Beyond the Literal: There’s No Escape

But that’s a good thing!

What happens when you put 30 authors together in one publishing house, then give them a key?

Are you kidding me?

They find devious ways to use it, of course.

What happens when they decide to collaborate to write a story together?

Simple really.

They plan an Escapade and take over their publisher’s blog.

And that’s exactly what’s happening.

In an industry first, thirty authors signed to Escape Publishing have come together to write one contemporary romance, 200 words at a time, over thirty consecutive days from Valentine’s Day to March 15.

It’s part Pass the Parcel, part Chinese Whispers, part Build a Bear and all original.

The authors agreed the Escapade story would be based on a meet-cute, told third-person from the heroine’s point of view and would be made available free for readers episodically.

Despite the fact the authors write everything from suspense to space opera they’ve chosen to stick squarely to a contemporary love story. There’s no erotica, paranormal or historical, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be scary moments, comedy, underdressed characters or um—handcuffs.

“It’s a huge amount of fun but there’s also pressure to be true to the existing story, carry it forward so it develops and contribute something fresh,” said Alissa Callen, What Love Sounds Like.

The story was kicked off by erotica and contemporary author Rhian Cahill, Valentine’s Dates, and will roll across the desks of authors across Australia as well as in New Zealand, Fiji, the United States and the United Kingdom. All but four of the authors are RWA Australia members.

None of the authors know what’s been written prior to their own turn and they can’t alter the story that’s already been told. They can however do whatever the muse inspires with between one and 200 words when their turn comes.

The idea of a round robin story with shared authorship isn’t new, but the sheer number of authors involved, the timescale, the multiple locations, the word count and the experimental nature of the creativity is, according to Escape Publishing’s Kate Cuthbert, a first for the industry.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’m deeply, embarrassingly immersed in the romance world,” said Kate.

The idea for the story came from an online chat about the complexities of author promotion and culminated in a proposal to Escape Publishing to take over the Escapades blog for a month.

“We don’t know if it will help us sell more books but it’s a fun way of testing ourselves as writers and creating something of value to thank people who’ve already bought Escape titles,” said Lee Christine, In Safe Hands.

You can catch up on the Escapade and read daily episodes by subscribing to the Escapades blog.

The Escapade’s Escape Artists & their titles: In order of appearance on Escapades blog:

1. Rhian Cahill                        Valentine’s Dates                          Feb 14
2. Keziah Hill                          Chains of Revenge                         Feb 15
3. Caitlyn Nichols                   The Danger Game                         Feb 16
4. Lee Christine                       In Safe Hands                                Feb 17
5. Rebekah Turner                  Chaos Born                                    Feb 18
6. Alissa Callen                        What Love Sounds Like              Feb 19
7. Nicole Flockton                   Bound by Her Ring                      Feb 20
8. Jenny Schwartz                   Mistaken Engagement                Feb 21
9. Coleen Kwan                        Short Soup                                     Feb 22
10. Juliet Madison                   Fast Forward                                 Feb 23
11. SE Gilchrist                         Legend Beyond the Stars            Feb 24
12. Elizabeth Dunk                  Arranged to Love                          Feb 25
13. Nina Hamilton                   Rescue Heat                                   Feb 26
14. Lucy Forster                       Finding Elizabeth                          Feb 27
15. Juanita Kees                       Under The Hood                           Feb 28
16. Sami Lee                              A Man Like Mike                          March 1
17. Donna Maree Hanson      Rayessa & the Space Pirates       March 2
18. Jacquie Underdown         The Paler Shade ofAutumn         March 3
19. Sandra Antonelli               A Basic Renovation                      March 4
20. Lily Malone                        His Brand of Beautiful                March 5
21. Robyn Rychards                Her Man from Shilo                     March 6
22. Bridget Gray                       No Strings Attached                    March 7
23. Jane O’Reilly                      Once a Bad Girl                            March 8
24. Francis Housden               The Chieftan’s Curse                   March 9
25. Robin Thomas                   High Stakes                                   March 10
26. Vanessa Stark                    Room Service                                March 11
27. Shannon Curtis                 Enamoured                                    March 12
28. Ros Baxter Fish                Out of Water                                  March 13
29. Elise K Ackers                   Unforgettable                                March 14
30. Ainslie Paton                    Grease Monkey Jive                     March 15

0213 VDay Escape Web POST

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1 Comment

  1. Such an innovative idea, I’m excited to be a part of it! 🙂


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