He's back! We put our five questions to Threesome editor Matthew Bright. Again.
Would you like to introduce yourself as an editor (or writer, or any other hats you also wear…) A couple of weeks ago I answered this question about The Myriad Carnival, which was my first foray into editing an anthology. In the chronology of things, I actually started work on Threesome first, so technically I might argue this is my debut anthology. Anyhow: after the release of these two, I'm working on several other anthologies this year, both spec fic and erotica. Plus I consider myself a writer first and foremost, so my short fiction can be found in various places. And because all of that isn't enough, I pay the bills by day as a book cover designer.
Summarise your latest book from Lethe in five words! Three cocks > two cocks.
Was there a specific kind of story – a feel, a style, a character, etc. – that you were looking for when choosing stories? Quite the opposite in fact -- I deliberately wanted Threesome to be quite eclectic. This is definitely an erotic anthology, but the content is more wide-ranging than that. It's split into three sections: the first section are character-driven stories about the thrills, spills, complications and implications of threesomes; the second section is hot and heavy and, basically, filth; the third section mixes all of that up and throws in fantasy and spec fic and general weirdnesses. It was part of my mission when I started the project to produce something like that; if I was going to produce an erotica collection, I wanted it to be the kind that I wanted to read, and so my editorial eye was on the lookout for stories that were so much more than who-put-what-where-how-often-and-how-hard, and I think my writers delivered.
Is there an elusive story somewhere that you’d love to find but never quite have? (In other words, what’s the perfect recipe to get into the next anthology…) There was one specific type of story that I wanted to include in Threesome that turned out to be astonishingly hard to come by: I really wanted a story about a three-way relationship. Now, don't get me wrong, I had lots of submissions on the subject, but there was a worryingly negative vibe to a vast majority of them. Lots of stories in which one half of a couple pushes the other into accepting a third into their relationship; lots of stories in which a three-way relationship was a prelude to cheating. I really didn't want that -- I wanted a story that was openly, positively and realistically about the dynamics of a three-way relationship. I had one promised to me, but in the end that writer had to drop out of the story. I commissioned an afterword to the book, by the excellent Redfern Jon Barrett, to write about his own experiences. And then, with a gap still to fill, I turned my hand to write a story to fill the specific gap I wanted. As a rule though, that's always what I look for when I have a theme: the story that is not the obvious choice. I'm not alone in that -- it's what all editors love, actually.
In your reading, did you come across any new names (whether they are included in the anthology or not) that are ones to watch for the future? A tricky question because I love all the stories and all the authors that are in the pages. For various reasons though, I'll tip the nod to a few of them. There are two authors in there, Lawrence Jackson and Chris Colby, whose writing I love in other forms (and under other names!), so it was great fun to see them turn their hand to the smuttier end of the spectrum. I was very happy to have Jeff Mann, Even Brett and 'Nathan Burgoine stories in there, as they're writers whose work I adore, and also delighted to have stories from N.S. Beranek and Jerry Wheeler, who I had encountered as editors but not as writers. And a great big nod should go to Robert Russin and his (retitled-multiple-times!) story Sea Glass--if I'm correct, it's Robert's first published piece, and it's a weird little gem of a thing that's either going to turn you on, or freak you the hell out.
Threesome: Him, Him and Meis out now from Lethe Press.Check it out.