Sunday, August 28, 2011

HOW I CAME TO EDIT THIS BOOK: CHRIS RHATIGAN



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.

12 comments:

Paul D. Brazill said...

And it's a great book to be part of.

Naomi Johnson said...

Good advice and guidance from you and Nigel made what could have been utter agony for me into a genuine pleasure. I am so proud to have been a small part of the project.

Charles Gramlich said...

we seem to be living in a renaissance period of sorts for the short story, particularly the crime story. I'm glad to see it. I've long loved the short form

Chris said...

I'm looking forward to picking this one up.

David Barber said...

I'm reading it and it's a pretty cool e-book. The short story is a stayer.

Well done, buddy!

Chris Rhatigan said...

Thanks all!

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Congrats Chris and I wish you the best of success!

Steve Weddle said...

lotta good stuff in there

David Cranmer said...

I'm really proud to have a small part in PULP INK.

ajhayes2 said...

Chris and Nigel are gents. They are a real pleasure to work with. Proud to be included in Pulp Ink.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think we all are, A.J.

nigel p bird said...

I'm late to this parade, but I'm glad I found it. How amazing it has been to work with such a hatful of talent and good people. And those kind words from Chris mean a lot. What you don't get is the other side of the coin - my opinion - which is that I can't imagine a sounder partner to work alongside. Chris has been enthusiastic, energetic and resilient throughout. He also has an incredible eye for detail and an natural ability to see what works (or doesn't) in a story. I've loved everything about it, even the stresses. Big thanks and hugs to you all,

nigel