Wow, it turns out I’m not the only one who waits to last minute to do things. The past week has seen a flurry of submissions pile up in our inbox. It’s crazy, but good! In the past few days our total submissions have doubled. That’s amazing! I suppose I should be clear, just in case anyone is confused at all:
Tomorrow, December 1st is the actual deadline for submissions to our next anthology. I’m not a stickler for these kinds of things, but some of my compatriots are, so if you’re waiting until the last second, you know the score now. Anything we get after tomorrow night gets relegated to the lowest of the low-priority stacks in our growing pile of work-to-do. Trust me, you don’t want to languish there. Razor’s edge, snowball’s chance, etc., etc.
When we first kicked around the ideas behind “Orbital Hearts”, one of the selling points to me was the notion of an ‘anti-Valentine’s Day’ sort of theme. It seems like everyone does some kind of cool themed anthology, but we’re not exactly mushy romantics. However, we do love good escapist fiction and we are more than a little bitter. It seemed like a perfect idea. I overlooked one, small detail, which has been a strange challenge. I’ve had to read a lot of mushy love stories, with tragic, twisted endings. I don’t think I ever imagined that I would be asking for the chance to read so much bad romance. But I’ve come to a surprising conclusion – I rather like it!
Now, I’m not going to start browsing the cheap, smutty paperback aisles, but there is a definite appeal to this kind of stuff. I’m really pleased that the work we’ve been getting has been more varied than what I’m used to. It’s fairly cathartic to get into these broken, all-too-human dramas, especially when they’re wrapped up in some otherworldly trappings. Naturally, there are differing levels of quality, nuance and style in any batch of submissions, but I’m most surprised at how much I’m enjoying myself.
As a counter to all these warm, happy feelings, the job that lies ahead is no sweet dream. As much as I’m looking forward to assembling the best stories, I just know that we’ll end up rejecting really good work just for the sake of space. But I suppose that’s not nearly as difficult as being on the other side of the process. However, I’ll let that idea filter for a bit – perhaps it should be a post, all on its own. For now, I should just say ‘thank you’, to all who have put forward their best work. Cheers!
Patrick Jennings-Mapp is a co-founder of and an editor for Escape Collective Publishing. He prefers Bonnie & Clyde to Mickey & Mallory, but is perfectly willing to admit that both are fine, fine love stories.