Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Announcing Chasing the Light: A Benefit Anthology of Speculative Fiction

 Chasing the Light
Once upon a time, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Faith Hunter and award-winning authors David B. Coe and John G. Hartness agreed to mentor a group of rising authors—the Roaring Writers. Chasing the Light—with tales across the spectrum of science fiction and fantasy—is their celebration of success. 

It is also a tribute honoring Melanie Otto (aka Melanie Griffin), one of the founding authors, who died unexpectedly in 2016. Melanie critiqued many of these stories at the Roaring Writers' annual writing retreats, and the authors will never forget Melanie's sparkling eyes and delighted laugh as she found passages she loved in each. With this collection, including stories by Melanie, the Roaring Writers share her light with readers everywhere.

Many thanks to our mentors, David B. CoeFaith Hunter, and John Hartness for all they have done to help us become our best. Thanks to fellow RW Emily Leverett for editing this anthology--she's a terrific editor and expert cat herder! Thanks also to Melissa McArthur Gilbert for the extra polish of proofreading, and to Natania Barron for the beautiful cover.

Thanks to the generosity of their mentors and contributors, all profits from the sales of this anthology will be donated to help Melanie's lifelong partner defray medical and legal costs. 
Remembering Melanie
The first thing I remember about Melanie, always, is her beautiful smile. Her delighted laugh as we shared our love of stories, books, authors, movies, photography, nature, friends, and life. We met at ConCarolinas 2013 in Charlotte, NC. Afterward, she emailed this wonderful summation of the weekend: “Truly, a person never knows what fine folk or fortunate things one might discover coming one's way.” Through email, phone calls, and our eagerly anticipated annual retreats, we shared stories, editing advice, writing goals, travel adventures and dreams, and so much more. I knew from the beginning that Melanie had some serious health issues, and to her chagrin, they often impeded her participation in our retreats and activities. Even so, I could never have been prepared for the shock of losing her so suddenly.
But Melanie hasn’t left the Roaring Writers. If anything, she continues to bring us ever closer together. In honoring her, in sharing our grief together, in committing to this benefit anthology project, we continue to write and grow and learn and succeed together. And I still see Melanie’s beautiful smile, just beyond the light.
And so, with a loving heart, I offer you
I’ve heard many translations. Here’s my favorite:
The light of the universe that shines within me recognizes
the light of the universe that shines within you.