Until I started reading romance, I wasn’t familiar with anthologies of anything but poetry. Then for a long time, I avoided these collections of short(er) stories, not sure I saw the point.
Publishers often put them out to promote newer authors, combining their novellas with one or two bestselling authors whose readers will automatically buy anything they put out. Good for the author and the publisher, but also good for the reader.
An anthology is an easy way to get a taste of an author you’ve never read before without a huge commitment of time or money. The only thing to keep in mind is that a 20,000 word story will not have the same depth of character and plot as a full novel.
Finding new authors aside, the reason I’m now an anthology convert is that I can enjoy a complete story without getting sucked in for a whole day. For me, a good book is as addictive as crack. I am pretty much incapable of putting it down unless I absolutely have to.
Short stories are great for reading on the cross-trainer or during lunch. I can start one while waiting at the orthodontist’s office, and if I get sucked back in at home, no biggie. Depending on the length, the whole read is one to two hours tops.
I still crave full-length novels, and give in to them several times a week—after I get my writing done—but for those days when I don’t have time for a full read, one story out of an anthology is just the thing I need.
I’m in the middle of two right now…
1. SEAL of My Dreams: a collection of very short but satisfying Navy SEAL stories written by eighteen romance authors with 100% of proceeds going to the Veterans Research Corporation, a non-profit fundraiser for veterans' medical research.
2. Rescue Me: a romantic suspense anthology with stories by Cherry Adair, Lora Leigh, and Cindy Gerard.
What about you? Ever read any anthologies? Thoughts?
Photo credit: OLD BOOK © Peter Dolinsky | Dreamstime.com