D&DSeriously, how sexy hawt is that cover? This is the new anthology coming soon from Ticonderoga Publications, called Damnation And Dames – Sixteen Stunning Tales Of Paranormal Noir. Or, as I’ve decided to called it, paranoirmal. That’s right, suckers, I’ve just named a genre. Remember, it all started here.

Well, it actually started with editors extraordinaire Liz Gryzb and Amanda Pillar, who came up with the concept for this book and put out the submission call. It’s a great theme. I love noirish stories and all my work tends to have some influence from the noir or crime angle. Even a lot of my sci-fi – I just can’t help it.

And yes, I have a story in this book, of which I’m very proud. But it’s not as simple as that, because I can’t take all the credit for the story. For the first time ever I’ve collaborated on a piece of writing, and the story in this book is called Burning, Always Burning, and was co-written with the hugely talented Felicity Dowker.

I would often see collaborative stories and think to myself, “How the freaking fuck do people do that?” My work is usually so personal. I sit here in my cave and tap away at my keyboard, letting the sweating babies of my fetid imagination creep out into the world. How could I ever share that process with anyone?

As it happens, it was surprisingly easy. Felicity and I have been good friends for a long time, and have long respected and enjoyed each other’s work. During an email exchange one day, when we should have been working, we started slinging lines back and forth in a noirish, Mickey Spillane kinda way, just for shits and giggles. We only got about half a page of stuff down before it petered out, but we both agreed it would be kinda fun to write something together one day.

A while later, Liz Grzyb and Amanda Pillar put the call out for paranormal noir stories. It seemed fated. So we decided to give it go and dusted out those couple of parapgraphs, polished them up, talked about our ideas and plot and then just started bouncing the thing back and forth. We’d write about 500 words, edit the previous 500 and email it away. Sooner or later, it would come back – the 500 new words edited and another 500 added. Or so. It just worked. The story grew. We live nearly a thousand kilometres apart, but through emails and text messages we came up with our yarn and, without any subjective bias of any kind, it’s fucking great.

We submitted it and we’re both very proud that it was accepted. Seriously, look at the company we’re in:

Lindsy Anderson – The Third Circle
Chris Bauer – Three Questions and One Troll
Alan Baxter & Felicity Dowker – Burning, Always Burning
Jay Caselberg – Blind Pig
M.L.D. Curelas – Silver Comes the Night
Karen Dent – A Case to Die For
Dirk Flinthart – Outlines
Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter – Prohibition Blues
Donna Maree Hanson – Sangue Sella Notte
Rob Hood – Walking the Dead Beat
Joseph L Kellogg – The Awakened Adventure of Rick Candle
Pete Kempshall – Sound and Fury
Chris Large – One Night at the Cherry
Penelope Love – Be Good Sweet Maid
Nicole Murphy – The Black Star Killer
Brian Grant Ross – Hard Boiled

And you’ll notice among that stellar company the All-Time Collaboration World Champions, Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter. Sixteen stories, eighteen authors, paranormal, noir, sexy covers, murder and mayhem, monsters and mysterious femme fatales. How can this book not be freaking awesome?

Damnation & Dames will be launched at Swancon 37, Easter 2012, and will be available in trade paperback for $30, and as an ebook in Kindle format post-launch. The anthology will be available from Ticonderoga’s online shop at indiebooksonline.com, and internet bookstores such as bookdepository.com and amazon.com. Seriously, I can’t wait.