Our Latest Addition: Latchkeys

Crazy 8 Press is pleased to announce that starting January 15, we will be publishing novellas set in a brand new world created by a collection of writers, masterminded by author Steven Savile but including C8 co-founders Aaron Rosenberg and Robert Greenberger. To introduce you to this new concept, here are some comments from Savile:

Putting the Key in the Door

By Steven Savile

I can remember the day I came up with the concept of the House of Doors, which eventually became Tanglewood, the house that Matt Fisher stumbles into, with its miraculous living wood doors that open to neverwhere and neverwhen, everywhere and everywhen. I was teaching, so it’s at least a decade a go. I frantically scrawled notes in an old journal, filling it with ideal concepts like ‘the war between the dayside and nightside’ and a stage magician who was something like the Doctor (Dr. Who), a stone-headed troll and a stick-insect of a man who ran the house. Very few of those initial concepts survived into the series, Latchkeys, and yet they provide the underpinning for everything.

I actually wrote an entire novel in the house, had it test read in a couple of schools in the States, where the kids in question said it was their favourite thing since Lemony Snickett, which was pretty damn cool, but I couldn’t get any interest in it. This was pre-mad explosion of the Kindle and the ability to directly deliver your stories to a waiting audience… I ended up putting it aside midway through book two, I mean what was the point of doing more, when I couldn’t sell the first one? I left it to fester.

Then about two years ago, I threw a random comment out on a media tie-in writer’s mailing list about how with the immense pool of talent we had at our disposal it was ridiculous we weren’t trying to build our own worlds instead of just playing in those of famous tv shows and roleplaying games, etc. A bunch of folk got very excited and we formed our own little collective. We needed something to work on, so I said, “Hey, I’ve got this thing I sorta started but never developed properly… does it set your hearts on fire?” And we started bashing ideas about – the first and most important was in terms of structure – we wanted to create a series of stories in the same manner we’d develop a television series, so we looked at doing story arcs and mini-arcs spanning a first season of 13 episodes ending with one amazing finale, we’d have two-parters, comic relief episodes, episodes that were psychological, almost horrific, or fantastic. And then we looked for the right kind of team, really, properly world building. It was an amazingly collaborative experience in those opening months, with a coming together of 13 very creative minds… and what we got at the end was a story bible for Latchkeys

Then it was all about how did we want to deliver the story? My initial idea was actually as an audio, doing 30 minute episodes like the old radio plays that could come out monthly and run a run per season… and we’ve actually got some wonderful audio audition stuff hidden in the locker at the secret HQ of the Hivemind…

Speaking of the Hivemind, I should probably take this opportunity to introduce you to the wonderful chaps and chapesses who’ve helped make Latchkeys the thing of beauty it is. First, before I talk about the writers involved, I’d love to draw special attention to Vance Kelly’s absolutely beautiful realization of the cover art. Vance and I go way back. Actually my first professional fiction sale, Bury My Heart at the Garrick, won the Writers of the Future award. They way that works is during the same 12 month period a number of illustrators win the art equivalent, the Illustrators of the Future award, and they’re each given a winning story to illustrate in the final anthology. It’s a fantastic experience, and the fact that almost a decade on Vance and I are still friends is a testimony to the ‘hidden’ benefit of the contest – you make lasting friendships with talented people. I love that of all the artists I’ve worked with over the last decade it’s Vance that’s in this with us.

Now to the US… as I said, a bunch of very brave (or very foolish) people came on board – some long time friends like Aaron Rosenberg (who apart from being a fellow Warhammerite, has recently been half of ‘Cris Ramsey, writing the Eureka novels in which yours truly makes a slightly villainous appearance, too), Paul Kupperberg, Robert Greenberger, Brandie Tarvin, Debbie Viguie (half of the Wicked novel team that keeps conquering the NYT lists), James Reasoner (who is pretty much king of the high plains cowboy stuff if you ask me), Kris Katzen, fellow Brit Jane Killick, the incredibly prolific Matt Forbeck (who you might have seen has embarked upon the insane 12 novels in 12 months quest!), Ben Rome, and David Spencer, who aside from being an absolute treasure trove of history for the genre and stories, wrote for Alien Nation, if you remember that buddy show/movie?

So that’s the team.

It wasn’t until e-books and the Kindle really started to take off that it became obvious how we should do this. And now, after a lot of thinking and planning we’re ready to unleash our first part on the world, Unlatched, the story of Matt Fisher finding his way into Tanglewood and discovering that he’s been chosen to become one of the guardians of time itself… The plan is to release 13 episodes in Season One every six weeks, beginning January 15, 2012 before we move on to Season Two, on a regular schedule.

All you’ve got to do is put the key in the door…

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