Guest blogging: Week One – Amanda Pillar (co-editor of The Phantom Queen Awakes)

amandapillar writes:

Guest blogging, hrm… well. I find it difficult enough to write for my own journal, as I want my posts to be witty, funny and/or interesting. Sometimes I even achieve one of those goals. Sometimes.

So, to my guest blog…

I guess I should start at the obvious: My thoughts on The Phantom Queen Awakes.

When Mark announced he wanted to do an open call anthology, I waved my arm around and jumped up and down and said ‘Me! Me!’ He hadn’t really picked a topic at that stage; he just knew it would involve the Morrigan goddess. Archaeology buff that I am, I wanted in.

At the time, we were just tying up Voices, finishing off the typesetting and trying our hand at promotion. I was also busy hacking away at Grants Pass; emailing all the authors with the sorry news that I was on board and that they were going to have to go through another round of edits, with Jennifer and me. Jennifer is the nice editor. Me, I wanted re-hauls and was responsible (along with Mark) on the rejection of many stories that were in the original cut.

So while I was busy immersing myself in Grants Pass, Mark said it was time to prepare the submission guidelines for The Phantom Queen Awakes. Wisely, he had decided that I was going to be his co-editor for the book.

Excited as I was, Mark said I could write the guidelines. I pondered and pondered what we wanted; and how historical we needed it to be. In the end, I decided it didn’t have to be accurate, because I knew I’d drive all the authors mad with corrections. So the anthology was to focus on the tripartite nature of the goddess.

We got heaps of stories about her capriciousness, about her war aspect. Mark, bloodthirsty man that he is, was happy with all the battle scenes. But there were very precious few about what I wanted most: Her love aspect. Sure, there were stories that had sex, but sex — as you all know — does not equate to love. But we got some in the end that sort of achieved what I’d been searching for.

And while I’m excited about working with our other authors, I have to say I’m stunned when I realise I get to comment on Elaine Cunningham, Katharine Kerr, Anya Bast and C.E. Murphy’s work.

Them’s the perks I guess.


About Mark S. Deniz

English teacher, writer, editor, publisher, reviewer and blogger. Founder of publishing company, Morrigan Books and imprint, Gilgamesh Press and editor-in-chief for review site, Beyond Fiction. Also cycles, plays floorball, listens to lots and lots of music, reads a ton of books and tries to fit in some TV, film and writing too. View all posts by Mark S. Deniz

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