On April 18, 2012 the Kickstarter campaign for Tales of the Emerald Serpent: Shared World Mosaic Anthology exceeded its funding goal of $10,000. Created by editor and contributor Scott Taylor, the anthology provided an interwoven tale set in the shadowed metropolis of Taux. Now, the time has come to fund the second volume – Tales of the Emerald Serpent: A Knight in the Silk Purse, all interested backers should click here. As I write this the campaign is well on its way to reaching the $10,000 goal but there is plenty of time to get in on the fun. Featuring award winning authors and artists, Tales of the Emerald Serpent: A Knight in the Silk Purse is a sweeping epic.
Editor Scott Taylor took some time to answer questions SF Signal had regarding the shared world mosaic.
Nick Sharps: Sell me Tales of the Emerald Serpent Volume II: A Knight at the Silk Purse in as few words as possible.
Scott Taylor: It will be the absolute best shared world anthology ever, period. How’s that 🙂
NS: Describe for me Taux, the city where the anthology takes place. What can we expect from a story set in the city of Taux?
ST: Taux is dark, but not brutal like, say, Sanctuary. It has incredible color, variety, and is a thriving mixing bowl of world culture set on a powder keg of necromantic magic that always threatens to destroy it. Stories here are always life and death, but also deal in innuendo, intrigue, and passion that can give just the right edge to each tale.
NS: What sort of work and organization goes into a shared world mosaic anthology such as this?
ST: Well, it is a lot! I break authors into teams, and then have them weave their stories together. During that process I pull threads from their tales and share them with other teams who might take them and add them to their work. In all, it is a huge undertaking by myself as the editor, but if you are a good ‘spider’, your web will end up looking pretty incredible.
NS: Having seen some of the art that will be included in the anthology I’m quite impressed. What sort of role does the art hold in this project?
ST: Well, my publishing house is called Art of the Genre for a reason 🙂 I love art, and feel it is intrinsically important to add another level of enjoyment to any tale. I’ve hand-picked artists whose work I love, and who love this setting, and they work right alongside the authors during the process of creation to make everything really connect inside the mosaic as well.
NS: What are some of the influences and origins of Tales of the Emerald Serpent?
ST: Well, first and foremost I’d say gaming, which helped develop the setting in its infancy, then the development of my personal relationship with anthology fiction, especially shared worlds. I often read ‘editor’s notes’ on such things with as much interest as the stories themselves because the process of creation is what drives me, and I’m always trying to avoid previous pitfalls from my mentors and create the best product I can.
NS: The lineup of authors contributing to the anthology is pretty exciting. If you had to pick just one story to represent Tales of the Emerald Serpent Volume II which would it be?
ST: Wow, that is tough, because my job is to make sure they ALL mean something to the overall arc. Having said that, the authors got together, as they do before each volume, and named an overall ‘team captain’ who would have the central role, so in this case I’d have to say it would be Juliet McKenna’s as she has taken the lead on this particular volume.
NS: As I understand it, Todd Lockwood is a first time author. What was it like for Todd, participating in such an ambitious project?
ST: Well, I’d say intimidating with a heavy dose of excitement. I’d read Todd’s work on a novel series he’s recently sold to one of the Big Three, so I understood how well he could write, and like most artists he tends to paint with words. To help him along, I put him on my team for Tales Volume I, and we worked closely in creating a great linked tale with author Mike Tousignant. In the end, Todd not only held his own, but produced one of the best reviewed stories in the anthology.
NS: What lesson did you learn from the first anthologies campaign that has carried on to Volume II? Are there plans for future anthologies?
ST: Well, we learned that selling fiction is hard, and selling a anthology is even harder 🙂 Still, we were happy to get the backing for our first endeavor, and we knew that if we could just produce that work, people would get what we were doing and that would carry over to further volumes. So far, we’ve been right, and this new Kickstarter has built-in stretch goals that could see to the production of up to six full volumes of this series that would take us to the culmination of the story we all set out to tell.
NS: Why choose Kickstarter over, say, Indiegogo?
ST: Art of the Genre had successfully run, produced, and delivered 5 Kickstarter fiction volumes in 2012, so we are very comfortable with the platform and it has always been very good to us and our backers.
NS: If Tales of the Emerald Serpent Volume II were an ice cream flavor, which would it be?
ST: Neapolitan, because there isn’t just one flavor that’s going to do it for this anthology!
NS: Any final words for potential backers?
ST: Absolutely! This project is brimming with possibility, and there are over a dozen incredibly talented individuals who have come together to make a creative dream a reality. We need your help to get there, so please share our message, find like-minded friends who love fantasy, and come along for a journey with us into the ghost-filled streets of the city of Taux!
NS: Thanks so much Scott! I would like to direct all interested readers to check out the Kickstarter page for A Knight in the Silk Purse, Tales of the Emerald Serpent Volume II.