Friday, May 05, 2017

Writing: A New Type of Multi-Author Book, with Angela Hunt

Although I don’t usually read stories with a supernatural element, I’ve recently finished Invitation, designated as “cycle one” of the Harbingers collection. I have to admit that the way it was put together fascinated me. In it, four authors—Bill Meyers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky—each have written stories in the voice of a different character. The stories are freestanding, but tied together by a common theme. (book cover pic)

I was told that one of the authors, Bill Meyers, had the idea for this one, and invited other authors to join him. It seems reasonable to put together a project such as this, since I have held for some time that in our TV and computer dominated society the attention span of the reader is getting shorter. But is this new type of book a fad, or one of which we’d see more? I decided to ask one of the authors of the work, Angela Hunt, for her comments.

What did you think when you were invited to participate in this project?

I was delighted. I don’t usually write supernatural suspense, but I’ve always said that a writer ought to be able to write anything, so I was tickled to have the opportunity. Plus, my schedule is usually full, but I knew I could easily squeeze in a 20,000-word novella. And the other writers are good friends—how can you turn down that kind of fun?

The idea of several authors writing stories that could be drawn together into a coherent book would seem to be an impossible task. How did you all handle this?

We created a series “bible,” in which we were supposed to note things that had happened in each installment, but then nobody wrote in it, so that idea fell by the wayside. We did, however, hold occasional Skype conferences where we talked about the overall story arc, and how we wanted our characters to act and react along the way. We also suggested adjustments when we thought “our” character wasn’t reacting in a way true to his/her personality—and I noticed that we all grew quite possessive of our assigned characters. As if they were real . . .

Do you foresee more books in this cycle?

I couldn’t have answered that a few months ago, but now I can. There will be five cycles, twenty novellas. We are about to release the final book, and Alton Gansky is hard at work on it as I’m typing.

What do you think about the current state of publishing? Do things need to change? And is this type of book one of the changes we’ll see in the future?

I think the state of publishing has adjusted to the ebook revolution and the recovering economy well. Prior to the economic crash of 2008, publishers were publishing so much there was almost a glut, and the lean times pared down the list. I know that’s not comforting news to new writers, but it means writers have to be more skilled and more persistent than ever before.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share with the readers of this blog?

Just this: for the writer, reading is more important than writing. And living is the most important of all. How else will you have anything to write about?

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Angela Hunt has published more than 130 books in fiction and nonfiction, for children and adults. You can visit her website at 


Paula said...

I really enjoy Angela Hunt's books. Will have to try this genre out! Sounds interesting!

Richard Mabry said...

Paula, thanks for your comment. I've read Invitation (even though that genre isn't my "thing") and it was interesting how each author's style came out in the section they wrote.

Patricia Bradley said...

The genre isn't my 'thing' either, but with those authors, it has to be good and I'll be reading it. :-)

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for your comment, Patricia--and glad you're the new addition to the Suspense Sisters blog. Looking forward to that.

Patricia Bradley said...

Thanks, Richard. It is quite an honor! And I'm in such good company. :-)