~~CYNTHIA HEINRICHS is our WINNER~~
It’s overwhelm-mode here at Writing to Support My Teaching Habit (I need a good acronym! How about WritSMyTH?), and I won’t bore you with the details. It has to do with the sound of deadlines swooshing by and juggling the universe with my fingernails and valentines (or lack of time for) and 10th wedding anniversaries and 45th birthdays…
And, I’m off to Seattle for FaerieCon in a week. Wheee!
What do you do when you go into overwhelm? Eat sugar? Go on a crying rampage? Stay in your pajamas for a week? Or are you more of a take-the-bull-by-the-horns kind of person?
One thing I suggest for anyone like me who flits from one task to another with no time between work and domestic responsibilities – take time to celebrate your accomplishments. You are DOING IT! You are having the writing life. I know it doesn’t look so glamorous from the inside, so enjoy it wherever you can.
This week I’m celebrating the launch of FUTUREDAZE: an anthology of YA science fiction by giving away a copy of the book. My short story “String Theory” appears along with work by Jack McDevitt, Nancy Holder, Gregory Frost, Lavie Tidhar, Sandra McDonald, Brittany Warman, Stephen Covey, and many more.
Win a copy of:
If you’d like to be entered to WIN a COPY of FUTUREDAZE (an ebook if you’re outside of North America), all you have to do is tell us what you’re celebrating this week and you’ll be added in the drawing.
Also, Underwords Press recently moved over from the Underwords Blog to a separate press website, so I’ll give you a bonus entry into the drawing if you GO HERE and give some love (or at least some like). Just tell me in your comment that you did.
Deadline for entries into the drawing is Friday, Feb 22.
And now, without further ado:
Interview with Erin Underwood, Futurdaze co-editor
Underwords transitioned to a small press in 2012, specializing in new short science fiction for Young Adults. What initiated this change and why this particular niche?
This is really a multi-part question for me. I used to enjoy reading when I was a kid, but there wasn’t a very strong YA presence in my local bookstore in the 1970-80s. Fast-forward 20 years later and I’m assisting bestselling young adult author Nancy Holder. That’s when my love for YA fiction rekindled. Around the same time, I also started the Underwords blog and realized how much I enjoyed working with writers to create new content for readers.
However, the true decision to begin a small press came when I realized how few science fiction anthologies for young adults were being published compared to YA anthologies for other genres. It was a moment in which I realized I could bring together my professional YA experience with my personal experience as a writer and my love of science fiction. Really, it was the “perfect storm” of opportunity.
It’s true . . . there’s far more YA urban fantasy and paranormal short fiction out there. I hadn’t really thought about that before.
So, Futuredaze is the debut anthology from the Underwords Press, what surprised you the most about this project?
Yes, Futuredaze is the first official publication from Underwords Press, and there were a number of things that surprised me ranging from the amount of time it takes to set up the text to all of the nitty gritty details associated with selling a book…things that you don’t even know you need to do until it’s time to do them. However, the biggest surprise, or perhaps the most rewarding surprise, was having the first hand experience associated with seeing how an anthology’s character and its themes shift with the inclusion or removal of just one story. I guess this is my way of saying, “When dealing with an anthology, every story makes a big difference. Every piece counts.”
That’s really interesting. I’ve edited a few anthologies and one of my favourite things is ordering everything to create the dynamic (although I’ve recently been told that the majority of people don’t read anthologies in order – haha).
Okay, so I’m not going to make you pick favourites . . . but how about – which story affected you the most?
Thank you. It really would be impossible to pick my favorite because they are all my favorite story…for different reasons. That said, when I read “The Cleansing” by Mark Smith-Briggs I remember being really tired, and I had gone through a bunch of pieces that weren’t working out for the anthology. The next thing I knew, Mark’s story was in my hands and I had tears in my eyes.
However, every piece affected me in some way, which is exactly what I look for in a story. After all, during the editing process you have to read a story, over and over again, and again, and again. So, every story you choose has to be able to stand up against that kind of repetitive scrutiny without getting old or stale. I am glad to say that I still enjoy reading these pieces.
Are you working with schools at all to use the stories in high school English classes?
I would personally love to see kids reading stories and poetry from Futuredaze in their high school English classes or library book clubs. However, we haven’t set up anything with schools or libraries yet. That is one of our next steps. We’re a very small, emerging publisher. There is so much to do and never enough time. If only time travel were possible!
If there are any schools or libraries that would like to contact us, we’d love to hear from you.
Do you hear that everyone? You never know, Erin, I have a lot of teacher/librarian types who read my blog.
Are you going to do more specifically themed anthologies like time travel or dystopian or steampunk or do you like the open call aspect?
I’ve been considering a few different options for the future. The beauty of science fiction is that there are so many rich and creatively flexible subgenres to choose from. Right now, I’m thinking primarily of themes that would focus the content a little more than we did with Futuredaze, but nothing has been decided yet. We’re hoping to make an announcement this spring that will answer this question and others…so stay tuned!
So, I’m guessing that means we’ll have to wait for a deadline for next anthology? (because after this, everyone will want to be in the next one!)
I would love to know this date, too! Again, we have some ideas for where we want to go with the next anthology, but nothing has been decided. However, we’re hoping to make some sort of announcement this spring. We’ll definitely let you know as soon as we have something to share.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about the anthology?
I think the most important thing to share is that Futuredaze is written for teens, but good storytelling goes beyond simple age requirements. So, while teens will feel like this anthology was made for them, adults will also enjoy it as well. A well-written YA book really can be for people of all ages.
Also, for people who live outside of the US, we have distribution agreements in Canada, the UK and Australia. So, you should be able to find either a printed edition or an eBook in any of those countries. The Kindle edition is available at all of the country specific Amazon web sites.
Thank you so much for the chance to do this interview.
Underwords Press publishes anthologies with a special focus on young adult science fiction and also features a literary blog that explores a wider variety of genres.
Underwords was originally founded in 2010 as a popular fiction blog that specialized in author interviews, book reviews, and all manner of fun literary exploits. Then in 2012, Underwords transitioned into a small press, changing its name to Underwords Press in order to find and publish new short science fiction for young adults. Our first title, Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction, is due out in February 2013 and has received considerable praise from the literary community. Underwords Press will publish one title per year in the Futuredaze series and is looking into expanding to add additional titles in 2013.
Our books are available through the standard publishing channels including brick and mortar bookstores and the major online retailers.
For more information, please contact Erin Underwood.