On Saturday, December 20th, the authors of Sojourn Volume Two will be hosting a book release party on Facebook. You can find the details here! We’ll be talking about the stories, answering your questions, and giving away prizes. At the end of the event, we’ll also do a drawing for the grand prize of a Fire HD 7 or $150 in Amazon gift certificates (winner’s choice). We hope to see you there!
Just in time for the holiday season, we’re pleased to bring you nearly 600 pages, packed with 32 winter stories by veteran writers and up-and-coming talent. CLICK HERE to grab a copy for yourself or that special someone on your list!
The second volume is coming along wonderfully! The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and quite a few authors are ahead of schedule with their submissions and edits. In fact, I’d like to congratulate Michael Budd on being the first author to complete the entire process, from submission to editing to contract signing.
So what’s on tap for our second outing? Laura just teased some of the content in her prior post, so I’ll talk about the authors. Obviously things are subject to change, but as it stands now, it looks like Volume Two may be twice the size of Volume One. So far we’ve got…
- Every single author for Volume One coming back.
- Ken Hite and Eddy Webb joining us from the industry pro side.
- A significant number of new, up-and-coming authors.
As for my own contribution, I sent several pitches to the editors and asked them to pick the one that would add the most variety to the stories they’ve already received. They both picked Gnarl Saves Christmas, so I’m working on a comedy adventure, written in the form of a chintzy, holiday poem. My favorite gnoll will do what Elmo, Tim Allen, Ernest P. Worrell, and countless stop-motion characters have done before him, though he’s got his own way of handling the task.
This man had a smile and gifts in his sack,
But Gnarl was hungry and just grabbed his ax.
Now, fat men are not healthy for you or for me,
But what cardiologist would gnollish folk see?
So they clawed and they fought and they chopped him to bits,
Then put what was left on their wrought iron spits.
Gnarl and Sharpa hardly could speak,
For they’d never fought a wizard so stupidly weak.
But whatever the foe, adventuring can’t be done shoddy,
So Gnarl was quick to loot Santa Claus’ body.
When we put out the call for stories, I had no idea that so many of our authors would respond immediately. With a little more than three months left in the submission window, we’ve already had ten stories come in. I wanted to give you a little taste of some of what we’ve had so far. Please bear in mind that these are early drafts, so there may be some changes when we actually publish these stories, but they’re definitely representative of what we’re getting. But I do hope they get you excited!
From “The Winter Hungers” by Adam Gottfried:
Academically, 20 below zero is cold and wind-chill makes it colder, bottoming out at around 40 below zero. You can comprehend this, even to some degree prepare for it, but to actually experience it…to feel your skin recoil, even under layers of protection, to see your breathy exhalation of 98.6 degrees freeze to microscopic ice crystals the moment it ceases to be a part of you, to have your nose hairs freeze solid inside of ten seconds and to feel the tears well to keep your eyes from freezing open….
It is a kind of madness, being outside when it is this cold. Your mind reels as your external senses beg for mercy—trying to think of anything and everything that isn’t how cold it is and invariably returning to: Why the Hell do I live here?
From “Que Deja Deja” by Michael Budd:
A much older man, with just a scraggly horseshoe of silver hair left on his head. He walked with a limp as he entered, probably from a war wound. As old as he was, it might have been received in one of the many wars the old regime waged B.R. That same feeling crept up Warren’s brain stem again as he watched the senior take a seat across from him and rub his left knee through faded jeans. He was about tell Warren not to ever–
“Don’t ever get old, boy,” the old man ordered Warren. “It’s just the same shit on a different day, with more aches, pains, and required medications.”
Warren wasn’t sure whether to laugh or panic.
From “New Year, New Trouble” by Dawn Wattler:
“Mind if I turn on the TV?” she asked, peeking into the cockpit, which was decorated with a combination of grinning family portraits, live plants under a purplish light—including a tiny rose bush—and religious paraphernalia; statues of Jesus and Mary and even a tiny plastic manger set covered her dash; there were even fake candles. She didn’t know much about the religion, but she imagined that like the little garden, it must have some use for Marie when she spent weeks on end in space alone.
“Go ahead. I’ll want to watch the SSBC at 2300 hours though. Their New Year’s Eve program is always the best.”
Susan’s eyes widened.
“New Year’s? It can’t be.”
I knew the Fear the Boot community was really into Volume 1, but I guess I hadn’t realized just how excited they were about the anthology in general. When we made the initial announcement that we were already thinking about Volume 2, all fifteen authors from the first volume were interested – but so were at least a dozen more. So far we have over thirty people who have expressed interest in writing for Volume 2.
The submission period opened up on April 1. Maybe choosing April Fools’ Day was a bad idea, but I hadn’t thought about that in advance. But it wasn’t a joke on our end, and I’m pleased to say that none of our authors sent us any gag stories. We did have one minor running joke about making the entire anthology bodice-ripping romance stories, but that died down pretty fast.
Today is April 4. That means submissions have been open for less than a week. And we’ve had six people already turn in their initial drafts. I cannot express how exciting this fact is to me, especially when you consider that five of those authors are new to Sojourn. So far I’ve read through three of them, and they’re amazing stories – especially considering that they’re early drafts.
If you’re not yet excited about Volume 2, you should be.