Tuesday, June 5, 2018
To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity
As most anthologies, this one started with an idea, or more precisely in this case, some "what if" thinking.
With endless submission calls for stories written by [insert an identity group of your choice], one category of authors has never been singled out for a special opportunity: Men.
A few of us were hanging around in the virtual space of social media, discussing this curious phenomenon, when someone came up with a question.
Could we create a collection of stories written only by men?
The thought was amusing for a while, as we considered the reactions that would inevitably come from certain circles: the accusations, the outrage, the lectures as to how such things just "weren't done." All, of course, would ignore the fact that the exclusionary submission calls were very much done because, well, the fairness standards just aren't the same across the board.
But then, after we've indulged in our daydreaming and considered some of the possibilities, we realized something.
Trolling the hypocrites would've been fun.
But we were not trolls. We were authors.
Our readers deserved something special, something better than a joke, something that truly met their needs and left them satisfied.
We were going to give them good stories.
Stories about men as heroes and role models, fathers and mentors, hardened warriors and even fantastic creatures. Men who are interesting, capable and worthy. Characters whom you'd want to meet, to spend time with, to learn from, and whose stories will stay with you after the reading is over.
And just like that, the authors' gender became irrelevant.
The project went from a semi-joking discussion to a serious endeavor. A female editor stepped in to take charge, and Superversive Press picked it up for publishing.
In the end, the anthology brought together authors from different backgrounds, writing in a variety of genres, and of course both men and women.
As it should be. After all, the focus on quality is not exclusionary. It is, in fact, the most even playing field that could possibly exist.
Personally, although I tend to gravitate towards reading male authors, two of my favorite entries in this collection came from women (Monalisa Foster's Cooper and Julie Frost's Man-Made Hell).
I was delighted when my story Picture Imperfect, set in the world of my dystopian novel Chasing Freedom, made the cut. Now, having seen the full project come to fruition, and having read the stories from my fellow contributors, I am honored to be in their company.
If the concept of celebrating masculinity appeals to you, or if you are simply looking for something exciting and fresh to read, give this new offering from Superversive Press a try.
The paperback edition is ready to ship, just in time for Fathers' Day.
The E-book is available for pre-order and will be officially published on June 16.