I sold my collaboration with Ray Vukcevich, “A Stray,” to Fantasy Magazine, a story about a man going blind and his relationship with a rather unusual cat. This was only my third collaboration with another professional writer and two of them sold (the other one that sold was “The Man Who Swallowed Mirrors” with Jay Lake). I’m also a big fan of Ray’s work (find out more about him here), so it gives me an extra thrill to appear in print with him (or technically online, I guess). His collection, Meet Me in the Moon Room, is pure genius. I’ll have more about the story down the road when it appears.
If you haven’t looked into Fantasy Magazine, you should check them out. They’re doing great work — both with fiction and nonfiction. Everything’s free to read. There’s been a lot of folks trying to do online magazines, but from what I can tell, these guys are doing it right. I love the fact that they have a broad focus, everything from fantasy in popular culture to obscure slipstream.
I enjoy collaborating and will probably do it again — selectively. Contrary to what you might think, it doesn’t take less time to collaborate; it usually takes more, since you’re trying to combine two styles into one, and depending on the method of collaboration, there can be lots of back and forth involved. Plus, in most cases, you’re splitting anything you make 50/50. But it’s fun and the main reason to do it is to learn. In a way, it gives you an opportunity to crawl inside the head of another writer for a while. That, in turn, can make you look at your own writing in a new way, and allow you to incorporate techniques you may not have tried before. And of course, the best collaborations produce something that neither of you could have produced on your own. I think that’s what Ray and I managed to accomplish. Of course, we’ll let the readers judge.