If you are a new follower to Brave and Reckless, you may be a little puzzled by all the posts over the last few days about the release of Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. You may even think that I am a little over-enthused about it. Fair enough. Let me give some context.
When I joined WordPress in October of 2016, it wasn’t with the intention of becoming a blogger. At first, I was just trying to make one social commentary piece I had written easily available for others to share with family and friends. But after being here for a few days, I started getting curious about WordPress and tentatively posted some (mostly bad) poetry I had written in my teens and twenties along with some other social commentary pieces I had written more recently. Discovering that I kind of liked sharing my writing with strangers, this motivated me to start writing poetry again and explore other blogs on WordPress.
Five weeks into my blogging journey I stumbled across the site for the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and was blown away. The writing was raw, unconventional, and passionate. The look of the site was cool and unique. It spoke to a deep, hidden piece of my soul. Impulsively, I stepped out of my comfort zone and sent an email on November 18, 2016 to the general email address that simply said, “Really just wanted to let you know how much I love the whole vibe of your page and thought the writing was just exceptional.”
Much to my surprise, Jasper Kerkau, founder of Sudden Denouement wrote a very nice email back. He also started following Brave and Reckless and before long started to encourage me to enter a Divergent Writing Contest the site was holding to find new Collective writers. At first, I dismissed the idea as absurd- who was I to enter a writing contest?!- but eventually I submitted a piece or two for the contest. Or maybe it was three or four. Honestly, I was so motivated to justify Jasper’s faith in me that I continued to submit pieces literally up to the deadline (my apologies to the editors!)
I was completely stunned when I won the contest with the piece I wrote to work on my smartphone on the deadline date and was invited to join the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. It felt like Charlie with the golden ticket. I was even more shocked when Jasper asked me to take over as Managing Editor in January of 2017 when he needed to tend to some other issues in his life. Again, I thought he was crazy but I believed in his vision and wanted to help Jasper out for all he had done for me. A generous mentor, Jasper had taken me seriously as a writer long before I did and consistently voiced his faith in me.
While I served as Managing Editor of SD from January of 2017 until Jasper’s return in June of 2017, Jasper began talking about founding a Sudden Denouement press and publishing an anthology of the best writing from the collective. We even began the process of collecting the writing we wanted to include but life intervened and the project was put on the back burner while Sudden Denouement Publishing launched with beautiful books by Rana Kelly, David Lohrey, and Nicole Lyons.
In January 2018, Jasper and I agreed that it was time for me to come back as Managing Editor of Sudden Denouement so he could devote his time and energy to other SD-related projects. By February, the editorial team decided that the next project for Sudden Denouement was the long-awaited Anthology. At first, I didn’t even plan to be involved with the press at all, but gradually I took over coordination of the Anthology and with the help of Kindra Austin, Oldepunk, Aurora Phoenix, Richard Crandall, Jasper, and Nicole it gradually began to take shape. As I read through almost every piece of writing published on SD between October 2016 and April 2018, worked with other editors on choosing the final pieces, held them in my hands, made notes, and sorted them into piles and the piles into an Anthology I realized that editing is in its own creative process and that I loved distilling the story these 29 voices from 7 countries were telling from their souls.
I can’t begin tell you how it felt when Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective was released on Amazon.com and Amazon.com.uk yesterday morning. Or how it felt this morning to see that it is currently #2 on Amazon.com‘s list of Hot New Anthology Releases. It is such an honor to be a member of this amazing literary collective and to have helped shepherd this amazing anthology in print. So you will have to forgive me for my enthusiasm. This is a dream realized for many of us and I hope only the first of many exceptional books I get the honor of editing for Sudden Denouement Publishing.
Have you ordered your copy yet?