They’re all writerly types. That’s the first thing that brought us all together, you see. We share a passion for the printed page; for constructing fantastic worlds with mere sentences, and drawing pictures not with paints and brushes but with words.
This particular writerly friends adventure all started with Vlad V.
Vlad writes all sorts of tales—horror novels and novellas, science fiction, and children’s fantasy books. Vlad had this (not entirely unheard of) idea to start a writers group, in which he and his writing buddies would run stories by each other, providing critique and feedback to improve their fiction. In his author travels, he started collecting his group: Ursula Wong, a women’s fiction writer with a technical mind yet an ability to sketch a scene with beautiful prose, and she also had an eagerness to learn more about the craft; David Daniel, an established fiction author with MacMillan/St. Martin’s Press, who knew the writing world was transforming and wanted to keep up with the changes (plus, he so enjoyed a rousing discussion on things like writing on notepads versus using a word processor); Rob Smales, a horror writer and novice editor who could rattle off ideas faster than the rest of us could write them down; and me, a horror writer/humor blogger/copy editor who, much like Vlad, appreciates the little things in life, like five-cheese-and-bacon macaroni and cheese. (Listen, I know it's important to have friends that like to talk about the same things you do, but it also helps if they like to eat the same things, too.)
Here’s one of the nice things about Vlad: he dreams big. He took a look at all of us: a technically minded engineer-turned-writer; an established author looking to revamp his approach to publishing and marketing; an editor-in-training with ideas; a horror writer/humor blogger who earned her living as a copy editor. Vlad himself was learning more about content editing, website design and promotion, and, like all of us, constantly striving to improve his craft of writing. He looked at our group and thought: Wow. We are all remarkably talented and strikingly attractive. Then: we can be more.
Vlad’s train of thought went something like this: if we pool all of our talents, share ideas, promote each other, and work hard to create the best, most polished stories we can, success will follow. He asked us all to roll up our sleeves, work together, and apply our individual skills for the good of the group. We could write stories and polish and edit and rewrite and collaborate and revise and edit more and . . . well, produce some darn fine tales. Soon, we were creating marketing plans and designing logos and contributing blog content and above all, most importantly, writing stories. Because at our core, amid all of this, is the passion to write.
We’ve published two group anthologies so far (Insanity Tales and Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear) and just launched our website (www.thestoryside.com). You’ll notice that going forward, I’ll have links to The Storyside blog posts at the end of my blog each week. We have plans and ideas and dreams and goals for the upcoming year, and the year after that. And the best part is, we get to get together every six weeks or so to talk about our all of these things . . . and inevitably, about the joy of writing.
And yes, we look strikingly attractive doing it. Check us out, won’t you?
This week's golden nuggets from The Storyside (click on the descriptions below to be taken magically to the website blog entry!):
Fabulous Free Fiction: "The Visit" by Rob Smales
"How I Was Inspired by a Homicidal Cannibal" by Stacey Longo (hey, that's me!)
Writing Advice: "Adverbs Aren't Your Friends" by Vlad V.