Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Challenging Traditional Formats: Collaborative Worldbuilding

I'm speaking with Eileen Bell today about her new collaborative project, The 10th Circle. I attended their announcement party a couple of weeks ago and was fascinated by both the story and the format concept. I asked Eileen to explain how this project came about.


How did "The 10th Circle Project" start?  Ryan McFadden and I were bored.

We started talking about an idea Ryan had, earlier in the year.  "We come up with a place and an event," he said.  "And everybody writes different stories about it.  Could be fun."

He was right.  It did sound like fun. We started talking about where this place could be, and what type of event we'd like to write about.  We decided on two cities, called Hope and Glory. Of course these two cities hated each other, and had for 60 years or more.  Think pre-unification Germany.  And the event?  It was a project developed by the two mayors to bring their cities together developing a cheap, plentiful source of power.  Geothermal power.  But we all know good intentions pave the road to Hell.

We'd had good luck winding a framing story through the novellas we'd written for our last project, and decided we could use the same format.  T'hat's how Harry Stafford, our down-on-his-luck cop from the City of Hope, was born.  He was chasing a serial killer, you see, and crashed through the border that separated The City of Hope from the City of Glory.  That was a huge no-no.  And then there was this earthquake...

We saw that it could be more than an anthology – it could be a whole series.  A series of ten, to be exact. The stories could be any length, and could either be complete in themselves, or serialized.  We also saw a pretty tight timeline – publishing a new book every two months.  Ebooks with website tie-ins seemed the way to go.  We approached Billie Milholland and Randy McCharles, to see if they'd be interested.  They were. And then, the whole idea really took off. 

"The 10th Circle Project" (www.the10thcircle.com)  launches today!



Eileen Bell lives in Edmonton, Alberta. She won the 2010 Aurora award for her novella 'Pawns Dreaming of Roses' in the Women of the Apocalypse collection. When she's not writing, she's living a fine life in a round house with her husband and her daughter's cranky cat. You can follow her exploits at www.eileenbell.com .




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