Here in the States, we just celebrated our Memorial Day holiday weekend, which is the official kickoff to summer (despite parts of New England getting snow!). I live at the beach, so I missed the snow. I even avoided the beach because it was so crowded with visitors. But I did kick off my summer by attending a concert at our local amphitheater.
The concert featured Steve Martin, the Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie Brickell. Most of you will recognize Steve Martin’s name–he’s a huge name in comedy and film. But he’s also a heckuva banjo player and a composer. The Steep Canyon Rangers are a Grammy-winning bluegrass string quintet, and these guys totally rocked the house. Edie Brickell is the former vocalist for the New Bohemians, and a terrific lyricist. If you want some fun, check out her Song of the Day blog (it really is a new song each day!).
Here’s one of the tunes they played, Jubilation Day. (Official music video embedded via YouTube.)
The whole evening was filled with feel-good music. But what surprised me was the creative collaboration between three artists who each already had a name, already had a brand and style of music. I attended the concert wondering why artists would collaborate and risk watering down who they are.
Listening to the music, Martin’s comedy patter, Brickell’s explanation of the lyrics she’d written when she introduced songs, the answer to my question struck me. The artists had collaborated because together they could create something even bigger than they could do individually. No single person had to carry the load of the entire concert. These people were having a blast and the audience got top-notch entertainment for a bargain price.
I see collaborations happening more and more in books. Publishers have always used anthologies as a way to package a top-selling author with newer authors and introduce readers to potential new favorites. I discovered Jill Barnett’s Daniel and the Angel in a holiday anthology years ago (recently re-released in digital).
And I loved reading the Entangled anthology, which features so many of my fellow Muses (Edie Ramer, Lori Brighton, Misty Evans, Liz Kreger, Michelle Diener, Cynthia Eden, Dale Mayer), along with other terrific authors. A new anthology, Mirth, Murder & Mystery, features 6 full-length books plus 1 novella.
And if you like collections by a single author, and maybe some reading on the sexier side, check out The Plume Series by Ella Ardent. You can pick up 9 novellas in three collections, and all the stories are linked!
I love the collaborations by multiple authors. It’s a convenient way for me to add to my digital library (and, thankfully, a huge anthology doesn’t way a ton in digital format!).
So, here’s my question to you: Do you like to read collections and anthologies? Have you ever discovered a new author that way? Share about the anthologies you’ve loved!