I must admit that time travel gives me a headache.
Not ACTUAL time travel, ha ha. I’ve never traveled through time, of course. But the concept is one that is hard to wrap my head around. There are numerous instances of paradoxes and contradictions inherent in the subject.
For example, if you go back in time and kill your grandfather, does that mean you would instantly cease to exist? Or does it mean that you’ve just created a parallel timeline? If you return to the future after killing your grandfather, would you THEN cease to exist? Or would it be in a different future and you’d be traveling from one dimension to another?
I could go on. The Fairfield Scribes had many delightful conversations about the set of problems inherent in this particular subject as we read and wrote stories for When to Now: A Time Travel Anthology. We had great fun doing it and, at the same time, breaking those genre paradoxes to smithereens.
I am humbled to have been the lead editor of this anthology. It was my first time as lead editor of a project such as this, and the scope of fiction contained within the pages of this anthology is extensive. I’m grateful to each author who entrusted us with his/her writing and contributed their stories to create such a fantastic body of work.
We’re only two days away from publication of When to Now: A Time Travel Anthology on October 1st. To give you a sneak peak, here’s the table of contents for the anthology and a comment or two about the authors and their stories from an editor’s perspective:
↔ “Ruby’s Paradox” by Cynthia C. Scott – The winner of the Fairfield Scribes’ 2018 Feature Story Contest, it was a great pleasure to work with Cynthia for the first time and read her wonderful story. We had a great many fantastic entries to our inaugural contest, but there was universal agreement by the editors about how much we all enjoyed “Ruby’s Paradox.”
↔ “Baggage” by Leslie Burton-López – Leslie is the newest editor to join the Fairfield Scribes, and she is a master at creating a compelling voice in every piece of fiction she writes. I die laughing every time I read one of her stories. This is probably the most serious story I’ve ever read by her, yet it is just as engrossing as her humor.
↔ “Dinosaurs and Oats” by B.T. Lowry – I’ve known B.T. for a number of years, and enjoyed his fiction immensely. He tends to write stories on an epic scale, although this is one of his lighter pieces - about a rivalry brewing between two children who can’t see eye to eye about the uses of time travel.
↔ “Disjointed” by Alison McBain – I’ve known the author for a number of years… oh, wait, it’s me!
↔ “Ten Minutes Past Teatime” by Elizabeth Chatsworth – Elizabeth is a writer who is local to me, and it was great to get to know her better and discover we both like margaritas and bread pudding – not together, of course! Her debut novel The Brass Queen isn't published yet, and it's already won a gazillion awards. You'll see why when you read her story in When to Now, a fun romp that follows a headstrong adventurer who gets more than she bargained for when she takes on a challenge that no man has been able to master.
↔ “The Service Call” by Edward Ahern – I’ve known Ed for years now – he’s the one to blame… ahem, to thank… for getting me into the Fairfield Scribes. The most prolific writer I’ve ever met, he has a self-admitted twisted sense of humor, which this story reflects quite nicely.
↔ “Misconception” by Gabi Coatsworth – Gabi is another local writer, and simply an all-around amazing person. She currently runs a number of writing groups. Her blog at https://gabicoatsworth.com/ has a great assortment of writing advice and submission opportunities.
↔ “Shifting” by P.M. Ray – P.M. was the editor of the Fairfield Scribes’ first anthology, Z: Tales, and was very happy to hand over the gargantuan and time-consuming task to someone else… ahem, I mean he was sad to miss the opportunity to edit a new and fantastic anthology. In P.M.’s story, I love the mixture of fairy tale, history, and sly humor.
↔ “The Swing” by Abhishek Sengupta – Abhishek is an amazingly talented writer who manages to imbue in his fiction a way of looking at the world that is completely new and, at the same time, familiar. I’d love to be able to write half as well as he does! This story is no exception – a beautiful and poetic look at life and death.
↔ “A Mother’s Legacy” by Robert Tomaino – Robert is an editor of the Fairfield Scribes, and creates amazingly vivid stories with only a few words. He also makes a killer lasagna, with a secret recipe handed down from his Italian grandmother. You gotta try it! It’s great.
↔ “Miss Princott’s Time Travel Agency” by Barbara Russell – Barbara’s writing always cracks me up. She has a fantastic way of taking a story or trope and twisting it into new and funny shapes. I can’t wait to read her new book coming out soon, A Knight in Distress.
↔ “A Peculiar Count in Time” by M.K. Beutymhill – M.K. creates the most complex and thorough worlds in her fiction that I’ve ever read. From the first page to the last, the story holds you captive and transports you. She’s also a fellow Californian. Go West Coast!!! (says the current East Coast-er).
↔ “Try Again” by P.C. Keeler – P.C. is one of the senior-most members of the Scribes and a master of puns. Seriously, don’t ever try getting into a pun war with him! Although there is a lack of puns in this story, there is a killer ending that will make you chuckle.
↔ “Reality Zero” by Nikki Trionfo – It was great to connect with a fellow mom/writer – there are a lot of us out there! – and get to know Nikki by working with her for the first time. This story was an honorable mention in the very prestigious Writers of the Future contest, and you’ll see why it captured the judges’ attention. It’s a fantastic adventure and keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way to the end.
↔ “Neighbor” by Jacqueline Masumian – Another author local to me, Jacqueline often writes moving literary stories that capture the essence of the human experience. This story is no exception, and it unfolds with careful and heartbreaking precision.
↔ “A Winter’s Day” by Edward Ahern – An astute reader might notice that some of the names in “A Winter’s Day” closely parallel the editors and authors of the Fairfield Scribes. Any resemblance beyond that is purely coincidental and purely for the author’s amusement.
