Lisa Forget, Patricia Hollett, & Tammy Crosby (eds.)
Bleeding Ink: A Collection of Dark Tales (Anthology)
Ink Babes Press (US: 3rd July 2012)
I assumed Bleeding Ink was written entirely by Lisa Forget, Patricia Hollett, and Tammy Crosby, but instead there are many contributors, all of them members of Kelley Armstrong’s Online Writing Group.
There’s poetry. I’m not a fan of poetry, and these poems didn’t work for me. There are vignettes/scenes – simply pieces of writing that aren’t stories, as they’re seemingly plot-less.
But there are proper short stories, of varying quality. My favourites:
-Phil Temples’ Last Call
-Nicky Peacock’s Bad Baby
-Maxwell Zwain’s Deal with the Devil
-Christian A. Larsen’s Club 27
-J. A. Campbell’s Roses for the Devil
Nicky Peacock’s Bad Baby is the best of them all, and I love it to bits. So relevant to my interests, and written well.
J. A. Campbell’s Roses for the Devil could be expanded both before and after what happens in this tale.
One of my beefs with self-publishing is the lack of gatekeepers. Kelley Armstrong’s Online Writing Group is actually a critique group, but in this collection I saw plenty of room for improvement: Scenes should’ve been rewritten as stories; some paragraphs should’ve been deleted at the beginnings to hook readers faster; and the lack of copyediting! For me, copyediting is the easiest part of critiquing, even without Microsoft Word which points out grammatical errors. Oh, and this is a finished edition of the anthology, via Smashwords. So if you purchase it, likely these errors won’t have been corrected.
And then there are contributions that self-reference Bleeding Ink or the Ink Babes, or are about writers. That kind of stuff makes me cringe. Methinks this is a collection for writers, not readers. Either way, I can’t recommend this book, though I do recommend the five short stories I name-checked earlier.