Tuesday 19 January 2016

#GuestPost, Francine Howarth, on writer collaboration in Anthologies

Hello friends!

Denise here.

Our Valentine's Day challenge is to be judged by Francine Howarth, UK prolific author of Regency Romance. Francine was my original partner in RomanticFridayWriters, which morphed into Write...Edit...Publish so as not to bamboozle those who didn't think 'romance' was their thing. But really, when we think of the stories we love, most have some romantic element, (see my blog post on Romance V Romantic Writing here) and that was what RFW was all about...edgy flash fiction with a romantic element within.

Francine Howarth
Francine Howarth
Francine has moved on to a very successful career. Last time I checked her Amazon Author Page, she had 21 books listed! She has tapped into the pulse of what makes a successful romance author. But today she has chosen not to talk about her writing career...rather she chose to talk about one form of collaboration which has always intrigued me, and I hope, you too...well, let's hear it from Francine...

Hi, I’m Francine, and first let me say how honoured I felt when asked to do a guest post for Write, Edit, Publish, so thank you Denise and Yolanda.

It’s all very well saying, yes, I’ll do a piece for magazine, blog, whatever, until the mind goes blank. Yikes, and did my mind go into dead zone, until inspiration hit. So here I am, and rather than promote myself and my own books per se, I’m writing about the daunting task of compiling works by many authors for what became a charity anthology set within the Georgian & Regency eras.

As one would expect, the process of getting together for a collaborative working relationship is just the first stage in finding like-minded people. Our ideal became a themed anthology comprising of its own history base The Chocolate House which required a little forethought, more especially when the participants were from all around the globe and not one member of the group had met the other in person. Trust was therefore a major factor until the group slowly began bonding as a whole, thence mutual support from within built with every aspect of the process, and became enjoyable as the project proceeded.

In the early stages of our anthology characters came to light and names were cross-referenced, and thereby namesakes cropping up in different storylines saved the anthology from falling foul to the unmentionable of a Lady Jane Marchment in one story, and a Miss Jane Whitcombe stepping out in another story. Admittedly Jane is a common enough name for the eras depicted, but two Janes in the same anthology . . . Well, simply put; we were not at home to Mr Cockup.   

As always in writing stories, blood was sweated, tears were almost shed, laughter arose from amusing quips, and we came through with a sensual blend of Chocolate, Romance, Murder and Mystery at "Masqueraders". Each novella is a complete story, though one or two may now, or did when first written, link to other novels by individual authors.

The overall background setting is the beautiful City of Bath, famous for its Roman Spa, its Abbey, its Pump Room; Assembly Rooms, and Sally Lunn’s bun shop. The city itself has been made famous within the literary world by the likes of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and other authors of Georgian and Regency historical novels. Thus Bath is renowned as a place for intrigue and romance, but few readers will have stepped across the threshold of Masqueraders’, a notorious and fashionable Chocolate House, that existed within the city from 1700 to the latter part of the reign of William IV. What happened to it thereafter no one knows, for sure. Nor does anyone know why Sally Lunn’s bun shop disappeared in the mid 1700s, and remained undiscovered for decades until renovation work and the old ovens were rediscovered behind panelling in the 20th century.

So it could be said, essence of chocolate drifting on the ether denotes where the seemingly mystical Masqueraders’ once existed. All stories are in some way linked to The Chocolate House, and each author is represented with a brief biography and links to appropriate web pages. We’d love it if you would visit us and like our FB page at: https://www.facebook.com/thechocolatehouse/

If you would like to go one step further, you might like to purchase a copy of “The Chocolate House”:  Amazon UK -  AmazonUS

All  royalties earned will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London. 

And thank you for reading.

Thank you Francine for visiting us and sharing the story of a successful collaboration. 

Maybe there is a writer you've thought you'd like to collaborate with in the future. Maybe Francine's post was just what you needed to encourage you. It can be done. Like to read more? L.G. Keltner, who has written for WEP, won the IWSG Anthology competition has posted on the IWSG website on submitting to anthologies.

And a huge shout out for Yolanda who made the cut into the anthology. Congratulations Yolanda!

Now this post is to whet your appetite for the first WEP challenge of the year! The Valentine's Day linky will open on February 1. Please join us!

Francine Howarth talks collaboration!
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  1. How very interesting to know the amount of background work required to pull an anthology together. Heyer is a great favourite of mine, one of the authors I reread regularly. The Chocolate House sounds like a wonderful, intriguing collection, congrats! Thank you Francine for an illuminating and thought provoking post.

    Congrats to Yolanda on making it to the ISWG antho, though I am not one bit surprised.

    1. Thank you, Nilanjana Bose, for taking time out to drop by this post.

  2. This was a great post! Compiling an anthology this way seems like both a daunting and rewarding task, not to mention fun! And thank you for mentioning my IWSG post!

    1. Thank you, L.G. Keltner, for dropping by this post. And many congratulations on your IWSG venture.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to craft this post Francine. A topic that most of us know little about. I hope the anthology sells well and raises money for such a good cause. I can't wait to read it.


    1. The pleasure was mine, and thank you for having me on board for a day. best, F.

  4. Oooo, I think the setting or is it settings?

  5. 21 Stories, way to go Francine. I've read a couple of Francine's stories and they are very well crafted. I am working on the sequel to The Treasures of Carmelidrium and am in the first editing stage. I also submitted to the IWSG anthology but I guess they didn't want fantasy even though they said speculative fiction or others were just plain better. I intend to expand that story and self publish it. It's based in Gil-Lael, my fantasy world and interacts with a few of the existing characters. Title: Twyla's Tapestry, and the sequel to Treasures is, The Rise of Lord Sinon. I will be writing something, not sure what for the February challenge. Perhaps a love story in Gil-Lael. I know I've got my thinking cap around here somewhere.

    1. Thank you, Nancy, for dropping by and good luck with the fun contest!

    2. Nancy, I think they preferred more hard-core sci-fi judging by the winners. I'm looking forward to reading your completed sequel to Treasures. You know I loved that!

  6. Wow, that was a lot of work to collaborate. But so rewarding with the finished product.

    Looking forward to the challenge - is there a way to add zombies in honor of The Walking Dead new season? Hmm, I'll have to see, lol.

    Thanks for this post Francine, and for judging the next challenge.

  7. Hey Donna,
    Why not, they say there's someone for everyone. Vampires are undead and their love stories are famous. But ick! :)

  8. Hello Francine,
    Let me say that I don't think that there is a Georgette Heyer Book that I don't have in my library. Although I don't write Georgian or Regency Romance I think she was absolutely great, and I enjoy reading any one of her books again and again. All the best for your anthology and thank you for sharing with us.

    To Denise and Yolanda,
    Thanks to you two also for this introducing us to Francine. I enjoyed reading it and it has given me some ideas for the future.


    1. Another GH fan, which means we have a lot in common! ;) Thanks for stopping by to comment.


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