Ragnarok Publications has a new Kickstarter for an anthology that looks to be extremely cool! Hath No Fury is a collection of 19 short stories from some of today’s leading science fiction, fantasy, and urban fantasy authors, focusing on female leads and inspired by some amazing women from history, literature, and film.
The new anthology will be edited by Melanie R. Meadors (Ragnarok Publicity and Marketing Director) and J.M. Martin (Ragnarok Owner and Creative Manager). I had the chance to speak with Melanie, who has some great things to say about the book and the Kickstarter process in general. So read more about Hath No Fury, watch its Kickstarter pitch video, and see what Melanie had to say below!
Mother. Warrior. Caregiver.
Wife. Lover. Survivor.
Trickster. Heroine. Leader.
Hath No Fury contains approximately 19 meaningful stories that defy the stereotypes. In this anthology, readers should expect to find super-smart, purpose-driven, ultra-confident heroines. Here, it’s not the hero who does all the action while the heroine smiles and bats her eyelashes; Hath No Fury’s women are champions, not princesses in distress. Embracing the strong warriors to the silent but powerful, to even the timid who muster up the bravery to face down a terrible evil, the women of Hath No Fury will make their indelible marks and leave you breathless for more.
Geeks of Doom: Melanie, thank you for taking the time to chat with us here at Geeks of Doom!
Melanie R. Meadors: Thanks for having me! This is one of my favorite geeky sites, so I’m tickled to be here.
GoD: Congratulations on the fifth Ragnarok Kickstarter! What an amazing feat to have so many successful campaigns, and Hath No Fury has already followed in the footsteps of its predecessors!
MRM: Yes! We’ve just fully funded in just over a week. I’ve been very pleased with how our anthologies have turned out so far. We put a lot of work into them, and I think people can see that. It’s very touching and really makes it all worthwhile to see how excited people are about them.
GoD: And you’re co-editing this one! How did the opportunity come about?
MRM: Yes, this is my first anthology-baby, and I’m spoiling it rotten. When Joe Martin invited me to co-edit this book with him, it was just a glimmer of an idea. We’ve worked as a team for Ragnarok Publications for a while now, and are familiar with how each other functions. So working together, we took the idea and ran with it. It’s always good to work with someone where, even though you don’t always agree, you know you can always discuss things and come to a consensus.
GoD: Aside from editorial duties, you’ve also committed to writing very short stories about historical female figures now that Hath No Fury has reached 400 backers. Very cool idea! Can you give us an idea of which amazing women you might feature?
MRM: I have a huge list of folks, ranging from Joan of Arc to Rosa Parks to Ada Lovelace to Marie Curie, Eleanor of Aquitaine, etc. I just sent a message out to backers, actually, asking them for their input, because it’s important to me to represent the people they want to hear about, and focus on what’s important to my readers. It should be a lot of fun!
GoD: Sounds fun! When I read or watch genre fiction, I find that many of the female characters are much more compelling, smarter, and stronger than their male counterparts; however, oftentimes, these characters are not as “important” or publicized as the male characters. Do you also find that this is the case, and if so, what are your hopes and goals in releasing an all-female led anthology?
MRM: I think in reaction to there being fewer female characters, people have felt the need to make the women that are in fiction larger than life, better in many ways than their male counterparts. And it really can be frustrating when these women either end up looking like bitches because they make the main male look like a fool, or their ideas are pushed aside while the male ideas are explored first””only for the characters to realize she was right all along. I call this the Cassandra syndrome, after the psychic in Trojan War whose prophesies were always right but never believed. I think that danger exists in a female-led cast, too, however. There are many stories out there where even though the woman is in the lead and she is the POV character, the other characters don’t seem to believe in her, and many don’t have close friends/allies they really are on equal footing with. This is one reason I’m so excited about the stories in Hath No Fury. The authors really went out of their way exploring new territory, having realistic female characters who real women could relate to but set in speculative worlds. Putting women in situations where they can handle themselves, and don’t have to put others down to do it. The women in this book are not always warriors, or the smartest person in the room. They simply have something to fight for, and they use the tools they have to attain their goals.
GoD: Ragnarok seems to truly understand its fan base and the popularities in genre culture at any given moment (i.e. releasing Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters and subsequently, MECH: Age of Steel after the positive global response to Pacific Rim and Godzilla). What aspects of current popular culture helped to bring Hath No Fury to the light?
