Norilana Books (in 2006) asked me if I'd ever considered editing. Like many other writers, I often wondered what it was like "on the other side of the desk," both in terms of the choice of stories and their evolution into final form. I have had the honor to work with many fine editors; I knew just how helpful a sympathetic and insightful editor can be in bringing out the best in a story. In other words, an editor is -- or can be, if allowed to edit and not simply push numbers around for a multinational conglomerate ‑‑ a story midwife. I also have strong ideas of what works for me in a story, what touches my heart and stirs my spirit. I want to read stories that expand my horizons, that enrich my experience of being human, that evoke a larger sense of community. Vera suggested several themes, including one she coined ("lace and blade," a type of romantic, elegant, swashbuckling sword and sorcery -- think Zorro with magic). She'd also begun working with Tanith Lee to bring out her backlist, and Tanith had agreed to send a story for the anthology
How could I let such an opportunity pass?
Norilana published 2 volumes of Lace and Blade, which not only received wonderful reviews but individual stories made the Nebula Final Ballot and inclusion in "Year's Best" anthologies. The third volume got re-titled something else. After many years and a series of complicated changes, the series found a new home with the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Trust (which had also inherited publication of the Sword and Sorceress series that Norilana had taken over after DAW decided not to continue it after Marion's death -- see what I mean about complicated changes!) Now we're back in action, with an amazing, breath-taking lineup.
Here's what you can look forward to:
“At the Sign of the Crow and Quill,” by Marie Brennan
“On the Peacock Path,” by Judith Tarr
“Sunset Games,” by Robin Wayne Bailey
“Sorcery of the Heart,” by Lawrence Watt-Evans
“The Butcher’s Boy and the Piri Folk,” by Pat MacEwen
“Gifts Tell Truth,” by Heather Rose Jones
“A Sword for Liberty,” by Diana L. Paxson
“Hearts of Broken Glass,” by Rosemary Edghill
“The Game of Lions,” by Marella Sands
“The Sharpest Cut,” by Doranna Durgin
“Pawn’s Queen,” by India Edghill
“The Heart’s Coda,” by Carol Berg
“The Wind’s Kiss,” by Dave Smeds
The anthology will be released Valentine's Day (of course!) 2018.