For more information or to enter please see Bethlehem Writers Roundtable
Winning stories from past contests appear in the following BWG anthologies
Ian Fleming is best known for his James Bond books, yet he is also the author of the iconic children’s classic Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car. Agatha Christie changed the face of literature by mastering the whodunit, yet I’ve also enjoyed her more dramatic novels published under the name Mary Westmacott. Both of these unparalleled authors stepped out of their comfort zones (well, assuming a writer can EVER feel comfortable) to write remarkable and memorable stories that didn’t happen to fall into the genres they made famous. So, I consider myself in very good company with my latest release. Even though my four novels and five short stories to date are all Romantic Comedy, I have a contemplative, serious short story in the Love Unlimited anthology. My contribution, “In Her Space,” tells the story of a 64 year-old woman who lives quietly, content with all she has survived in life. But things change when she discovers a homeless young man living under her house.
This idea for a story first came to me when my husband Ron and I spent many nights crawling under our neighbor Grace’s house, trying to get two opossums out before the exterminators came. (We got them out and relocated them to safety.) And we are often bringing food and blankets to homeless people who live in the park near our house. Hmmm … Then these seeds of an idea blossomed and took shape when I heard a story on NPR about the Mortuary Services in the army, the soldiers who are quite literally responsible for going onto battlegrounds and collecting the body parts of fallen soldiers so that the soldiers might be sent home.
So, here I am, a romantic comedy writer with this idea for a story about … all sorts of heart-wrenching stuff. Then, a few months ago, fellow writers asked me if I wanted to be part of an anthology that celebrated love in all of its many incarnations. And suddenly, mmmrrh … I had the perfect opportunity to write my story.
Love Unlimited is a free ebook anthology that’s burning up the charts on FREE downloads on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Google Play. Eleven authors share stories that cross generations, cultural backgrounds, and borders in order to warm your heart, tickle your funny bone, and envelop you in the wonderful and complex human emotion the world calls “Love.” Download for free and enjoy!
And you can see what you think of my more serious story. This story is a BIG DEAL for me because it is not romantic comedy. It is hopeful and sweet, though. Yeah, there is tragedy and memories of bad stuff, but it is about the triumph of spirit and connection. I don’t think I could ever write something with a downer ending!
Have you ever stepped out of your genre? Who are some of your favorite writers who have gone genre-hopping? I’d love to hear all about it in comments!
When she was a kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. At home, she loves watching black & white movies, British mysteries, and the NY Giants. Corcillo lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.
This has been a year of challenges for me, since I started seriously indie publishing. I’ve learned it’s a lot harder to do everything myself, even though it has been rewarding. The one thing that has got me through it is the support and camaraderie from the romance community, including OCC.
Two of the challenges and rewards have involved group projects. Being part of the Romance Super Bundle brought me together with a group of wonderful indie authors: Amy Gamet, Dale Mayer, Donna Marie Rogers, Edie Ramer, Kate Kelly, Pamela Fryer, Lois Winston, Barbara Phinney and Wendy Ely. I’ve learned a lot about marketing and promotion from these ladies, including my first ever Facebook Launch Party.
Monday, Nov. 18, is the Facebook launch party for the other project. I was honored when Debra Holland invited me to be part of her second holiday anthology: Sweetwater Springs Christmas: A Montana Sky Short Story Anthology (Montana Sky Series) by Debra Holland and Friends, namely E. Ayers, Linda Carroll-Bradd, MJ Fredrick, Paty Jager, Jill Marie Landis, Trish Milburn, Linda McLaughlin, Bev Pettersen, Tori Scott, and Cynthia Woolf.
Writing my story, The Best Present, was both challenging and rewarding. It’s not easy to write in another author’s story world, plus I was unfamiliar with Montana in 1895 (or any other time.) Some research was required. (That was okay since I love research.)
For once, I shed my romance persona and wrote about a ten-year-old girl having the worst Christmas of her young life. I drew on some personal experiences, including my memories of my tenth Christmas, which took place two weeks after the death of my grandmother. Allison’s story has a different ending than mine did, but it’s the most personal work I’ve ever written, and it was an emotional experience. I was reminded of the old saw about opening a vein.
Sweetwater Springs Christmas: A Montana Sky Short Story Anthology releases Nov. 18 on Amazon but is available for pre-order now.
I hope some of you will join us on Monday to celebrate the release of the anthology at Facebook. It runs from 9AM to 6PM, Pacific time, and I will be there alone (gulp) from 10-11AM.
Happy Thanksgiving and happy writing!