↔ “Turns of Fate” by Teresa Richards – Teresa is a YA author extraordinaire, and the Fairfield Scribes’ resident YA expert. Although I say “resident” loosely, since she is no longer local to the Scribes. We still miss her every meeting, though!
↔ “Blue Sandman” by Eddie Cantrell – I met Eddie a couple years ago when we were both contributors to the literary publication The Reader’s Abode. He writes in a wide variety of genres, but his stories all have one thing in common: they are vivid and emotional, filled with music in their composition. This story is also filled with music in itself – it’s a story about the melodies of a full and beautiful life.
We have mini interviews with the authors HERE, where you can learn more about the inspiration behind their stories, where/when they would go if time travel were a reality, and where to find more of their work.
When to Now is currently available for pre-order HERE, so you can order it now and be the first to receive it when it’s published on October 1st.
Tomorrow, Gabi Coatsworth will continue our book release blog hop about When to Now on her website HERE. Don’t forget to check it out!
I am very proud to say that my inaugural run as lead editor for an anthology is almost at an end. The Fairfield Scribes' new book, When to Now: A Time Travel Anthology will be published on October 1st.
And the BIG NEWS is that When to Now is live on Amazon for pre-ordering eBook copies!!! Reserve your copy today by going HERE.
A little bit about the anthology:
From the first popularization of the time travel genre with H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, to cult books such as Slaughterhouse-Five and A Wrinkle in Time, time travel has long fascinated readers of science fiction and fantasy. The premise can be absurd, such as The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, or filled with adventure, like The Chronicles of Narnia. Characters can have a love story over the ages, such as The Time Traveler's Wife or travel far into a dystopian future, like Planet of the Apes.
Our new anthology has stories for every type of reader. We have a steampunk story that follows a Victorian time traveler back to Viking times. There's a daughter who’s trying to figure out her mother’s murder and how it relates to her mother’s research into time travel. We have a story about woman who gave up her son many years ago, and has to face, once again, the trauma that changed her life. And we have a story about a young girl who learns that a time traveler can’t change events in the past, no matter how much she may want him to.
Plus there are many, many more fantastic stories in the anthology.
We'll be kicking off the big release of the anthology by a number of special events. The first of these will be a blog hop with several of the authors of the anthology, starting with me on Saturday, September 29th. I'll talk a little bit about the process of putting together the anthology, how I found all these fabulous authors who grace its pages, and also what's to come in the future. Here's the blog hop schedule for the week of the anthology's release:
Saturday, September 29th: Alison McBain
Sunday, September 30th: Gabi Coatsworth
Monday, October 1st: Cynthia C. Scott
Tuesday, October 2nd: Nikki Trionfo - Due to an unfortunate technical issue with Nikki's website, there won't be a blog hop post on Tuesday. However, please DO visit Nikki's website, check out her awesome book Shatter, and connect with her on social media, where she will be talking about and sharing the anthology's release.
Wednesday, October 3rd: Elizabeth Chatsworth
Thursday, October 4th: Barbara Russell
Friday, October 5th: Teresa Richards
Saturday, October 6th: Michaela Beutymhill
Next, several authors in the anthology who are local to Westport, Connecticut, will take place in a panel at the Saugatuck StoryFest on Saturday, October 13th. They include myself, Edward Ahern, Elizabeth Chatsworth, Gabi Coatsworth, Jacqueline Masumian, P.C. Keeler, P.M. Ray and Robert Tomaino. We'll be at The Brownstone, located at 142 Main Street, from 2:30-3:30 pm. Refreshments will be provided and, like most of the events of the StoryFest, it's completely free to attend.
If you like what you hear, we'll have copies of the books available for sale, in addition to copies of the authors' other books, and we'll also give away free promotional Fairfield Scribes tote bags with every purchase.
So hope you stop on by, listen to some great new fiction by our local authors, and join in the discussion about what it takes for a local small press to publish an anthology!
I'm one one of several editors invited to the podcast The Writer's Edge tonight from 9pm-10pm EST. We will be discussing how to get book reviews for your new books and how to get your short stories published in magazines. The editors include Joseph Cotto, Senior Editor of the San Francisco Review of Books, Monica S. Kuebler, Editor of Rue Morgue Magazine, and Eddie Generous, Editor of Unnerving Magazine.
Hope everyone can join us there and listen to a great discussion! Here's the blurb for the episode:
"How do I get my short stories accepted by magazines?" "How do I get reviewers to put my book at the top of
their TBR pile?" These questions are common among writers, and tonight we answer them and a whole lot
*If you missed the live podcast, it's on The Writer's Edge YouTube channel and can be accessed HERE.
I recently had the great pleasure of chatting with author GJ Stevens, who wrote up a two-part interview with me about advice for publishing short stories, the process of getting out my debut novel The Rose Queen, and other writing-related subjects. I'll be talking with him again about another writing-related subject: editing an anthology for the Fairfield Scribes. Our collection of short stories, When to Now: A Time Travel Anthology, will be released on October 1st.
Until then, I hope you enjoy reading my recent interview! Just click on the images below to go to the website.
My birthday is at the end of the month, so it would be an AWESOME birthday present if my book got some love (and votes)! I entered my book in AllAuthor's book cover contest for the month of September, and in order to advance to the next round, I have to get enough votes to be in the top 100. So if you like my book cover, please feel free to vote for it HERE.
And as a "thank you" for voting, if you'd like a free copy of my book, it's part of an Instafreebie giveaway for the first two weeks of September (along with many other fantastic YA books - all FREE). You can pick up your copy HERE.
Thank you so much! Fingers crossed!
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with over a hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. If the Walking Dead isn't on, I draw pictures and do origami meditation in Connecticut, where I live with my family. If the Walking Dead is on... shhhh! The Walking Dead is on! For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
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