When editing the stories for Rough Magick, what did you look for?
The most important thing to me was the potential of a story. If it had a strong hook, even if that hook was buried or needed some more finessing to make the story really come alive, the author had me. I wanted stories that felt alive and brought the reader into the story’s universe. It was especially important that each story could not only stand on its own but connect, in some way, to the other stories in the anthology. My goal was to keep the reader invested in these stories individually but also in the anthology as a whole, and I think that we really accomplished that.
What tips do you have for writers about how to create a powerful short story?
When I write a story, it’s usually because I have something on my mind that won’t go away. A feeling, or a particular image, a snippet of a dream. I’m a worrier, a ruminator, and I will replay that little bit of information in my head over and over again. Writing gives me the space to explore these feelings and ideas. I’d tell writers to begin there, with that passion. The power of that feeling will carry throughout your story, even if it’s not immediately clear in the first draft. Also, with short stories, there is a particular urgency that needs to be addressed. You have very little time to grab the reader and get them acclimated to the world you are creating, so it’s important to do that right away.