A little less than three weeks ago, I officially unveiled our intent to create and publish an Anthology called Rabies & Germs and made submissions available to the public. I have always preferred a more direct one-on-one approach in-terms of what we want to create and accomplish, but it was something a lot of writers had been asking about.
Our original plan was to release both the Anthologies for October of this year (a goal I knew was very ambitious from the start) and I will do everything I can in-order to hit that deadline (but if we can’t, be it through financial compromises brought on by the Corona virus or some other unseen circumstance, we won’t fudge it or rush it out). Every month is Halloween month on Readers Digested, after all.
As of this moment, I am hopeful of having 80,000 words on each Anthology, or around 300 pages. This is not written in stone at all, but it will be used as a form of measurement as the anthology fills.
For Rabies & Germs, we are not following a strict thematic structure to our stories. This is meant as a shock-to-the-system, so to speak, where you can expect ghost stories or a serial killer run wild, or a massive zoo outbreak that sees kangaroos running through the streets of New York roundhouse kicking people’s heads off (Kangaroo Jack Takes Manhattan), and it will all fit within the parameters of what we want to do.
I will definitely want to make themed anthologies for Readers Digested later on (in-fact, I have an idea I am shopping around with some other writers), like an anthology more geared toward a sort-of Gothic / Lovecraft vibe, or one more subdued and grounded, but, for now, all we want is for Rabies & Germs: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 to serve as a foundation to build and branch off from.
I am writing a novelette called The One Two Punchline, a horror-of-personality story that will be featured on the first Anthology. After that’s finished, I have a second novelette I will write to have featured on the second Anthology.
Writer Todd Ridgney thus far has written two flash fiction stories that will be featured and writer Scott Moore has written a novelette that will be featured as well. Meanwhile, I have a handful of other writers who are preparing submissions to be included as well.
Strictly in terms of word count, we are about 37,000 words into the 160,000 word project (a little less than 25%). This means there is still a lot of time to become involved with the project! Accepted contributors will be a part of something – with the novel carried at Comic Cons across Midwestern America and marketed on the Readers Digested website.
Our viewership for Readers Digested has been going very well, with contributors like John Clarke becoming involved, and I have a handful of others who should be involved soon. Very cool.