Surprise Mail

Yesterday brought a surprise Priority Mail, and I’m so far into my break that I racked my brain for a full minute to recall the sender: Tekno-Books, the company that’s packaging the anthology (as mentioned here). What a welcome jerk back to my best reality: Yes, I’m a fictionista! Awesome!

The package contained the galley proofs for my story, plus my author bio and the table of contents. Need to send corrections back by the 20th. I question my author bio now — I want to change it up completely. I’ll need to ask someone for advice.

Also, I noticed that my story comes in last. In publishing parlance, it “anchors” the anthology. I know from previous experience that publishers like to end their anthologies on a strong note, so I was pleased with myself.

However (and isn’t there always one of these?), I quickly talked myself out of feeling pleased because I wasn’t 100% sure all publishers use this strategy. In our culture coming in last is bad. Failure! And since I might be a tiny bit competitive…well…let’s just say I let that downer thought anchor itself for one minute too long.

Another “however”: My friend Liz, who also wrote a story for the anthology, sent me a woo-hoo message this morning, congratulating me on my final position in the anthology. Whew, okay then!

I find it strange that I sometimes need a wise voice from the outside to confirm what I already know below the surface of my doubts and worries. I’m not the only one like this, right? I hope?

(P.S. Now I’m thrilled to be in last position! Validation: I wrote a worthy story!)

0 comments on “Surprise Mail

  • Yes, last is good in an anthology. Why do I so readily agree? I recently edited a book and took great great pains to put the pieces/essays in a very particular order. One of the pieces was so damn good, I put it last, kind of as a surprise, as a “cracker”, the kind you pull open at Xmas in the UK.

    And then I thought, will they read to the end like they do in a book of fiction – will they get to this one, the very best of the bunch?

    And then I said: my instinct is best. And this best one goes last.

    So I will trust that your anthology editor’s instinct was like-minded: your piece being last is the icing on the cake.


  • Congratulations! It’s an awesome feeling to hold the galley in your hands on the first one–and I imagine on all the others too, even though I’ve only had the pleasure one time.

    And no, you’re not the only one who suffers with self-doubt. Like DeAnna says above, it’s entirely possible it’s hardwired into all of us. Or maybe not. Hey, maybe we should take it as a sign that we are indeed awesome authors!

    As for the bio, don’t even get me started on that. I must’ve written mine a hundred times!

    I hope you’ll keep us posted on the release date. Can’t wait to see it on the bookstores shelf!


  • lactatingbookworm says:

    what do you write in a bio? i had to do one recently and feel a bit daft about it all because I was the only one who listed all the shit kicking jobs I’ve had.

  • Hey Lisa,

    There’s great precedence for having the last story in a collection – The Dead anchors Dubliners, for example. It’s probably best to get the Joyce comparison out of the way early in your career…


  • Oh, so happy for you 🙂 I can’t comment on the significance in being the last story of a collection – however, in music performance we always save our best, most exciting piece for last!


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