How I Came to Edit this Book: Pulp Ink by Chris Rhatigan
Last winter I was emailing back and forth with Nigel Bird about his brilliant collection of short stories, Dirty Old Town. He mentioned that I should put together an ebook of my stories. I didn’t feel ready for that.
But I got to thinking. I was reading all of these excellent writers on the internet. Writers who made me fall in love with the short story. Why not get them together for an anthology?
I threw this idea out to Nigel and said I would do it as long as he was on board. We batted around a few ideas about a theme until we settled on soundtrack titles and snippets of dialogue from a Tarantino movie as prompts. Then we put together a list of some of our favorite writers and asked if they would be interested in this project.
I was stunned that almost every writer we asked signed on. The stories rolled in and they were exactly what we were looking for – dark crime fiction with style and swagger. Nigel and I made some minor changes, but every story was a gem when we received it. Steve Weddle with Needle Publishing signed on, too, taking the formidable task of formatting the whole book and giving us good advice, and we were on our way.
Of course, there were a few bumps in the road, and I’ve learned a few things about being an editor. One thing is that you can recover from any crisis. Nigel is fantastic about this – a cool head every time – and I’ve taken my cues from him. Every problem that’s come up we’ve managed to solve.
And I think that’s because our original vision was sound. We wanted to put together a collection featuring authors whose writing we loved, loosely link their stories together, and make it very affordable.
Bottom line is that editing Pulp Ink has been a fantastic experience. It’s a little contribution to the form that I love – the short story.