Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Friends

While my writing has definitely slowed down this year, a result of both the real life stuff that I needed to focus on as well as leaving my collaboration as Jamie Craig behind, I've still had my toe in the publishing world.

See, last year, I met this guy through a friend I'd made online. He dabbled in writing, but was curious about publishers he might submit to. I compiled a list for him, and then nothing really happened for a couple months.

Then Riptide, the number one publisher I'd put on the list for him (mostly because it seemed like an excellent match in regards to what he was interested in, they hadn't had any track record at that point for me to base my judgment on except for my respect for Aleksandr Voinov as a writer), put out their collection calls for 2012. He decided to write a short in answer to one of them, I worked with him a little on editing it, and less than two weeks after he'd submitted, he had a contract offer.

That's when Elyan Smith was born. And that short story, Portside, became his very first release, a wonderfully atmospheric (not to mention hot) piece about a boy named Iwan.

I promised Elyan I wouldn't be effusive about him in this, and I won't. Read the reviews at Riptide and see for yourself what others are saying about his work.

Elyan doesn't write romance. His style is far more literary in tone, his emphasis on creating characters that could pass you on the street rather than plot. That sense of realism combines with his fresh voice to make something you're not likely to read anywhere else. Do I think he's for everybody? Absolutely not. Nobody is. But he's one of a handful of writers whose work pushes me to do better. When he's on, he's absolutely magical.

That's not being effusive. That's just how I see it.

Since his debut, he's contracted two other works, a story in the charity anthology, Lashings of Sauce, and a Christmas story in an upcoming collection at Riptide, edited by Sarah Frantz. Trust me. This won't be the last you see of him.