On March 15th – the Running Wild Anthology of Stories Volume 2 officially launched! I got a chance to interview the Editor of the book, Lisa Diane Kastner.
With the launch of Running Wild Press Anthology of Stories Volume 2 – what kind of stories can a reader find in this volume?
Readers will find a wonderful eclectic range of stories from dystopias to literary fiction to mysteries with a romantic edge to a wild space ride with two female pilots. With over twenty stories to choose from, readers have lots of options and lots of great reading.
Let’s go back a bit – what started you on the path to writing?
I wrote quite a bit when I was a kid. When I was readying for college, my father asked that I pursue a worthwhile degree, i.e.: one that paid well. So, creative writing from the East Coast was out of the picture. I didn’t pick up creative writing again until the evening of my MFA final presentation. I went home and wrote a short story. Later, I submitted it to the Philadelphia Writers Conference and received positive feedback. The world will never be the same again.
When did you decide to start Running Wild Press – what drove you to seek out stories that were different from other short story anthologies?
I ran a writers community and I’ve been blessed to read many fresh stories. Oftentimes I’d read these amazing stories and tell the authors that they should send it out. I felt that these were best seller material. I’d check in later to find out that they couldn’t find homes. The feedback the authors received was that agents weren’t sure where to place them or the publisher wasn’t sure where it would fit in a bookshelf. That’s when I decided to start Running Wild. We publish stories that don’t fit neatly in a box.
If you could give a quick log line for this volume of Running Wild Press Anthology of Stories – what would it be?
We’ll make your spirits soar, your heart race, and your imagination run wild.
What has been one of the most rewarding experiences of your writing/editing career? One of the biggest challenges?
Most rewarding experience – I had the blessing to be a part of an upstart online journal called The Picolata Review and was on the editorial panel that selected a short story to be published by Jamie Ford. That teeny story became The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a worldwide sensation. He was incredibly kind and mentions myself and Mark Pettus in the acknowledgements section of the novel.
My most challenging experience – I don’t really have many of those. One of my most disappointing was that I accepted a piece by an author and we made it clear that we want to collaborate with the person on the piece. The writer decided to completely revise it even after agreeing to work with us on the revision. So while the author was revising the piece, so were we. Needless to say the individual received our feedback and was rather surprised and also indignant. It became clear that the individual didn’t want to collaborate or work with an editor but rather wanted to dictate exactly how the story needed to be. I recommended that the individual self publish.
Personally – what is your own writing like?
Snarky commentary on pop culture.
What are you reading right now?
Lots and lots of novellas. Also a submission from a producer out of LA. We may be publishing his music industry version of On Writing by Stephen King. Also Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Million Dollar Women: The Essential Guide for Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Go Big by Julia Pimsleur. We are interested in finding angel investors to help us grow.
What is your editing process like?
First we read each submission. I look for stories with good bones. Strong storyline, great voice, interesting narrative. I view the role of the editor to be a tree pruner. I am not there to completely change a story but rather to prune it, water it, and help it flourish to what it can become. If based on the version we receive, we feel as though it isn’t at a pruning stage but rather needs significant rework, then we’ll turn it down and provide feedback. If we do feel it simply requires pruning, then we’ll accept the piece and ask if the author is willing to collaborate with the editor. Once we receive that acceptance then the editor (in this case me), I’ll perform both a concept and a line edit. When I’m done, I’ll send the edits to the author and let him/her know that the edits are recommended and I’m happy to talk through them. I then give a timeframe for the author to come back with responses and we take it from there.
What has been most successful for you in marketing Running Wild Press? Are you doing anything different for 2018 that you haven’t done before?
In 2018 we are going to national conferences like the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) (just finished that one) and Book Expo. The intent is more so to get the word out about our press and build a following.
What is next for Running Wild Press and you as an author. What is the best way for people to connect with you?
Running Wild Press is preparing our second novella anthology. If folks want to get in touch with us then they can reach us at http://www.runningwildpress.com or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/runningwildpress or on Twitter at @RunWildBooks
Thank you for having me on your blog. Truly a pleasure.
Lisa Diane Kastner is the Founder and Executive Editor of Running Wild Press, which publishes ]stories that don’t fit neatly into a box. She has nearly two decades experience in creative writing and publishing as an editor and a writer. She’s lead start ups, non-profits, writers communities and publications. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University and an MBA in Business from Pennsylvania State University. Originally from New Jersey, she lives in Los Angeles.