I’ve been an intermittent presence here recently, so it’s a delight to come back, not only with pictures and links (a proper blog, no less) but with an announcement that’s far more exciting than I expected it to be.
Although I didn’t link to them at the time (what with my stated views on premature festivity) you may have stumbled across three unseasonal stories here in October – two for Christmas and one for the solstice. I mentioned at the time that these were destined for an anthology, and what a grand and splendid thing that anthology has grown to be.
Not only 75 stories to make you laugh, make you cry (I’m serious about that – bring tissues) and remind you why we need a festival in the dark heart of the year . . .
Not only 44 contributing authors including published novelists, masters of the flash challenge and newcomers who I am sure you will be hearing a lot more from . . .
Not only beautiful coverart and chapter headings from Blue Harvest Creative . . .
. . . Tales by the Tree is an anthology that has become far more than the sum of its parts. The fact that all the proceeds will be supporting a school library is just the icing on the cake.
Holiday stories was the brief; Christmas, New Year, and Solstice, mainly, with a fantasy edge, and that, you can imagine, gave the assembled writers a very wide remit indeed. You want Santas? We got Santas: saintly Santas, satanic Santas, Santas just starting out and Santas facing a world of troubles. We got elves to match, naturally, several varieties of fairies and even a couple of unexpected ghosts. There are dragons, dryads and mermaids, there are zombies, witches and haints. Even at that I’m only scratching the surface – if I tell you that my three stories are a non-canon outing for a girl you might know as Kathryn Blake (it could very well have happened, but I think we must agree that it did not), a sweet family piece with just a sprinkling of fairy dust, and an honest-to-goodness dragon-slaying fantasy, and that these are similar enough, within the context of the anthology, to be in the same section, you might start to get an idea of the wide range of stories included.
But before you hare off after those links, I owe a huge thank you to our instigators, editors and cheerleaders, without whom this would never have happened: Marissa Ames, Laura Jamez, Ruth Long and Nick Johns.