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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Something for the Journey

Hey, I'm a recalcitrant cheapskate when it comes to my fiction writing - meaning, I almost never write for no pay.   It could be a flat fee upfront, a royalty on sales, or, better yet, both, but in just about all cases, I need to be paid.  Stewart Brand used to say that "information wants to be free," and my response has always been, yeah, but writers need to eat.  In the academic world, I've written many a scholarly article for no direct pay, but that's because such publications help my career in indirect ways - you know, tenure, promotion, that sort of thing.  But since fiction usually has no such clout, it's lucre in hand or I'll decline the assignment.

But there are exceptions to all rules.  And so when I was approached with an invitation to contribute a short story to Something for the Journey, an anthology whose sales would all go - every penny - to a children's charity in Bristol, England, I gave it some thought.  Bristol is one of my favorite places in England after London.   Its chocolates and its university are both top-notch.  It was also the day before the anniversary of JFK's assassination, and I had a story in the trunk, which needed some updating, a new ending ... and, before I knew it, I had finished "Transfer of Power" at a little over a thousand words and sent it in to the anthology.

Something for the Journey was published yesterday (as an ebook on Kindle, with paperback soon to follow).   "Transfer of Power" is one of twenty-four short stories in all genres - short enough to be read on a bus or a train ride, hence the title.   The authors are

Dario Solera, Neil Bursnoll, T.L. Champion, Kathy Molyneaux, RJ Kennett, Peter Cawdron, Jamie Campbell, Sarah Dalton, Vincent Trigili, Cora Buhlert, Paul B. Kohler, Stephen Drivick, Stacy Claflin, Al Stevens, Sheila Guthrie, Dan Fiorella, Pru Moran, Paul Levinson, Melanie Nilles, James Griffiths, Seun Odukoya, V. A. Jeffrey, Frank Zubek, and Stella Wilkinson. 

Stella Wilkinson is the editor and Frank Zubek is donating his publicity.   You can get the book here - and, by the way, you can download a free Kindle app for Mac or PC if you don't have a Kindle - and there's more about the book and some brief interviews with authors here.

And, to pique your interest in "Transfer of Power" a little more, here's a famous photo that plays a central role in the story -

Bill Clinton shakes JFK's hand, 1963

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