An Inside Look at Dead West

Posted: January 4, 2010 in Uncategorized
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One of my projects for Bandersnatch Books this year, is an anthology of weird western stories entitled “Dead West:13 Tales of Murder and Mayhem”. The idea for this was conceived a few months ago as I was finishing up “Barbed Wire Kisses”. High on the western genre, I was rather amazed there wasn’t more weird western stories and novels around. I saw this as something that would be different enough, and interesting enough that it would be a good project for Bandy. I asked Rich what he thought, and he agreed.

At the time, I really had no inclination of getting started on it anytime soon. There was a zombie project I was more interested in doing. However, as these things go, the zombie project has gotten delayed due to communication problems with the artist. He’d become swamped with his 2 web comics, 4 podcasts and commissioned work. I can’t really fault him for not paying enough attention to a little company like ours (especially when we didn’t even have a website at that point).  While I still plan on that book, that’s going to be a 2011 project more than likely. So with that laying dormant, I decided in early December to move onto the Dead West collection.  I put together the submission guidelines and posted them.

The reaction I’ve received so far has been phenomenal. Not only from the submissions I’ve received but also from the positive and overwhelming support I’ve seen on the message boards and personal emails. There are people truly going out of their way not only to help me but also trying to make “Dead West” the best anthology it can be.

Quite honestly, it’s a bit humbling. The faith that others have placed in Rich and myself, particularly with “Dead West” is nothing short of astounding. Not only does it boost my confidence but it shows me what happens when you’re passionate about an idea. It becomes infectious. With each new submission, and I get some every day, my love for this project and the people associated with it grows.

And it’s in that spirit that I decided to blog about my experiences editing the collection. I wanted to document what it’s actually like to go through the process of being an editor. Even at this very early stage, I see some wonderful things coming from this book.

At this point, submissions will be open until midnight January 31, 2010.  I could actually close submissions now and have a great book, but I want to see more.  In February, I’ll be putting together a short list of stories I like enough to consider putting into the anthology. Already I can see the difficulty in this, as the submissions so far have been great. It’s going to be very hard to select only 13.

After what little hair I have has grayed some more, and I’ve decided on the stories I want, I’ll run them by Rich, and then send out acceptance emails. With luck I’ll have a TOC to announce by March. Between then and publication in October I’ll be editing the stories, paying writers and marveling-not for the first time-how lucky I am to do something I absolutely love.

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Comments
  1. Adam says:

    That’s great to read Scott. It seems that too often enthusiasm and the drive to make the best book possible are lacking (not that editors are unenthusiastic, you just put em to shame).

    I’m happy to be a part of that group of supporters because I love both genres involved in the project. My praise is not about getting in (to tell you the truth, I approach every submission as a “no,” pessimistic but I would argue healthy) but because I know that come October I will be buying something that is born out of a knowledge and appreciation of those two aforementioned genres.

    Good Luck.

  2. This is interesting to read. I’m curious for more soon, hopefully. The book sounds right up my alley, one way or the other.