NOTE: This post was actually supposed to run NEXT Tuesday, and somehow, I messed up the date, hence the missing link some of you will have noticed. I apologize to Sarah (who may or may not be around to visit today) and to you guys, too. This is the first time in all my blogging years I’ve done this, I think, and I do hope it will be the last! Blame it on COVID madness here at our house. Please enjoy the post, anyway, and I promise to share the link when Sarah has it, in another post!! *slinking away in embarrassment now*
Today, I’m very happy to welcome author and friend Sarah Brentyn back to share her latest project/release. The Shadows We Breathe is an anthology Sarah compiled and edited, featuring her own work along with that of several other terrific writers. I know you’ll love learning more about this collection, so without further ado, take it away, Sarah!
Kiwi, Junior Mint, Raisin?
Anthologies are a delightful mix of chocolates. You’ve got caramel, crisped rice crunch, fruit-filled, nougat, and nuts. But they’re all still chocolate. An assortment is great but you wouldn’t want to open your box of Cadbury and find a sea salt caramel, a chunk of pizza, a piece of sushi, and a bit of broccoli. Or maybe you would. I don’t know. But most people probably would not.
So, in this way, you want variety but, also, consistency to make sure your box of treats doesn’t surprise you in a bad way. You’ve got to choose a palate.
I’m a huge fan of obsessed with The Good Place. (If you haven’t seen this yet, go watch it. You’re welcome.) Anyway, one of the characters, Chidi, had a panic attack at a make-your-own-sundae bar. His whole thing is that he’s indecisive but, in fairness to him…well, I’ll let the quote speak for itself:
“There were too many toppings. And very early in the process you had to commit to a chocolate palate or a fruit palate and if you couldn’t decide, you wound up with kiwi, junior mint, raisin, and it just ruins everyone’s night.”
Right on, Chidi. Right on.
While I wanted this anthology to have a mixture of stories, I also wanted it to have a uniform feel, with all the pieces working together to provide a smooth experience for readers.
I told my friend, when I first began, creating an anthology was much like choosing a color scheme. When redecorating your kitchen or bedroom, you might want lots of colors. That’s great. Go for it. Paint a rainbow, my friend. Get that red, purple, and blue in there. But make sure they’re all similar in tone and finish. You don’t want pastel pink in matte, neon green in gloss, and muted yellow in eggshell. Honestly, and this is just my opinion, that would be hideous. I don’t think I could sleep or eat surrounded by that colorful mish-mash of clown puke. Keep it all neon, if that’s your jam, or pastels or whatever.
So that’s what I did. Or tried to do. The theme is relationships, the tone is dark, emotional, poignant. I compiled the stories and worked with contributors to make sure they loved their work and that it fit well with the other pieces. I am genuinely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such wonderful, talented authors.
Each one of these authors brings her own style and voice to the anthology, which is lovely (and kind of the whole point), but there is (hopefully) a uniformity that keeps the flow of reading pleasant. Like cruising in a sailboat on a sunny day instead of paddling in a dinghy during a hurricane. I am so proud of this collection. I adore everything about it. The title, the cover, and, of course, the writing. I hope you love it as much as I do.
The Shadows We Breathe
WE ARE ALL PART SHADOW
Life promises joy and sorrow. Alongside the light, there will always be traces of darkness. It is the nature of being human.
In this anthology of short fiction, we explore relationships—how they sculpt us, hurt us, help us, and reveal our deepest desires.
Eight artists, whose words paint worlds, bring you stories of heartache, loss, hope, and forgiveness. They unveil the intimacy and complexity of relationships.
Whether family, friend, or lover, connections to others can hold us up or break us down.
Within these pages, beautiful words are spun into tales threaded with darkness.
Explore the shadows we breathe.
THE SHADOWS WE BREATHE COMING SOON!
Georgia Bell is the author of Unbound, a young adult paranormal romance about love, fear, and immortality. She was raised on a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy and began writing the stories she wanted to read over a decade ago.
Maria Carvalho is a multi-genre writer whose short stories have appeared in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies, including Under the Full Moon’s Light and Cabinet of Curiosities (both by Owl Hollow Press).
Reena Dobson began pursuing her creative writing with a vengeance when she realised the world was never going to stop and give her time to write. She now writes at the edges, in sunshine and under cover of darkness.
Ali Isaac is a writer and blogger living in Co. Cavan, Ireland.
In 2020, she was awarded a writing mentorship by Words Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland, working under the guidance of author, Sara Baume. Her writing has been published in The Stinging Fly, Sonder, and Paper Lanterns.
D. Wallace Peach, best-selling fantasy author, started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked.
Allie Potts lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband, two children, and spoiled dog.
When not finding ways to squeeze in 72 hours into a 24 day, Allie consumes and creates science fiction, fantasy, post-apocalyptic quests, cozy mysteries, and contemporary fiction.
Mary Smith, author and poet, is based in Scotland. Her memoir Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women focusses on her work in Afghanistan, which also provides the setting for her novel No More Mulberries.
Author Sarah Brentyn
Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.
She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.
When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.
She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.
Books: Hinting at Shadows | On the Edge of a Raindrop
Website: Sarah Brentyn
Blog: Lemon Shark | Lemon Shark Reef