Wednesday 17 June 2015

(vol 2) Chapter 23: “FlashDogs: Solstice”

2015 WORD COUNT = 34472 words

If I was put on the spot to pick my three highlights in writing so far I would have to say:
Finishing my first ever NaNoWriMo back in 2007.

Getting my first ever Flash Fiction contest win over at Angry Hourglass.

Holding the physical copy of the FlashDogs: Anthology (vol 1) in my hands.

The spirit and skill of the FlashDog community is summed up in the fantastic Anthology that was released last December. From a small idea, the project grew and grew, fully rewarding the small group of writers who stood up and dared to make something from nothing.

Being asked to contribute was an awesome moment. There’s something really special about seeing your own work in print, something you can show to people and say, ”see that story? I wrote that.” I felt validated.

Oddly what made it so good was that it wasn’t my own personal project. You see, if I had just self-published my own novel or collection, I don’t think I’d have felt as good. Don’t get me wrong, that moment is still coming and it will be easily added to the list of my personal highlights. But being included in something else meant people out ‘there’ thought enough of my writing to want to put it into something they were working on.

It was just cool.

And now it’s happening all over again.

So, in four days time (Sunday 21st June you will be able to purchase the FlashDogs Anthology (vol 2).

Now it’s time for the info dump.

This time round there is a common theme running through the Anthology. While we all worked from a single prompt for the last book, a lot of us also included other random stories where we were allowed free reign. I myself submitted a Christmas story, a Super Hero story, plus a hightlight from my Flash writing. An eclectic mix, to be sure.

This time we were given the overall theme of Solstice (hence the release date) and this has been split into two halves; light and dark. That’s right folks, we’re following the likes of the Twilight and Hunger Games movies and splitting our sequel into two halves.

So, Solstice Light will contain your happier, more upbeat stories, written to give you hope and perhaps show you the better side of mankind.

Solstice Dark, on the other hand, will be filled with darkness, depression and the kind of endings that people enjoy from Game of Thrones.

That’s not to say that one book will be all Disney and Rom Com while the other is all Cronenberg and Tarantino. We have a skilful band of writers in the FlashDog community and you can trust at least some of them to slap your expectations in the face. Hard. Us FlashDogs know how to twist a prompt to our own devious needs.

Last time round we all scrambled for the e-book as soon as it was available so that we could dive in and see what the others had brought to the table. While it was great to have our work out there for other people to purchase and enjoy, there was just something so special when the physical paperback version of the Anthology rolled around in the early months of this year. This time, the paperback will be available day one alongside its digital sibling. This is great news and I myself will be getting up early to order a copy or two (and paying that little extra to Amazon so that it gets to my doorstep quicker).

I have four stories going into this volume; two in Solstice: Light and two in Solstice: Dark.

The first of my Light pieces, Potential, looks at the bond between father and son during divorce. Despite a tough few years, things are looking up for the pair until something strange, something dangerous, threatens to tear them apart for good.

Set in the same world as TANKS FOR THE HELP (from Anthology 1), this story takes a look at the crumbling world from a different characters point of view, a woman who has fallen in with a bad crowd and fears she will never be saved.

The first Anthology story I finished for this project, Cost of Freedom explores how far someone is willing to go to save the person they love. What lines will they cross? What deals will they make?

The little story that almost got let behind, Merely Observing takes a comically dark look at an unknown threat to our world. Perhaps we won’t even see it coming.

As before, the proceeds from the sales will be going to charity. FDHQ has this time chosen The Book Bus, a charity that helps bring books to children around the world who don’t have access. After the necessities of life like food, water and shelter, being able to read is something that can really change the lives of any human being, young or old. You can find out more about The Book Bus here.
The book will be available this Sunday via Amazon (I will be adding links across Twitter and this blog as soon as they’re up) so help a charity and get a beautiful collection of fantastic stories for the trouble.

Before I go, a big, big thanks goes to the incredible team over at FDHQ. Although they appear to be from beyond our realm, I’ve been assured that they are mere mortals, just like us. They have jobs, families, lives. And yet they somehow find the time to communicate, rally, organise, design, and edit a project that is one hell of an undertaking.  Without Tamara Rogers, we wouldn’t have such good looking covers. Without Emily June Street, we wouldn’t have consistent and professionally formatted stories. Without Mark A. King we wouldn't even have a project to work on. And without Lord David Shakes, we wouldn’t have whip marks and malnutrition.  

And let’s not forget, without the FlashDogs, we wouldn’t have the best Flash Fiction community in the whole wide world.

For a better look at the mad men behind this project, check out Rebecca Postupak’s interview over at Flash! Friday.

Enjoy the FlashDogs Anthology volume 2 this Sunday.

See you in seven.

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