The Fall: Anthology and Interview with Matt Sinclair

Wow, I have neglected this blog for far too long, but now it's time to remedy that. To make it up to all of you, today I have an interview with the fantastic Matt Sinclair of the Elephant's Bookshelf. Remember The Spring? Well, he and a group of fellow AgentQueryConnect members have put together a new AMAZING anthology.

Presenting The Fall:
(Cover by Calista Taylor)

And now for my interview with Matt Sinclair:

1. I love the Apocalyptic/Post Apocalyptic theme of The Fall! What made you decide on that theme?

It came up toward the end of putting Spring Fevers together. We all enjoyed the creation process that we suggested doing another anthology and using a season in the title. I don’t remember exactly who suggested The Fall, but that person also suggested that it be a collection of apocalyptic stories. With December 21, 2012 being the date that a Mayan calendar stone supposedly predicted would mark a global disaster – and also the day when winter turns to fall – we decided to go with tales from the apocalypse.

2. So, what’s your personal take on December 21st? Are we nearer than we think to the end of the world as we know it?

Well, I have watched too many television shows about the Mayan calendar and about potential global disasters, so I’m all too aware of the potential for disaster and the likelihood that the planet will eventually experience some sort of extinction-level event, whether it’s an asteroid strike or a coronal mass ejection. But I kinda doubt either of those will happen in my lifetime. I do, however, think it’s possible that a major solar flare could wipe out electricity for long periods of time, possibly affecting society for years within my lifetime. Having just experienced eleven days without electricity as a result of Hurricane Sandy – and I’m still frustrated by a variety of inconveniences to my life – I know that such an experience is no fun. I’ve never been as frustrated by my inability to do things I need or at least want to do, such as provide a safe, comfortable environment for my little girls.

3. Give us a taste of the genres included in The Fall.

As we did with Spring Fevers, we tried to include a wide range of genres, and we have a lot of different voices. For example, Jean Oram, who also served as copy-editor of the anthology, wrote what essentially is a short romance. Mindy McGinnis posited what God might do if he had an iPhone, and she wrote it in a one-act play format, which was different and a lot of fun. And Cat Woods penned an amusing story about a Little League game between little saints and demons. But we also have Judy Croome’s story, “The Last Sacrifice,” which is decidedly not amusing. It’s pretty grim, and I think folks will either love it for the exquisitely crafted tale of faith and family that it is or hate it for the cruelty and seeming willful ignorance that some might infer.

4. How did the process of putting the anthology go this time around, compared to Spring Fevers?

It was different; in some ways easier and other ways harder. In Spring Fevers, we approached writers we knew, mostly from AgentQuery Connect, and asked if they had anything unpublished or would write something that would fit the overall theme of relationships. We initially planned to only release it electronically, so we weren’t too concerned about length. The Fall had a lot of the same writers involved, but we also received submissions from people I didn’t know. They heard about Spring Feversthrough various blogs and tweets and retweets and other online writing groups. So, some robust word of mouth resulted in a lot of great submissions. But one of the challenges was making sure the stories didn’t sound too similar. When one quality story comes in and gets approved, then a couple weeks later another quality story that’s similar arrives, you’re hard-pressed to accept both. I think we made good choices. We also received some stories that simply weren’t apocalyptic enough. While we stretched a bit on how we defined “apocalyptic,” we had to say no to some promising stories that just weren’t a strong enough fit thematically.

5. What plans do you have for future anthologies?

Absolutely. We’re just about to launch the submissions requests for the third anthology, Summer Burn. I can already hear the voices of writers saying, “But mine isn’t set in the summer.” That’s going to be fine. The stories of Spring Fevers were not necessarily set in the spring, nor were those of The Fallplaying in autumn leaves. The anthology will emphasize the burn more so than the summer. By that, I mean our tagline: Not all relationships are meant to last. So we might find a couple May-to-September YA or maybe new adult love stories. I can imagine a murder or two. I can also see some science fiction tales.

6. Was there anything I didn’t ask yet about the anthology that you’d like to share?

Well, I’d like to invite folks to check out the evolving Website for Elephant’s Bookshelf Press (, where we’ll post information about new anthologies and new opportunities to come. I expect, for example, to have another announcement after we post the guidelines for Summer Burn. I don’t want to ruin the suspense, so I’ll leave it at that. But assuming we get through New Year’s without an asteroid strike, a solar flare, a super-volcano eruption, or a society-changing financial meltdown, I believe 2013 will be a great year for Elephant’s Bookshelf Press!

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about this wonderful anthology, Matt. I've just purchased it and can't wait to read the stories! I wish you every success with it and with the upcoming Summer Burn.

So tell me, lovelies, what's your take on December 21st/ the apocalypse? 


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