Every Tuesday, get to know a bit about the stories behind the books you love, and discover your next favourite novel.
Sabitha: Emma Berglund is here! She was an editor on the Into the Unknown science fiction anthology, a set of short stories which (spoiler alert!) we absolutely loved. She also wrote a story in the anthology, “Birds of Fortune.” Emma, can tell us us a bit about the book?
Emma: Into the Unknown is a science fiction anthology, with eleven new stories covering everything from the aftermath of an excursion to the dark side of the moon, to outer space, to the recesses of a closet, to a mysterious island and to alien worlds. It’s like a well sorted bag of candy; it has something for everyone. The anthology is edited by me, Rohan O’Duill, and Jason Clor.
Sabitha: We know Rohan—close readers will recognize him as the chef behind the Night Beats Feature Fiction to Sink Your Teeth Into. What inspired you and the rest of your team to write this book?
Emma: It all started when Rohan first got the idea of us putting together an anthology in the science fiction writing group that we all are a part of, and both Jason and I weren’t hard to persuade. And luckily, the crew thought it was a fun idea, too! When we had decided on a theme—which also ended up as the title—I settled for an adventurous steampunk story with a touch of romance. And so “Birds of Fortune” came to be. I was going for a matinee feel, with a fast-paced story line and problems to solve along the way. The flirty part happened by itself, I’d say.
Sabitha: Was there any music that inspired you while you were writing?
Emma: I like to have music that matches the mood in the story or a beat that keeps me going. Mostly the latter, or I fall asleep, as I usually write late evenings. I like alternative/indie rock/pop, so bands like Smash Into Pieces, Daughtry, ViVii, and artists like Zayde Wølf, AURORA, Alba August are on repeat, just to mention a few. But honestly, I’m an omnivore when it comes to most things, so don’t be surprised if you find K-pop or classical music on my playlists as well.
Sabitha: What do you most want your readers to take away from reading your book?
Emma: I’d like the readers of the anthology to have an open mind when they read our stories. We are all different and like different things, and that’s how it should be. At the same time, it’s great to read something you wouldn’t have picked up in the first place, and find out that you really enjoy it. Or not. But you tried.
Hopefully the reader finds a new subgenre in science fiction to explore. The anthology is a smorgasbord; pick what you want or eat it all.
Sabitha: Thanks for sharing your stories. We’re looking forward to reading! Where can the Night Beats community find you and your book?
Emma: You can find the book here, or read it on Kindle Unlimited; all proceeds from the sale of this anthology go to The World Literacy Foundation. Our press has a website and a Twitter. If you want to get in touch with me, you can contact me on Twitter.