Some may see this review as a little self-serving, seeing as how I created the theme, crafted the call for submissions, reached out to several authors to gauge interest, then collected, edited, and organized all the stories before formatting them all for the printer. Those people may be right. However, the point of this review is serving the same mission as the point of this collection, which is to benefit the authors and readers alike.
One of the biggest challenges for any independent author is getting readers. The cost of marketing your books without the resources of an established publishing company is prohibitive for most authors who are trying to break out. People who aren’t familiar with the subject matter and writing style aren’t typically willing to risk the money for a book from somebody they aren’t familiar with.
That’s where Circle City Publishing and the Fun Size Anthology comes in. By featuring a wide array of authors from all genres (minus romance), the idea is simple: the more readers this collection can appeal to, the more beneficial for everyone. The concept of this collection is to offer a sampling of stories from existing novels and series, so readers can learn about the writing styles and universes that the authors have created.
Now that we have the backstory out of the way, let’s take a look at the actual book. It contains a vast collection of short stories covering numerous genres from YA, fantasy, action/adventure, mystery, thriller/suspense, and even some science fiction! Subject matters include outlaw bikers, dragons, vampires, sorcerers, mysterious murderers, angels & demons, and FBI agents. The contributors consist of as-yet-unpublished writers, to break-out authors, to established, known, and respected scribes. Stories include offerings from Patrick J. O’Brian‘s West Baden Murders Series, Cait Marie‘s Nirhyst Series, Charles Kelley’s Kings of Chaos Motorcycle Club Series, Christian Scully‘s Chronicles of Erika Lorenz Series, George Kramer‘s Arcadis Series, Adam K. Moore‘s Compendium Twenty-Three Series, Jason Cobalt’s upcoming Superion superhero series, Katheryn Schwarz’s Dragon Ascent Series, and Ben Oneal‘s Benjamin Kroh Series.
Each story is wonderfully crafted, offering previously unknown backstory for established series, or first-time glimpses into upcoming novels. The stories offer additional information on side-characters who may not get enough of the spotlight in their other bookish appearances, and dig deeper into some of the relationships that spawn incredible conflict. Some stories pick up where the previous book left off, continuing the saga and building a bridge to the next installment, while other stories are seemingly unrelated until getting tied into the source material at the end. I don’t want to get into spoiler territory, so I’ll just leave it here with a recommendation to go ahead and check out this masterful collection.
Ultimately, this anthology serves as a first attempt by myself to create an intriguing offering from Circle City Publishing. I think the project turned out better than expected, and I’m proud of the finished product. Overall, with the variety of stories included, I give this collection a rock solid 4.5 miniature candies out of 5.