Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Short Stories In Plain Sight with Mimi Williams

James Ward Kirk Publishing just released a new anthology called HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT.

Here’s the blurb:
Often times, horror hides in open view. We’ve all heard the stories of the quiet neighbor whose basement became a chamber of evil; the kind woman who slipped her foot into her slipper and discovered a brown recluse spider; or the young child who lured a classmate into the woods. Every day, in the bright light of our lives, evil happens. It comes from the most ordinary places, the most ordinary circumstances, and the most ordinary people. These stories will pull back the curtains, throw open the doors, and reveal the truth of the evils that hide in plain sight. Sometimes evil is sitting in the next seat over. Sometimes it looks like a freckled face boy, or the kindly old woman, or the sweet puppy. Pull back the curtains on the creepy house or see where the Brown Recluse lies in wait for the unsuspecting victim. Be wary of the person next to you, that cat in the tree, or even that thing that lurks in the dark of your mind. Sometimes you just have to look, and you'll find the horror around us.

Within its pages is my story, THE LOST CURSE OF THE WITCH’S NEST, which is a freaking fantastic tale unlike anything you've ever read. Really. HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT was edited by Mimi Williams, a really nice and talented person who’s been to the Mansion before, though under a different name (Kim Williams-Justesen)

I invited Mimi by the Blog Mansion to celebrate the anthology launch, toast its success and chat about writing.

Johnny: Have some champagne and cookies to celebrate.

Mimi: No. I’ll pass. You have a reputation for killing visitors at the Blog Mansion.

J: Can’t argue that. So, is this the first anthology you’ve edited?

M:: It is! It's not the first editing I've done, but I've never developed the theme, collected the stories, done all the edits, and put the collection together.

J: How was it? How long did it take?

M: From start to finish, about 3 months. That's from the time James hired me, we developed the concept, to the release this week. A very quick pace, but I think that kept things fresh. Like fresh meat. Mmmmm.

J: How’d you get involved with James Ward Kirk Publishing? Tell us who they are?

M: I met James through Facebook (how else do you meet people these days?) and then learned about his publishing business when I had a story accepted for the TOYS IN THE ATTIC anthology. JWK publishes horror, sci-fi, and fiction by both individual authors and in anthologies. James is a very knowledgeable publisher and editor, as well as a talented writer himself. 

J: Short stories are challenging for me. I prefer long form. I have a hard time writing my name in under a page. What do you think are the strengths of the format?

M: People today are in a time crunch. Many read on their phones or tablets when they can squeeze a few moments in. Short stories allow you to get a rewarding read compressed into a small space, and if you have to put down an anthology, you don't lose track of where you are in the story. You can pick up anywhere! Short stories are also great because they take less time to write than novels, so an author can feel they've achieved an excellent result without the arduous undertaking a novel can be. A good writer can pack a lot of detail and value into a short story. They've been around for ages, and it looks like they are still growing in popularity.

J: I'm sure happy with my contribution to the anthology, THE LOST CURSE OF THE WITCH’S NEST.

Erin Britt's newest novel
M: Was that a question?

J: No, a plug for my story, THE LOST CURSE OF THE WITCH’S NEST in the new anthology HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT.

M: We already said that.

J: Can’t hurt to say it again. in the new anthology HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT.

M: Yes it can. There are other stories in the anthology too.

J: But none as good as mine.

M: Not while you’re holding a crossbow leveled at me.

J: There’s poetry in the book too isn’t there?

M: Can I talk about it since you didn’t write it?

J: Sure as long we remember that my excellent story THE LOST CURSE OF THE WITCH’S NEST is in the book. Tell us about the poetry.

M: There are some wonderful, creepy poems. Your good friend Erin R. Britt contributed two of them! Each of them is a different style and completely awesome. I love that I got to read and edit so many excellent poems for this collection.

J: Sounds like a great anthology that includes my—

M: Yeah... we know your story THE LOST CURSE OF THE WITCH’S NEST. You know you’re not getting paid any more for your story right? You’ve been paid. That’s it.

J: I know, but I love that story. I want people to read it.

M:. Level the crossbow at them, then! You know, you could put an eye out with that thing. Like, specifically, one of mine!

J: You began your career with Middle Grade books, KISS, KISS BARK and HEY RANGER. Then you went to horror with BEAUTIFUL MONSTERS before crossing into Young Adult with THE DEEPEST BLUE. Now you’re an editor. Is this a journey of discovery, necessity or happenstance?

M: Sheer stupid luck! And a desire to try different things. I love words, I love language. I'm a self-professed word nerd, so anything that involves words is my thing. I love alphabet soup, I play Scrabble, I love anagrams . . . you get the idea.

J: You look green.

M: I don’t feel well.

J: Oh, that’s because poisoned you. With a micro-needle in my ring when we shook hands. But don’t worry, I left the antidote in plain sight.

M: Oh… the cookies? The champagne?

J: No. The bottle marked “antidote” on the table.

M: That would have been the last thing I”d have thought.

Available Now
includes my story

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