What do you get when there’s a thirst for local stories and a creative bunch of people itching to write? An anthology, of course, produced in a year, no less.
That’s where the Made in L.A.: Stories Rooted in the City of Angels anthology of stories set in L.A., which is available online and in bookstores now, came from. Made in L.A. is an indie author co-op of Los Angeles-based writers who are dedicated to the support and appreciation of independent authors.
We spoke to Cody Sisco, who has three queer speculative fiction stories in the anthology and is a member of the Made in L.A. co-op. We really love his idea for a monthly national LGBT online reading series! Who’s gonna’ make that happen?!
Learn more about the anthology below.
DESCRIBE THE ANTHOLOGY: This 2018 volume is the first of the annual Made in L.A. anthology series. While our styles, themes, and story locales differ, our work is both influenced and illuminated by our hometown and underpinned by the extraordinary, multifaceted, and often surreal culture and life in the City of Angels.
HOW DID MADE IN L.A. WRITERS HELP YOU PRODUCE THE ANTHOLOGY: The members of Made in L.A. came together to provide each other with support and camaraderie after we first met at an Indie Author Day event at a local library in October 2016.
The following April we shared a booth at the L.A. Festival of Books to talk with readers and introduce them to our individual novels. Many readers who visited our booth asked whether our books were set in L.A. This got us thinking about what seemed to be a thirst for local stories.
We decided that when we returned to the Festival the following year, we should have something that responded to this interest. The result was Made in L.A.: Stories Rooted in the City of Angels, our first in an annual fiction anthology series. The anthology came out in March 2018. It includes contemporary fiction, ghost stories, a Hollywood noir novella, and my triptych of queer speculative fiction stories.
There seemed to be a thirst for local stories.
We shared the duties of soliciting stories, working with contributors and editing the stories, as well as layout, production, and marketing. It was a lot of work over a very compressed timeline. At the Festival, on the second day we sold out of the 100 copies we’d printed, proving that indeed there’s a market for L.A.-focused short fiction. The reception has been encouraging.
WHERE CAN WE FIND THE BOOK: We’ve focused on developing relationships with local independent bookstores. Made in L.A. is currently stocked at Skylight Books, The Last Bookstore, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Book Show, and Stories Books & Café. In addition, readers can order the book from any bookstore. And of course, we’ll be at the next L.A. Festival of Books on April 13 and 14, 2019.
UPCOMING READINGS OR TOURS: We held two readings this fall, one at Stories Books & Café and one at Book Show on Indie Author Day. We’re looking at our schedule for 2019 readings and will have more events to announce early in the new year.
[Editor’s Note: The next Indie Author Day is Saturday, October 12, 2019.]
An opportunity to build bridges to other local LGBT writing and reading communities is a monthly national LGBT online reading series.
WHERE/WHEN DO YOU DO YOUR BEST WRITING: November! National Novel Writing Month always gives me a productivity boost, whether or not I meet daily writing goals.
I’m currently working on the draft of my third novel and though it’s been languishing, I’m now on track to finish in the next few weeks. I am at my most productive in the morning, after a few cups of coffee, and when I don’t have other work tasks or appointments weighing on me.
A NOTE OF ENCOURAGEMENT: I’m really interested in how LGBT writers can interact, support each other, and build community. L.A. has a thriving local queer writing scene. I wonder if there are opportunities for building bridges to other local LGBT writing and reading communities. A monthly national LGBT online reading series could be a fun way to make that happen.
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