authors:
 - Alec Hutson
 - Ben Galley
 - Benedict Patrick
 - Bryce O' Connor
 - David Benem
 - Dyrk Ashton
 - Jeffrey Hall
 - J. P. Ashman
 - Laura M. Hughes
 - Michael R. Miller
-  Mike Shel
- Phil Tucker
- Steven Kelliher
- T. A. Miles
- Timandra Whitecastle
- T. L. Greylock
- With a foreword by Mark Lawrence

In addition to the official blurb and cover reveal, we are glad to have Taya (T. L. Greylock), Teri (T. A. Miles), & Benedict Patrick to answer a few questions about the anthology, its inception & more...

Q] Thank you for this opportunity and welcome to Fantasy Book Critic. Could you tell us about the inception of the Lost Lore anthology and how did you get involved for this project?

Benedict: Thanks, Mihir! How the anthology came about? The very boring answer is that this is the project that made the distance. There’s an ever-growing group of us who chat about writing/publishing/Netflix on a daily basis, and we are constantly suggesting stuff we can work together on. This is pretty much the first project (hopefully of many) that has managed to escape that bubbling pot of creation to make it out to the general public. We enjoy hanging out online together, we want to work together, and an anthology like this seemed like a good place to start.

Q] Can you tell us about the lineup of stories assembled in this anthology? How did you go about selecting the authors for the collection?

Taya: Selection took place via death matches. Okay, not really. Basically it sprouted from what was initially a group of SPFBO authors and grew to include a bunch of cool people we had met.

Q] As authors who had to make a switch to the editorial side for this anthology, how did you prep for it?

Teri: For me, preparation started months ago. At the time that I joined the group, I was not acquainted with many of the others and had not read any of their works. Our book designer, Colleen, is also my partner and several of them are her clients, so I had been exposed to various names and titles that way. When I volunteered to be on the management team for the anthology and to assist with editing, I decided I should become more familiar with the themes and styles of my fellow contributors.

So, I collected several of the Book 1s in their respective series and set about reading them. Regrettably, I have to admit that I didn't find the time to finish reading all of them, but what I did read helped me settle into the waters and recalibrate my brain from writer to reader and editor. By twist of fate, I had been asked around the same time to do a critique for someone outside of the group and I feel that all of the ahead studying and reading definitely helped me to transition.

Taya: I think we all brought different strengths to the organization and creation of this anthology, and right from the start we knew we could delegate areas of work that played to those strengths. Phil (Tucker), for instance, could work the cover angle, since we had agreed to use his regular artist. And Colleen, being our resident formatter/typesetter/book designer extraordinaire, would, of course, be tasked with that part of the project. Honestly, I’m not sure why I’m here....

Q] With two or more editors involved, I'm sure readers are curious as to how you all work together and so can you give us a glimpse of the process?

Taya: One of the most vital parts of the process was handing off the decision making on story order to Teri. The time, effort, and thought she put into creating that order far outweighs, I’m convinced, the work put into most traditionally published anthologies. Each story has been given a place for a reason; each story follows its predecessor for a reason. A reader might not make each and every connection, but I think there’s a subconscious flow to the collection that will resonate. And I think I speak for the rest of the team when I say that we were blown away upon seeing the work Teri did.

Benedict: Oh, geez, Teri’s dedication and passion for this project can’t be overstated. I was blown away by the work she did in pulling this all together.

Teri: I’ve never participated in the editorial aspect of an anthology before, so I was truthfully just winging it. Either way, I wanted to give it as much attention as I would one of my own publications.  Transitioning to editing mode did not turn off storyteller mode entirely, so I wound up approaching the story order as if it was actually one large story.  Though there is no shared plot and there are no related characters, it was my aim to create a beneath the surface sensation of each story handing off to the next.  With luck, readers will feel that there’s a flow to the stories and be carried from one to another seamlessly. (I also may have simply overthought the whole thing…)

Q] This question might be a bit difficult, but among this varied collection which ones are your favourite ones as a reader?

Taya: One that I found exceptionally entertaining was Laura’s I, Kane. It has a wonderfully luscious mix of humor and underlying terror. If you’ve read her novelette, Danse Macabre, you won’t be disappointed.

Benedict: Timandra’s Into the Woods was an eye opener for me. This is not a story you forget in a hurry, and pulls no punches.

Teri: I prefer to save choosing favorites for caffeinated beverages. Each one of the stories has left some imprint on my mind and has some detail about it that will forever remind me of the tale.  For me, as a reader, what really qualifies a story is whether or not I remember it with any detail which rekindles an emotional impression (of the characters especially). Something that I commented on to the group after reading all of the submissions was how distinctly each plot and each protagonist stood out from one another.

I think the odds are often high that if someone picks up sixteen stories by different authors, among them, they’ll find two or more protagonists or core plots that could serve as each other’s doppelgangers.  That was not so here, and I found that impressive, especially considering the amount of shared interests among the group.

Q] Conversely among all the stories, which was the story/s that surprised completely depending on the author’s previous work or pedigree?

Benedict: Not quite the answer you’re looking for, but I’m really excited to read Mike Shel and Jeffrey Hall’s stories. At the time of this interview, both of them are unpublished authors (if you discount Mike’s extensive career writing RPG adventures), and I think it speaks a lot for this group and this anthology that their work is included. Lost Lore represents work from a wide range of fantasy authors, including those for whom writing is their sole career, to writers who have yet to put anything out into the great, wide world.

Teri: Among all the stories, I think that I was the most surprised by Steven Kelliher's A Tree Called Sightless, simply for the fact that his prehistory takes the point of view of a much darker character than Valley of Embers' protagonist. There are quite a number of dark characters and situations among the stories in this anthology, but the nature of this character and his specific situation were not anticipated.  I think it will give valuable insight to readers of the Landkist Saga and tempt new readers to carry forward.

Q] Will this anthology be a one-time thing or is there a possibility for it becoming a series perhaps further exploring different aspects of this genre?

Benedict: Who knows? I think it is more likely to hear from us as a group, but doing something totally different, as opposed to a repetition or continuation of this project. Our hope is to have created a high quality, evergreen experience that will be discovered and enjoyed by readers for years to come. Most of the stories in Lost Lore tie in to our own story worlds, so if people are looking for continuation of the threads started here, diving into an individual author’s work is the best place to go.

Taya: We’ve got a great group of people to work with. I’d love to see us continue to create together in different capacities.

Q] So what can readers expect from this amazing collection and what should they be looking forward to according to you?

Taya: I think readers can expect a staggering variety of stories, in terms of both subject and style, that, as a whole, really excels at capturing this idea of lost lore. This anthology is basically a hit list of some of the best bits of history, legends, and backstories from our novels that you’re dying to get the truth about.

Teri: I like Taya’s answer. But, expanding on that gratuitously, I would say that readers can expect to find a sensible introduction to the various worlds each of us has cultivated in our own series. For those already touring any of these worlds in previously published works, I think readers will find a source for further insight that they can appreciate. Many of the stories contain their own Easter Eggs that should satisfy the familiar audience while intriguing newcomers.

Q] In closing, do you have any last thoughts or comments you’d like to share with our readers?

Taya: The anthology is free! And always will be. We’re really excited to share our worlds with new readers and give our fans new glimpses into the worlds they’ve already come to know. And there’s no better way to do that than to make Lost Lore free for everyone.



J.P. Ashman said...

I had so much fun working on this. Cannot wait to read the other stories involved!


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