MRM: So, to be honest? A lot of these things were coincidences. We have a huge passion for giant monsters and robots, that most of us have had since we were very young. If we had really chased the trend of Pacific Rim and the new Godzilla, we would have been late to the party. I think we tapped a market that was there the whole time. We were pleasantly surprised to learn how many kaiju lovers were out there, and our Kaiju Rising Facebook page gets new likes on a fairly consistent basis. One of the things that inspired Hath No Fury, in fact, was author Delilah S. Dawson saying she wished she could have been in one of the prior anthologies, but she had been too busy at the time. This of course led us to think about the difficulties in getting women to write for anthologies, and the unique challenges women face every day (including the time it takes to care for kids, family, aging parents, etc). So we created this anthology Hath No Fury in response to those thoughts, and Delilah wrote a totally awesome story for it that has robots battling mega-crocs.
GoD: Wow, I’m definitely looking forward to reading Delilah’s story! The cover art (as well as interior) for your anthologies always seem to be perfectly fitting in regards to the theme, but also extremely aesthetically pleasing. What’s the process like in choosing your artists?
MRM: Art is definitely an area where Ragnarok cuts no corners. We not only choose great artists, but we have design guru Shawn King on staff who does an absolute AMAZING job. Most of the process is simply looking for work that we like, something about the style that speaks to us and that complements the project. Then we commission the artist to make a piece for us, or in the lucky event that they have a piece that is already perfect, we buy it. And when we buy a piece, we usually buy all the rights to it so that a half dozen books down the line won’t be using the same image. I see this far too often, where three books will have all but the same cover. A book’s cover is its brand””you never want your book to be confused with someone else’s work. Art can be one of the most expensive parts of a project, but it is almost always worth it.
GoD: Will the stories in Hath No Fury feature established characters from the authors’ novels, or are these all-new creations?
MRM: Yes, a few of the stories have characters or are set in the worlds of the authors’ existing series. Bradley P. Beaulieu, Michael R. Underwood, Carol Berg, and at least a couple others wrote original stories that have their series’ characters in them. But there are also a lot of other stories here that are completely new.
GoD: What’s the process like in choosing rewards?
MRM: This was the part I found to be the most difficult, and I was so glad to have Tim Marquitz and others on board who had the experience and wisdom to help with this. It’s really hard to know what readers will want, especially since every reader is different! We tried to take a balanced approach, where we asked the authors what they thought might be cool and what they could offer, we looked at what worked for our previous Kickstarters, and we looked at aspects of this particular book that offer unique opportunities. Then we just sat down and figured out what would work. One of the more difficult things is taking postage into account for physical items, but thankfully, we’ve got the experience after so many Kickstarters to be able to figure it out fairly accurately.
GoD: Aside from supporting the Hath No Fury Kickstarter financially, how else can the GoD community help?
MRM: We love when people simply spread the word! If you are a blogger, our authors and editors are also available for interviews. And just tell your friends about the campaign. Word of mouth is definitely the best way to let people know that there is something awesome out there. You can follow us on social media and share links. We appreciate every little bit of support!
With a goal of $14,500, Hath No Fury has already been funded and still has 14 days (at the time of this posting) to go in its campaign! Not only that, but some of the stretch goals have already been met: a few short stories about actual historical women at 400 backers, and interior art for each story at $16,500. The Kickstarter also has some awesome rewards, including trade paperback or hard cover copies of Hath No Fury, other ebooks from various authors, a collectible coin, a handcrafted bracelet, and critiques of your own written work!
Melanie R. Meadors is the author of fantasy and science fiction stories where heroes don’t always carry swords and knights in shining armor often lose to nerds who study their weaknesses. She’s been known to befriend wandering garden gnomes, do battle with metal-eating squirrels, and has been called a superhero on more than one occasion. Her work has been published in several magazines, and she was a finalist in the 2014 Jim Baen Memorial Science Fiction Contest. Melanie is also the associate publisher and publicity coordinator for Ragnarok Publications and does publicity and marketing for Mechanical Muse, an independent gaming company. She blogs regularly for GeekMom and The Once and Future Podcast. Her short story “A Whole-Hearted Halfling” is in the anthology Champions of Aetaltis, available now on Amazon. She is the co-editor of Hath No Fury, an anthology celebrating women in speculative fiction, which is currently on Kickstarter. Follow Melanie on Facebook and on Twitter as @MelanieRMeadors. Her website is at melaniermeadors.com