Way back sometime last year I saw a call out on Twitter for submissions to an anthology based on 'Rabid Vegetation'. I was going through my wild genre challenge phase and so as soon as I saw such a quirky concept I just hit the button with a shout of 'Hell Yeah, I can write crazy sic-fi vegetation stories!'
The topic was weeds - tumbleweeds - which being English through and through, I didn't really have any understanding of except for seeing them frequent horror films just before some crazy chainsaw serial killers chews up a few college kids.
Thank goodness for Wikipedia, the fountain of all superficial and spurious knowledge, for here I learnt that another name for a tumble weed is a 'desert oracle' - and so began my story 'Desert Oracles'. I banged out the story using most of the American-gothic tropes I could remember; creaky slat-board housing, sand, tumbleweeds, diners, strangers in trilby hats, rocking chairs - you name it, it's in there. I pressed send. Celebrated with a whole pack of Jaffa Cakes when the story was accepted. Paid momentary interest to e-mails concerning issues with publication and then kind of forgot about the story and the anthology. So when I saw that it had been published in paperback earlier this month, I was completely joyous. I ordered my copy and it arrived this morning.
My story is the very last in the anthology - a great placement, as it concludes the anthology. I've spent an indulgent afternoon reading some amazing stories. Who would have thought that such a seemingly narrow brief could excite so many interpretations, styles and tales?
Jaleta Clegg and Frances Pauli have done an amazing job of bringing together a diverse and talented cohort of writers to create a truly unique and interesting anthology of work. I am so looking forward to following up on some of the writers who have contributed and reading more of their work.
So if you fancy reading something COMPLETELY different and experiencing some fresh and talented writing, look no further.
Wandering Weeds, published by Hall Brothers Entertainment is currently available in Paperback from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
Wandering Weeds: the official blurb; "Twenty-five tales of evil weeds to entertain, enthrall and change the way you look at unwelcome invaders in your lawn. From feral tumbleweeds to ravenous seaweed, from alien lifeforms to migrating asteroid fields, in these pages you will find fairy tales and weird Westerns, space romps and chilling horror stories. Scary or silly, wicked or wily, these plants are here to stay."
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