I’m a member of a German authors’ group called the “Geschichtenweber” (story weavers). One speciality of the group is the creation of anthologies that go beyond a mere collection of tales. Instead, those tales are connected by various elements. In the very first anthology the Geschichtenweber organized, it was an onyx ring that passed from story to story. In this anthology, it’s a dragon egg. You can actually see it on the cover if you look closely (and you are allowed to spoil its location in a comment).
The dragon egg passes from tale to tale, each time changing the lives of the characters that handle it. It helps one aspiring cook to fame, a city guard gets to be a babysitter, a demon ends up having a really bad day, a draconic journalist runs into maritial trouble, a bard writes the ballad of all ballads … it’s a great mix.
Getting it done was a hard piece of work, organized through the forum and through email. All in all, it took a number of years to finish. Along the way the project shed two editors, a couple of stories and their authors, and even one publisher. After finding the current publisher, it took another six months to proofread and copyedit all stories, including little things like ensuring the color of the egg remained the same throughout the anthology.
Was it fun? For me it was, but then I didn’t have to deal with all the hard stuff. I just wrote the story, tweaked the beginning and the end to fit in with the neighboring stories, went through the editing and then sat back and waited for the books to arrive in my mailbox. However, I don’t envy Gerd Scherm, whose name you’ll find on the anthology cover. He did a wonderful job, and without him, the tales would never have seen the light of the day. Thanks, Gerd!
The end result is entertaining and a great read, even if I say so myself. A friend of mine couldn’t put the book down and spent a whole evening working her way through it. So, are you regretting that you can’t read German yet? Maybe it’s time to start some lessons. (grin)