Editor and writer Jerry Wheeler's latest Gay erotic short story anthology, Tricks of the Trade, is a collection of magical/magician themed short stories which includes contributions from today's most talented writers and is available now!
Jerry is here today to talk about the Tricks of the Trade collection, inspiration, and the challenges of editing other writer's work.
Where did the inspiration for your latest collection, Tricks of The Trade, come from?
Actually, it was inspired by a short story idea I had about a practitioner of BDSM who falls in love with an escape artist that can get out of anything he puts him in, but I couldn’t write the story. Instead, I gave the premise to Jeff Mann, who did a terrific job with it, then I built the anthology around that anchor story, called “Inescapable.”
What is the biggest challenge facing an editor of an anthology like Tricks of The Trade?
Finding the right mix of stories, especially when the theme was so difficult to write about. Many of my regular contributors found this one particularly tough, but everyone turned in some astonishingly creative work.
What were you looking for when you were going through the selection process?
Whenever I edit anthologies, I always look for character and set-up. If my authors can be creative with those two things, everything else seems to follow.
How has editing anthologies helped/changed your perspective as a writer?
Every time I work on an author’s story, I try to cut away as much extraneous material as I can in order to make what’s there shine as bright as possible. That’s made me more aware of the non-essential stuff in my own work. I’ve just completed my campaign to rid myself of the word “just.” Umm…with the exception of that last sentence…
How did you determine the order of stories in this collection?
When editing erotica anthologies, I always like a mix of hardcore erotica combined with some that are more romantic than erotic. I’ll start out with a couple of hardcore ones to satisfy those readers who are after that sort of thing, then move to the creatively romantic ones, then back to hardcore and so on. It works out pretty well.
What are some mistakes writers make when submitting their stories for possible publication?
The writers I work with are all professionals, so those mistakes are few and far between. However, in the past I’ve found that some authors don’t adhere to the submission guidelines (i.e., font size, formatting demands). It’s been my experience that if an author can’t follow something that simple, he or she is going to be a problem to work with—and I hate that kind of drama.
Which do you find writing your own work or editing and compiling a collection of other writers works?
Each has its own charms and drawbacks. I find editing interesting because I get to see how creative people can be within the themes, but I don’t have the kind of control over an editing project that I do with writing my own stuff. But I’m not a control queen…
What is influencing your writing now?
Oddly enough, music is a constant influence on what I’m writing. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic and ambient stuff which, for some reason, enables me to stretch out a bit. Since I’m working on a novel, that’s pretty appropriate.
What are your plans for the new year?
Finishing my novel, “The Dead Book,” then moving on to a couple other projects I have lined up. And then there’s always Out in Print to review books for.
Where can my readers find you and your work online?