Historical and Contemporary Romance Author

Anthologies: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

Next month, I have my first new release in almost 18 months. It’s a short story called The Reiver in the Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance. It’s available only in print and has a release date of January 4, although I know sometimes book stores begin stocking a week before the hard release date. (You know, just in case you’re DYING to get your hands on it!)

Now, as you can see from the beautiful cover displayed on the right side of the screen, this is a multi-author anthology that includes stories by the likes of Connie Brockway, Jacquie D’Alessandro, Anne Gracie, and Julianne MacLean. I’m thrilled and flattered to have been invited to participate, and I really enjoyed writing my story. I’m also looking forward to read the other stories in this anthology, and thanks to the fact that I received my two author copies in the mail today, now I can!

That said, I have a complicated relationship with anthologies in general and multi-author anthologies in particular. Obviously, I don’t object to anthologies, or I wouldn’t have written Behind the Red Door, which is a collection of connected novellas, nor would I have written for this anthology. But I have to admit that I find actually reading multi-author anthologies to be a bit jarring. Even when I like the majority of the stories, the abrupt shift from one author’s voice to another throws me out of my reading rhythm. As a result, I often find I read only the stories in an anthology that are written by the authors whose work I’m familiar with and know I tend to enjoy.

This, in turn, leads me not to BUY very many multi-author anthologies–unless I am acquainted with the work of the majority of the authors in it–because I know I’ll only read a fraction of the total pages. And that’s too bad, really, since one of the great things about a multi-author anthology is the possibility of discovering a “new-to-you” author you really love and then glomming her (or his) backlist.

So, what about you? How do you feel about multi-author anthologies? Do you actively seek them out or avoid them? If you do seek them out, is it because they contain a story by a particular beloved author or because you’re hoping to find that “gem”? Inquiring minds (and anthology authors everywhere) want to know!

1 Comment

  • Adrian January 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I view multi-author anthologies as sampler packs. Like all sampler packs, I get them when I’m in the mood for something new and adventurous.

    Part of it might be that I don’t read them cover to cover in one sitting, preferring to read one story at a time or jump around in the book to stories I find interesting or that are by authors I’m familiar with.

    I don’t buy many, except for trips. I like anthologies for trips, because even if one story sucks, another one will be good. If I buy a novel and it sucks, I’m going to have a very boring ride.

    Reply

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