Monday, November 23, 2015

Coming Together: Thanksgiving -- Giving Back

I am giving away $10 in OmniBucks to AllRomance for one lucky commentor. Normally, I would give Amazon gift cards, but with Christmas / Holidays coming up, I want my winner to buy something for THEMSELVES, not use the gift card to buy something for a present... I am guilty of this behavior myself, so...

To be quite honest, giving back wasn't what I had in mind the very first time I worked with Coming Together.

The first time I ever even heard of Coming Together, my favorite smut writer, (now) friend, and all around awesome human being, Sommer Marsden was running an open call for submissions for Hungry For Love, a zombie anthology that benefited American Diabetes Association.

I really admire Sommer -- I have since I didn't know who she was or much of anything about her, except that her work was awesome and made me laugh -- and that hasn't changed since getting to know her and seeing glimpses of her personal life. She's had a rough time -- her husband died from cancer not long ago -- and we've talked a lot on line. Exchanged a couple of Christmas cards and postcards. It's a casual acquaintanceship, but it means a lot to me.

We've had a few chats about how weird and uncomfortable it is when someone praises you -- you've done so much, I don't know how you do it, oh, you're so strong -- and outside you're nodding with that slightly apologetic look on your face like you're sorry you're making the other person feel weak because you're barely managing to hold on to your life with both hands and inside you're screaming "What the fuck ELSE do you think I'm going to do? I manage my life because WHAT THE FUCK?? Really?"

Anyway... got off track a bit there. The point is, I wasn't really thinking about charity so much as I was thinking "I want this woman to notice my work."

So, that was the first time. This was back in the day when I still threw up regularly after hitting the send button on a submission. (Thank FSM that doesn't happen anymore. In fact, most of the time, I'm pretty chill about it. I feel comfortable with my work, most of the time.)

By the way, Dead in the Water, the story that I submitted for Hungry for Love, is available as an audio reading from Rose Caraway, who is also awesome...

After some time -- and because another friend of mine was going through a rough time and her illness is one of those weird, rare things that most people never heard about, and I desperately wanted to do something for her -- I thought I'd try my own hand at doing an anthology.

Talk about leaping before I looked! I had no fucking clue what I was doing, and I hope it doesn't show too much. I got a lot of advice from other CT editors (including the brilliant and amazing Nobilis Reed) and editors of other collections.

I put together a proposal for Coming Together: Among the Stars, to benefit International Still's Disease Foundation and to my surprise and pleasure, Alessia was onboard with me right away. We put together the call and I collected well over 60 stories...

Editing an anthology was a whole different kettle of fish -- but it was a learning experience, I got to meet a whole ton of really talented writers, and I enjoyed it so much that I ended up doing a second one this year.

(I've also had my share of weird problems as being an editor -- attempted plagiarism, people who really cannot read the submission guidelines, a whole lot of authors who turn in stories without their contact information -- seriously, people, don't do that! -- authors who are hard to work with, weird hostility, and male writers who seem to think that, as a female editor, I am obligated to look at pictures of their dicks as well as their stories. No, dudes. Just no.)

But Among the Stars was a good enough experience that this year, I did it again, and just recently, Strange Shifters made its way into the world...

And wow, am I happy to see it. This book was a lot more work because... well, 2015 has just been the year of Fuck You. I have had annoying real life problems of every kind imaginable. Nothing horrible -- mostly -- but just... one would be annoying, two would be difficult, and one pretty much every month of this year has been fucking exhausting. I'm amazing and impressed with myself that Strange Shifters got finished on time, and I gotta hand it to my writers, you guys were amazing! Good stories, easy to work with, understanding when I was behind...


Proceeds for Strange Shifters goes to Bat World Sanctuary, one of my own personal favorite charities. I love bats and the people at Bat World do a lot of cool stuff to preserve these little flying foxes. You should check them out, their facebook page is pretty awesome.

I'm working on ideas for an anthology next year... I have a million pet causes and I want to do a little something for all of them...

Comment on this blog for the little prize... there will be a bigger prize from Coming Together [insert that when available] and there are lots of other Coming Together authors and editors who are on the Hop... so stop by and see them [also, link]


  1. So cool that it all worked out for you (and yes, Sommer is wonderful)!

    --Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  2. I am glad you leaped before you looked.

  3. Great post. I'm glad to hear it all worked out and now you're pretty chill about submissions. Awesome hop and a great way of giving back and spreading awareness.
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  4. Hi, Lynn,

    Thanks so much for participating in the hop. Yeah, editing an anthology is definitely work for the masochist! I didn't know about Among the Stars but I'm off to get myself a copy. (Delilah posted a very tasty excerpt on her blog today!)

    (Oh, and I think Sommer's awesome, too.)


  5. Bat World sounds like a very cool place. Can't wait for your next anthology!

    emmasmom69 AT gmail DOT com

  6. Love all the cover, the artwork on them is amazing. looking forward to reading the rest of the books. thank you for the great contest. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.
    tammy ramey

  7. I am definitely adding this one to my list. Can't wait.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  8. nice it worked out

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  9. I chickened out at the zombies. But got the other two. I love bats and have been privileged enough to rescue one from potential death by cat. It was amazing. So thanks for supporting them. :).

  10. Awesome that you are supporting this great charity! I was also in the zombie anthology and it was one of my first pieces ever out there. Fond memories...



    erzabetwrites at gmail dot com

  11. Bats are amazing creatures. Thanks for donating time and money for these wonderful animals. Will be purchasing ''Strange Shifters.''