Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to Here are links to first two books and

Friday, November 7, 2014

NIWA Anthology 2014 Releases Today!

About the Anthology:
What does "underground" mean to you?

This anthology from the Northwest Independent Writers Association presents fourteen “underground” stories, each with a different interpretation of the titular theme. In these pages, you will visit a murderer’s hideout, walk the road to the afterlife, plunder a dragon’s lair, uncover a mysterious archaeological artifact, glimpse human existence after an environmental apocalypse, and delve deep into dark secretes, crime syndicates, forbidden worlds, sacrifice, and the human psyche.

Featuring stories by:

Mike Chinakos  •  Amber Michelle Cook  •  Pamela Cowan  •  Jake Elliot  •  
Jonathan Ems  •  T.L. Kleinberg  •  Jason LaPier  •  Maggie Lynch  •  
Roslyn McFarland  •  Cody Newton  •  Dey Rivers  •  Steven L. Shrewsbury  •  
Dale Ivan Smith  •  Laurel Standley  •  Jennifer Willis 

The Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA) 
supports indie and hybrid authors and promotes professional standards 
in independent writing, publishing, and marketing. 
Learn more at

Below is a guest post by fellow Indie Writer/NIWA member Amber Cook. Amber has a story in the upcoming 2014 NIWA anthology, set to release    . The theme this year is Underground and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy. I read through Amber's story, "When Drake Met Thalise" first, and I really enjoyed it. I recommend grabbing a copy of the anthology by following one of the links here:




OR by attending the launch party at Orycon, November 7-9, 2014. That's right folks it starts today! The release party will be Saturday night and you don't need a con badge to enter, but you do need to be over 21 and have ID.


You could say we either love it or we hate it.  And that's often true.

But it's much too complicated a relationship for such a simple dichotomy.  Almost all of us loved fantasy as children.  It's after childhood that we often come to fall into one of the love-hate camps.  

You might have given it up as an adult, or you may have turned against it even as an older young person.  Or you might never give up your love of fantasy.  You might read SF or game or make your living as a film maker or screenwriter.  But eventually it swings around, and even the biggest fantasy haters come to appreciate it again—for their children or grandchildren.  

The odd thing isn't that some people give it up in adulthood, it's how much they come to hate it.  They become fantasy haters.  

But I say those people still subject themselves to as much fantasy as someone who reads fantasy novels.  They are addicted to romantic comedies (pure fantasy), or to pornography (total fantasy), or any number of other socially accepted pass-times that are clearly desperate wish-fulfillment fantasy playing out underneath a false veneer of reality.  And personally, I think that kind of fantasy is actually harmful, or at least dubiously helpful, as it tries so hard to pretend to be reality that people get confused and disillusioned and become deeply dissatisfied because their life doesn't look like the lives in those fictitious fantasies.  No one carries shame because they aren't as bad-assed as Conan the Barbarian, but how many people are emotionally crippled because they don't look like models?

For several years I tried to capture an idea for a short story based on this dynamic of love/hate, in notes and outlines.  Every time I'd work on it, I would come up with ideas for how to turn it into a story, but they never felt right.  That's because the concept behind it is so personal to me.  I want to champion healthy, uplifting, refreshing, empowering and entertaining use of the imagination for people of all ages.

So it sat and languished, a spark of potential always flaring but never catching fire [tiny violins play a wailing pity concerto for me.  Grin].  

A couple years ago there was a writing contest I really wanted to submit to, so I sat down and—finally—was able to write the story.  Partly I think because the contest was max. 2,500 words.  I'd never written anything that short before, fiction that is.  And in some ways it was easier to try and get it out in so few words than when I was imagining a much longer short story, or a screenplay.  There is always power is trimming something down to its bare essentials to really get at the heart, or the meat, as they say, of the matter.  I thought:  2,500 words is five 500 word sections.  With only five short sections to convey the whole story in, I realized I could move the narrative forward in time, rather than explore the characters in more depth at one point in time, and the whole thing worked much better.  I started with the characters as children, advanced to high school, then on to when they are post-college age young adults, and at the twenty year high school reunion time, and ended twenty years after that.  That way the story came full-circle as those then-children, who had all loved fantasy in their play, were now past all the hate and just wanted to see their grandkids having fun. 

I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on and experience with their love-hate relationship with fantasy.  

Blog URL:

No comments: