Paul Genesse (juh-NESS) is the editor of The Crimson Pact eBook anthology series (submissions for Volume 2 are due June 6, 2011) and he’s the author of the Iron Dragon novels. He’s a member of the Gen Con Writers’ Symposium and has sold a dozen short stories, mostly to DAW Books.
Thanks to the folks at The Night Bazaar for having me and a big congratulations to resident blogger and author, Brad Beaulieu, whose novel The Winds of Khalakovo just came out. It’s such an awesome book and I was fortunate enough to interview Brad on my blog a few days ago. It’s great to see one of the nice guys have success and it’s always a big moment when your first novel comes out, and Winds has already made a big splash with the reviewers and readers. You can learn more, watch the book trailer, and download for free the first 100 pages here.
Whenever your name is on the cover of a book it’s a great moment for you and I’m very excited about the first anthology I edited, The Crimson Pact Volume 1, which came out in late March of 2011 from Alliteration Inc. The first volume features 26 stories, 15 shorts, and 11 flash fiction pieces (1,000 words or less), including a short story by New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia and is available now from most major eBook sellers, though you can get a zip file with all the eBook formats here for only $5.
There’s an open call for flash fiction submissions for Volume 2, and if you’re a published author and want to write a short story, get in touch with me and ask for an official invite. Here’s the quick description for the series:
The Crimson Pact vowed to destroy the demons of the Rusted Vale . . . but the demons had their own secret plan and escaped, invading dozens of worlds . . . . Read 26 stories set in those many different worlds about the men and women who have refused to let the demons win.
My story (the frame story), The Failed Crusade, co-authored by Patrick M. Tracy, is about a doomed general trying to destroy the last remnants of a demonic army. In the carnage that remains after the last great battle, he discovers that his enemies have been smarter than anyone imagined. In the moment when they should have been annihilated, the demons escaped into other unsuspecting worlds. The only way for him to pursue them and fulfill the Pact is to cross the void as a spirit . . . by sacrificing his own life.
You can read The Failed Crusade for free on The Crimson Pact website, just click on the story when you get there.
I love demons, but what writer or editor doesn’t? They’re rotten to their black cores, and make excellent villains. They’re also fun to kill and you don’t have to feel guilty about it. I think that’s part of the reason so many writers were inspired to take on this project, especially after they read The Failed Crusade. The idea of demons escaping into the multiverse allows so much freedom and I was amazed at all the remarkable worlds that the authors created.
There will be a volume two and three–perhaps even more. Many of the stories will have direct sequels, and several of the flash fiction authors will be writing short stories that continue their storylines in the next volume. At the time of this writing I have commitments from fourteen of the authors in this book, and probably more of them will write short stories as well.
I’m committed to allowing new voices to break in through The Crimson Pact anthologies, so please send me your flash stories during our reading periods. Everyone behind The Crimson Pact is also a published author; we know what it’s like to get form rejection letters. I don’t run it like a standard rejection-mill; if a story is close but not quite there, we’ll work together to make it the best story we can. Sometimes it just won’t work, but I still encourage everyone who wants to be published to keep trying. Truth be told, it’s all about determination, and eventually one of your babies—I mean stories or novels—will make it through.
The Crimson Pact is my baby. Sure, it’s a fanged, evil, demon baby, but I’ll love it no matter what. I thoroughly enjoyed editing the stories and am so fortunate that a bunch of great writers chose to contribute to this eBook.
The best thing about being the editor was sending acceptance emails and getting excited responses from writers that had never sold a story before. Someone gave me a chance when I was a newbie, and now I’m helping others, and it feels awesome.
Writing the rejections was terrible, but I tried to let people down easy. One writer tweeted that I had given her the best rejection she’d ever gotten. I remember the story, and even though it was quite good, it wasn’t right for this anthology. Please read the guidelines (and format the story correctly!) before sending me your work, and read The Failed Crusade if you haven’t already before you start writing. Most of the time, I do give detailed feedback as to why I reject a story. In the future, when perhaps I have less energy and more submissions, I may have to resort to the form rejection. That’s years away I hope, and it bears mentioning how some projects take years to create.
You can find more information about how The Crimson Pact was created in my editor’s note in the antho, but it was years in the making, then came together fast once my business partner, Steven Saus at Alliteration Inc., and I decided to do it. We decided to do it, then only four and half months later a 140,000 word anthology has appeared. It was a fast turn around, and occupied most of my time. All of the editing, reading submissions, finding book covers, making a book trailer (please check out the book trailer which took me about forty hours of work—yes I’m a damn perfectionist) has slowed down the rewriting of my novel, Medusa’s Daughter a fantasy set in ancient Greece, and book three, The Secret Empire in my Iron Dragon Series, though I did manage to write a free story, The Cost of a Tasmanian Tiger for Mike Stackpole’s Chain Story Project during that time.
In the end, I feel like I’m a better writer for doing all of what I’ve done on this project and I hope everyone who has read this anthology has been very entertained. If you were, please write an honest review of The Crimson Pact. Post it on Amazon.com , Barnes & Noble.com, Smashwords.com, Goodreads.com, and your blog, then tell all of your friends about it—including me—because you’ll get a copy of the next anthology for free. Reviews and word-of-mouth sell both paper books and eBooks and I think these stories deserve as wide of an audience as possible.
Thanks for reading and thanks again to The Night Bazaar authors for having me.