The Inn Situ concept is the result of grafting a few branches of ideas onto a trunk to see if any of them would bear fruit. When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of Robert Asprin’s Thieves’ World anthologies. I enjoyed the presentation of characters and events from varying perspectives, and the overlap in the stories as told by diverse authors.
Fast forward 40 years. I participate in a couple of writing forums and online writing sites. As with most (or at least many) of the writer’s forums I’ve seen, somewhere along the line, somebody suggested doing an online multi-author story. Kind of an online version of the old game of “telephone” where someone whispers something to the person next to them, and the second person to the third, etc., until the end of the line is reached. The amount of distortion, even on simple sentences is amazing and usually great for a good laugh.
“Let’s all of us write a story!” this person suggested. Eight or nine of us all participated and the twists and turns—and seeming dead ends— that resulted were thoroughly enjoyable to read.
Shortly after, one of the participants suggested another type of collaborative work. We would select a single crisis (impending asteroid strike, alien invasion, a sudden loss of fresh drinking water, plus 3 or 4 more I can no longer recall) as a starting point and each of us would write our own stories centered around that particular crisis.
Enthusiasm was high. For about the first week. Then the real world got in the way and participation dropped off and the crisis idea simply died on the vine.
Meanwhile, I was researching some material for another story involving some ancient myths and legends and some rather detailed “flights of fancy” for lack of a better term when all of those ideas coagulated (coalesced is a much better word, but unfortunately the wrong one in this case) and the concept for Inn Situ and doing my own anthology surged to the forefront of my consciousness.
I pitched the idea to a few online author friends. It got good reaction but no real commitment to participate. Undaunted, I wrote a couple of pieces thinking I might be able to garner some interest. Good reviews, again no outside desire to join in. Finally, after the 4th or 5th piece I had written, an inquiry about contributing stories came from Scott, whose name you’ll see on a couple of the later (and centrally integral) stories of the collection. Since then, there have been 3 others asking to contribute stories.
We shall have to see where those pieces will fit in. There are roughly 17 stories in Volume I – currently getting an edit to smooth out timelines, time frames and other areas of inconsistency. Thanks for stopping by the Inn Situ