On Loss an Anthology* bridges creativity and inspiration with loss and pain. Five writers from all across America came together to create the On Loss Anthology. Our submission period is over and we are gearing up for acceptances and editing stories.
The Anthology Team is pleased to announce our newest guest editor!
We are striving to make the best decisions among the many wonderful, well-written and imaginative stories we received. This has been tough! In the meantime, we’ve asked Lynne Buchanan to join us as a guest editor and she has accepted. Lynne offers wonderful advice and gives every writer a reason to believe in never giving up.
Here are six questions with Lynne. She has a hell of a workload ahead of her along with the other editors, but we trust your stories are in good hands.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself: Where are you from? What do you enjoy outside of writing?
A: I have lived in North Carolina for almost thirty-five years, with a few jaunts to other states here and there. As any writer must, I love reading; I’m currently in the middle of a collection of stories by Raymond Carver. When I get a little free time, I paint and draw and occasionally sculpt.
Q: About your writing: When did you realize you were a writer or when did you fall in love with writing? Have you published before and where? What are your writing dreams and goals or what do you enjoy writing the most?
A: When I was in the third grade, I was sent to the counselor for a short story I had written in class. I’d been reading on a college level for at least a year and had caught hold of a few Stephen King novels, and some Tales From the Crypt E.C. comics. I was smitten with horror and wrote a pretty horrific story. Monsters! Murder! Man is the greatest monster of all!!!
Unfortunately, the school conflated the narrator with the author, and I was sent to the school counselor. Maybe they thought that any student that could write that much gore must have “trouble at home.” My parents seemed a little confused as to all the fuss over a story, but forbid me from reading horror…for a while.
I didn’t write fiction again for decades. You could say the education system had scared it out of me. I took a fiction class in college on a lark. The instructor dug my writing. My classmates dug my writing. Apparently, I could string together an engaging and intelligible tale. Would wonders never cease? I was encouraged to apply to the MFA program for a graduate school, and—to my growing amazement—I was accepted. I had gone from a never-writer to a “Master” of creative writing in about two years.
But here’s the thing: I was a master of reading long before I took that first writing class. I devoured every book I could. So, I must add my voice to the chorus that believes that the only way to become a writer is to be a reader. My favorite story that I’ve had published was titled “The Undertaking” (Surreal South ’13). It’s about Hiram Ephram, the undertaker in a small mining town in Georgia. When the dead begin to speak, he learns more than he had ever wanted to know about his neighbors, his family, and himself.
Q: How did you hear about Our Loss Anthology and what made you get involved?
A: I learned about the anthology through a Facebook group, and liked the idea of driving this project. Loss? Almost every story involves loss, or at least it should. Because every living thing wants, cares, needs, and loses.
Q: Do you have any advice for the writers submitting their work? Any advice to aspiring writers in general?
A: Some general advice: Read good fiction. Read non-fiction. Read everything you can.
More specific advice: Writing is about sense and specificity. If I can make you see the shadow of the lace curtain on a hardwood floor, the motes of dust in the sunlight slanting in the window, the dog curled on the fraying carpet there, make you hear the droning hum of the electric clock on the wall, then when something otherworldly happens, you will be more likely to believe me. The world has to be real, and it only gets that way with clear, specific description.
Bonus advice: When you feel like a piece of writing is complete, read it out loud. Better yet, find some willing soul to read it out loud to you. Listen carefully, especially for anywhere they falter in the reading. These are cues that something in the writing is not quite flowing the way you’d like.
Q: Where can we find you and learn more about your writing and projects?
A: For now you can find me on Facebook; my website is under construction.
Q: What is your favorite book, author or quote from a book?
A: One of the authors that has influenced me most strongly would be Ray Bradbury. If I could write a story even half as beautiful or as powerful as Bradbury, I’d be pretty happy.
Wow! I think we hit the jackpot with Lynne. “every living thing wants, cares, needs, and loses.” Thank you so much for joining us on this journey and helping to make On Loss the best anthology it can be.
Tune in next time for six questions with me, Erica Marchant, as I procrastinate in writing about myself. Thanks Lynne for going first.
*In case you missed it, we recently revealed the official title On Loss an Anthology.