I complain a lot about The Event collections ... Mostly behind the scenes, but, often, right out there in front of the scenes. It's a labor of love, you see. It is a challenging project, but the end result is absolutely worth it.
And, if I'm being honest, some collections just "feel" better than others. In general, Precision Robotics had usually been my favorite of all our offerings, but Wreckage has now taken over the top spot. The contributors. The cover. The overall professional nature of the final release. It all just felt so good. The main reason, I think, is largely the reason I enjoy doing these collections (nearly) every year. Put simply, it gives me a reason to explore my creative side. In short fiction, that is. Now that I focus mostly on longer-form stuff, it's great to hop in and work on a short story now and again, and The Event allows me to do that.
The first Event collection was cool, but it almost felt like I cheated a little. My contribution, Paradox Iron, was a continuation of a series I had started - King Paranormal Investigations. There were two novels, Coldwater and Hidden Riches of Lord Granite, featuring these characters and I wrote a new ghost story starring them. It was a great story, in my opinion, but it wasn't really original. Starting with Iron Bay, though, I decided to explore outside my comfort zone and come up with a new story, new characters, new challenges for each one. "Ink," "Machine Reality," "The Coronado Reef," "The Chalice of Cana" . . . All completely separate, unique stories. Of course, they all take place in the same universe (Machine Reality has a character that appears in Project: REAPER, for example), but they are all brand new adventures sharing nothing substantive with things I've written in the past.
Which brings me to The Event: Wreckage. I had a great deal of fun writing my contribution for this year's collection ... "The Swamp Man." It was a neat story and I got to write in the first person perspective for the first time since ... forever. The entire collection is available to purchase either as a paperback or eBook from Amazon, but I wanted to present my story, at least, for those who wanted a quick blast of creative fiction right there on their computer screens. The plan is to put up a chapter a week until the whole story is up. If you enjoy it, I encourage you to pick up the whole collection. It's a fun group of stories from a vastly different group of writers.
For now, though ... let's pull back the curtain and look upon the wreckage ...
THE SWAMP MAN