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

amandapillar writes:

Grants Pass

I’ve just finished the final stages of typesetting the anthology, Grants Pass. It is currently with the proof readers, and I’m waiting anxiously to hear the comments so I can email our authors with “It’s great, no changes” or “It’s great, but we need to tweak this”.

So what is Grants Pass about?

Grants Pass is a post apocalyptic anthology set in the near future: humanity has been decimated by three man-made plagues. There are only a handful of survivors. Fourteen months previously, a girl called Kayley made a blog post about what she’d do if the world ended, and where she would go: Grants Pass, Oregon. As the apocalypse transpired, the blog post was bandied about as a survival guide, influencing the survivor’s thoughts on what they would do now the end had arrived.

How did Grants Pass come about?

Jennifer Brozek thought of Grants Pass many years ago when she made a whimsical, what if post on her online journal. From that, the concept was born. She did a call for submissions and then completed the monumental task of putting together an anthology. Eventually, she sent the MS to Mark at Morrigan Books and he asked me to read it. It was my decision on whether or not we’d take it.

I wanted the book; the concept had won me over. But I knew there’d have to be changes. I emailed Mark and Jennifer right away, Mark was happy but Jennifer was less so. She was attached to her stories and didn’t want to see some of them removed from the collection. But the MS would only be accepted if the guidelines were revisited and the stories that no longer worked were removed.

Jennifer and I re-vamped the guidelines, and despite the fact she wanted to kill me a few times during that process, we were both happy with the end result. Then I emailed all the authors with the updates and we were set to go. Jennifer and I had remarkably similar visions for the anthology, despite it being her brainchild and me entering the project at a later stage. As an editor for the book, I wasn’t going to write a story for it, but as Jennifer already had a story in the collection I thought it might help me understand the Grants Pass universe better if I wrote one. Mark and Jennifer happened to love my tale, and wanted it included in the anthology.

I think the partnership between Jennifer and I worked so well because we both have the same passion for the anthology and the desire to see it succeed. Now, after re-editing the stories and accepting new submissions, Grants Pass has exceeded all expectations.

If you like post-apocalyptic fiction, I think you’ll love this.


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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