Read This First: An Anthology By Accident

It just so happens that I have the very good fortune of being surrounded by friends who are, no word of a lie, bursting at the seams with talent. My friend group are a bunch of enviably creative bastards who’s success and genius I wish I could emulate, as such, sometimes the opportunity to be inspired by them and collaborate with them crops up and I’d be a fool to turn the chance down.

Such a chance cropped up in November of last year, when my friend Liss created something incredibly special. I’ll let her own words speak for it:

I did a short story in daily installments on this blog about a post-apocalyptic library. It seemed to go down pretty well, and when it was over a couple of people got in touch to ask whether they could write a follow-up.

Things snowballed from there, and now we have an anthology of sixteen short stories set in the world of The Collection.

“It seemed to go down pretty well” is a colossal understatement on her part, honestly. Please go read the stories on her site linked in the quote above and you’ll soon see how special the world she created, the world of The Collection, really is. Liss’ valiant effort meant that she somehow managed to fit all sixteen of the accumulated submissions into, not only an anthology, but one that fitted together as if it were meant to be; perhaps some supernatural strings were being pulled.

Not only is the anthology full of heart and gut-wrenching stories, there’s also a host of accompanying illustrations by the inimitable Andrea Cradduck (another of my sickeningly talented friends) – who really needs her own portfolio site by the way, she does incredible embroidery as well as illustration – and her illustrations really shine in the colour version of the book. For my part, its been an honour to be involved in a project where there was so much passion driving it forwards from all corners. Here’s to the world of The Collection, long may we get to play in and explore it!

Read This First is available on Amazon in Black & White (UK/US) or Full Colour (UK/US) physical editions. An eBook is in the works, this post will be updated with links when available.

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