Let me tell you a little story about how I acquired the book Good Southern Witches. I’m online friends with Rowan Hill, a fellow author who I had the pleasure of interviewing for my podcast about anthologies. She was doing a book giveaway for her followers on her Facebook page and I happened to win! I never win anything so you can imagine my excitement about getting my hands on a free copy of this book that featured her short story “Hazing Night.”
The book itself is a collection of short stories which makes up an anthology. It features a plethora of various authors – some more well-known and others who are just starting to take a dive into getting published. I like reading anthologies because the stories are generally about 5 to 10 pages long and usually stick to a theme.
As a witch myself, the theme of Good Southern Witches was a pretty cool concept and it had a story that took place in every state. Even mine – good ole’ Georgia. Another aspect of anthologies that I like is that I’m introduced to each author’s individual writing style. If you read their short story and like their work, there’s a blurb about them and other works they’ve published that you can find. Talk about a great way to market yourself!
Now, this anthology book isn’t for the faint of heart. There are some hard hitting themes running through these stories from domestic violence to sexual abuse, but a lot of stories tie in a unique way of coping with these traumas. One note about this book, is that I noticed a lot of the stories are geared towards women – makes sense since when people think of witches they automatically think of women. I do think it depended on their short story submissions, so they may not have received stories geared towards a lot of men. However, I do believe they made a valiant effort to be inclusive.
With this book, I didn’t read straight from front to back (which I know may drive another person insane.) What I did instead was pick different stories in the book to read based on how interesting their title was first. That’s the beauty of anthologies, though. I can read whatever story I want to because they’re all different. Kind of like what American Horror Stories is doing right now along with Two Sentence Horror Stories. If you haven’t checked out the latter, go watch it on Netflix. You won’t be disappointed.
The other thing I loved about this book was that I felt like the editor stayed true to the authors’ visions for their stories. I didn’t feel like they were placed into cookie cutter molds of what people think the general public find acceptable. The stories were raw, authentic, and in some cases, terrifying.
All in all, if you’re looking for new authors to explore, pick up an anthology – specifically this one. Happy writing!