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Pangea Interview

Posted on 28 March 2012. © Copyright 2004-2018 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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Writewords talks to WW site expert Rebecca Lloyd and WW member Indira Chandrasekhar who have edited a new collection of short stories by WriteWords members.



What made you think of putting this anthology together?

Becca:- Indira thought of it, and approached me about it.
Indira:- We were in a particularly active phase of the short story group, and were critiquing some half a dozen diverse stories from different parts of the world, each with their unique perspectives. It inspired the idea of an anthology.




What about flash fiction? There is a lot of flash fiction around these days.


Indira:- Yes, but we had to establish boundaries. We decided on the short story. For one, the project was conceived of in the short story group. It is a form we write, we critique, we know and feel qualified to assess. Initially we set a minimum limit of 1000 words, but weren't over strict about it. If there were pieces that we felt fitted the anthology, we used them.

Becca:- The two forms are quite different anyway. Flash fiction has evolved to become something more than, or should it be less than? a truncated version of a short story. A short story writer is tasked with intriguing the reader as must a writer of flash of course, but that is the end for the flash writer, and just the beginning for the short story writer who must then keep the reader’s attention through a much longer period of time and that demands a whole range of different skills that couldn’t be displayed in one hundred words anyway, and it was those subtle and wonderful skills we were looking for in the stories we chose.

Indira:- Well said, Becca. That is the core of it.



How did you go about finding the stories?

Indira:- It was like some extraordinary mining operation for a rare mineral. Some stories we chanced upon easily. Some were from authors who were active and on the surface. Others we had to dig deep for. And finding some stories was like going on a treasure hunt, following maps that were in Becca's head, writers and work she remembered. I should emphasise that we were thorough and read hundreds of stories to choose the thirty-four that are in Pangea.

Becca:- Yes, it's true. There were stories that had stuck with me. We started back in 2004, didn't we, Indira? And I was trying to recall writers and stories from that year onwards that I particularly remembered. And yes, we did read an incredible number of stories.


So what is the theme of the anthology – how did you choose the stories?

Becca:- We didn't have a theme as such, did we Indira? Although later, I think we saw that the stories fitted into four different types of stories but I can't remember them off hand.
Indira:- The themes are discussed
in our introduction. It's interesting that they fell into those categories. Because our initial idea was simply to look for stories that brought specific and diverse worlds alive. And the fact that those themes emerged through such a range of cultural viewpoints was interesting.

Becca:- We chose the best stories we could find really, but some of the writers had left WW by then.

But you were able to get in touch with them all?

Becca:- Yes, I think we were, weren't we, Indira? Was there anyone we really wanted that we couldn't contact, do you remember? The beginning of the project seems like a long time ago now.

Indira:- Yes it does. I do believe we read and contacted everyone who had work still posted on WW. This was before archived work from non-active members was removed. I think one of the very few writers we discussed contacting but found had no short stories left on the site was Shyama Perera. Of the people who were still members but who had not participated in WW for a while, I think only one said she did not think her story was ready for publishing.



When did you start putting the anthology together?

Indira:- April 2010 was when we first exchanged WW mails about putting together a collection. Two years ago! That is a long time, but seems short considering we live in different parts of the world. As do our writers.




A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.






Comments by other Members



V`yonne at 12:16 on 30 March 2012  Report this post
Well WW has some very fine poets too so how about the next anthologly being a poetry one?

Tnaks for all your work.

Oonah

tusker at 10:57 on 31 March 2012  Report this post
Yes, many thanks for your hard work in producing Pangea and, on a personal note, thank you for selecting my story to be included in this anothology.

Jennifer

Dee at 09:25 on 01 April 2012  Report this post
Same from me too. I was never so surprised as when you chose one of my short stories. Many thanks for all the hard work that has gone into the anthology.

Dee

apcharman at 09:28 on 03 April 2012  Report this post
Such a lot of work! Can't wait to see it!

Shika at 14:44 on 04 April 2012  Report this post
Thanks from me too. S

Becca at 08:23 on 05 April 2012  Report this post
Indira and I were delighted to be able to have your fine stories for the collection. We had to get the word number up to a respectable level to make the book viable and that meant finding enough stories that were at publishable level and that wasn't easy, but what we did find eventually we are very pleased with. The book jacket is thanks to Indira, and I love it, couldn't be better.
Becca.

Indira at 09:31 on 05 April 2012  Report this post
I second that - it's fine collection.
As for the cover, credit goes to the lovely artist/designers at b2creative.us .

Indira


Becca at 10:55 on 05 April 2012  Report this post
One of the ways I'm going to be promoting the collection over my side of the water is to say, and I think it's true, that it's a great book to buy as a present because it has such a wide range of both stories and styles of story telling, and all of the stories have their own dignity and integrity.


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