Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Was It Difficult Or Was It Fun?

I’m delighted today to welcome a great group of authors to Thoughts in Progress to talk about a project you might have heard of – TICK TOCK: A STITCH IN CRIME, An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology.

Thinking about all the writers coming together for this book made me wonder, “What was one advantage of writing for an Anthology and what was one disadvantage?” The authors join us to explain. First, a brief synopsis of TICK TOCK.

The clock is ticking...

          Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?
          Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.
          Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

Now for the authors (you might recognize a few).

For me, having a fiction category, a word count, and a theme set out is a huge advantage in writing for an Anthology. It focuses me on the story. Then, as was the case for Tick Tock, I didn’t have to spend time researching to find a publisher. Dancing Lemur Press was waiting for these specific entries. Also, it’s interesting to meet new people in this business. This Anthology includes a lot of writers who are new to me, so I feel I’ve expanded my network. And it's really wonderful to have a team of writers who step up and help with the promotion. Promoting a book is big job.

I’m racking my brain for one disadvantage, but I can’t think of any. If I do, I’ll chime in via comment. 
C. Lee McKenzie
The advantage is easy. With 10 other authors, we have a ton of connections and an amazing collective creative mind. I love the enthusiasm and energy we're creating together for this anthology and for each other as writers. 

The disadvantage? Nothing, except for trying to keep track of everyone, their stories, and blogs, and stay on top of all the postings!
Mary Aalgaard
Writing for a themed anthology gave me a set of guidelines to follow—a starting point for my ideas. The Tick Tock anthology was formed around the idea of mysteries where time or clocks played a significant role, so I started brainstorming around different kinds of clocks, and ended up with the tides! That pushed my thinking in a whole new way, and I ended up with “The Tide Waits."

The main advantage was also a disadvantage in some ways—I needed to stay within the guidelines, so I had to pull myself back when I started wandering off in other directions. On the other hand, maybe that’s an advantage…
Rebecca M. Douglass
For me, one advantage of writing for an anthology was the thrill of trying something new. Well, a few somethings new. I'd never written a short, never entered a contest, never tried writing for an anthology, never written a crime story, and never worked with a publishing company. I've had so much fun with these new adventures!

This has been such a great experience, that I had to really stretch for a disadvantage! Aside from my Mac crashing TWICE (thank you automatic updates!) the biggest disadvantage is that I'm a total newbie at marketing and promoting. It's hard to know what to do without being obnoxious, and how to be an active and supportive member of this fabulous team - but I'm learning!
Jemi Fraser
The advantage is that I write in the mystery genre.

The disadvantage is that I usually write novel length stories. Writing a good short requires a complete story without a lot of background, red herrings, and investigation. When Cypress, Like the Tree, finally unfolded, it played out in my brain as a complete story. A lovely surprise!
Yolanda Renee

Every anthology is a new experience. Sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating. I think one advantage is that we learn from each other. There are always one or two writers who have more knowledge about marketing, blogging and promotion. They drag us neophytes along with them and we can’t help but learn.

The disadvantage (and this might be my own insecurity) is that I always ask myself, “Does my story measure up? Am I good enough to be in this anthology with these fantastic authors or am I the worst of the best?” In spite of those questions, the smartest thing to do is hang on, enjoy the ride and learn all we can from each other.
J.R. Ferguson
One awesome advantage - tons of advertising and support. With a group of authors, we reach a much wider audience

One disadvantage - coordinating our marketing efforts, but we are taking care of that. And Dancing Lemur Press has done an impressive job finding us great places to stop by for interviews, like this one! Thanks!
Tara Tyler
I have experienced so many great things about writing for an anthology.

The biggest advantage was writing a short story according to a theme and being able to explore different ideas. I also really enjoy reading how all the authors approach the theme.
Christine Clemetson
Advantage: I’m not good at asking people to buy my book, so the promotion end of things is definitely easier in an anthology where other authors are there to help share in the marketing.

Disadvantage: Getting eleven authors together in the same place is hard. We all have other things demanding our time; work, family, health—any number of “life” things.
Gwen Gardner
Advantage: Being able to share my massive and loyal audience with other writers. Also: Getting to be deluded and full of myself in a crowd of ten other people, so hopefully no one will notice.

Disadvantage: Splitting all those sweet royalty cheques eleven ways.
C.D. Gallant-King

Thanks everyone, I’d have to say it sounds like the advantages quickly and positively outweigh the disadvantages of writing for an anthology.

TICK TOCK: A STITCH IN CRIME, An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology.
·        $14.95 USA, $4.99 eBook
·        6x9 Trade paperback
·        204 pages
·        Mystery & Detective / Crime / Thrillers
·        Print ISBN 9781939844545
·        eBook ISBN 9781939844552
·        Freedom Fox Press

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter.

TICK TOCK is available through:

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. What are your thoughts on writing for an anthology? Do you see more advantages or disadvantages?


  1. I am really, really anxious to read this anthology. Some authors are familiar to me, but there are new and exciting avenues to explore as well. As a greedy reader I can only see advantages, and love that most of the featured authors seem to feel the same way.

  2. Just wanted to say thanks again to the authors for visiting with us today and for their contributions to this fascinating anthology.

  3. Thank you for featuring the Tick Tock authors today. It's the first chance I've had to really read all of their answers and I'm very pleased with their responses. They've pulled together as a team so well. Although CD's disadvantage gave me a good laugh.

  4. This is absolutely fascinating!! I enjoy reading about how different authors deal with the writing process. And it's especially interesting to get different perspectives on what it's like to write for an anthology. Thanks, all, for sharing.

  5. I loved reading everyone's response and getting to know the other authors. We are a great team. Thank you, Mason. And, thank you, Dancing Lemur Press!

  6. Great answers! It's been a wonderful experience working with these authors. Thanks so much for hosting us, Mason.

  7. It's interesting that we really have much of the same appreciation for this experience. Thanks so much for giving us a venue to share our thoughts. Great to be here.

  8. Jemi, you can never say never again!
    Great answers, guys.

    1. You're so right, Alex! And that is so exciting!!!! :)

  9. Thanks so much for hosting the Tick Tock authors, Mason! Everyone had great answers!

  10. Hi Mason - thanks so much for hosting us (again!)!!
    It was so much fun to see so many of our answers echo each other - and we didn't cheat at all! :)

  11. Mason, thanks so much for hosting us! It's been amazing working with the press and with this fantastic bunch of authors (all of whom are better at marketing than I am, say what they will!).

  12. thanks so much for supporting us!
    and great to hear my compadres’ views!

  13. Yay! A bunch of fabulous authors with fabulous stories, all together in one place!
    (I'm so late to this party...)


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.