I’m especially honoured to have author and editor, David Gullen as guest blogger today. Dave is here to talk about Mind Seed, The science fiction anthology he co-edited along with Gary Couzens. The anthology is a memorial to Denni Schnapp, a brilliant woman, gifted writer, and a lovely person. Denni was a member of the London writing group I had the privileged to be a part of for several years. After Denni’s untimely death, the group decided to honour her memory in a way I’m sure Denni would have appreciated, and David Gullen is here to talk about that very special memorial and the woman it honours. Welcome Dave.
Editing and publishing Mind Seed was a real privilege and a big learning experience. Above all we wanted to create an anthology that would be a fitting tribute to the person who inspired the project – Denni Schnapp.
Denni was a remarkable person, an adventurous and independent traveller, highly self-motivated, a very capable zoologist (Oxford & St Andrews), with a love of field work and freshwater cetaceans – all things her husband John Howroyd writes of in his Introduction.
She also struggled. Her own life wasn’t easy, more than anything she wasn’t easy with herself, always driven to travel, to move on, searching for a place where she could be at peace. I’m not sure she ever believed she would find it, but she kept on looking until the day the effort became too much. Initial treatment for her depression only increased the severity, her underlying bipolar disorder was diagnosed too late.
Writing, her journal, and her science fiction, became a significant part of the ways Denni tried to heal herself. Her journal is a tragically difficult read, in contrast her fiction exuberantly roved the universe. Many of her stories were set on other worlds with complex and beautiful biologies. Her own piece in this anthology is a prequel to such a story, a novel that John and I plan to publish one day.
All the other authors who contributed to Mind Seed knew Denni in some way, some are members of the same writing group she belonged to. The writing is top quality. We have full-time professionals, award winners, and award-nominated authors. One person is published here for their first time, and theirs is without doubt the best debut story I can remember reading. Many of the stories are originals, written especially for this anthology, and themed on the subjects Denni was fascinated by in her own writing – travel and journey, interaction and transformation, strong characters and their weaknesses. Everyone gave their work for free.
It was inconceivable that we’d do anything other than give all money raised to charity. The one that meant most to Denni was Next Generation Nepal, an anti-child-trafficking charity, and so this is the one we chose.
Buy Mind Seed Here:
Mind Seed is available as a paperback and an e-book, from Lulu, and from Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats, and elsewhere. However, Lulu is where we raise most money per unit sale for our charity.
David Gullen was born in South Africa. Three years later his parents returned to England, and he was baptised by King Neptune when they crossed the equator. As a result his first girlfriend was a mermaid. Since then he has studied biology, worked as a van driver, dish-washer, armourer, leatherworker, and IT geek; and become the father of three children.
His novel, Shopocalypse, a near-future story of fast cars, consumerism and nuclear war, is available from Clarion Publishing. His short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, one of which was shortlisted for the James White Award, while another was an Aeon Award winner. His collection, Open Waters (theEXAGGERATEDpress), appeared in early 2014. He recently co-edited, designed and published, Mind Seed, an anthology of science fiction stories. He is represented by the John Jarrold Agency.
David lives in Surrey, England, with the fantasy writer Gaie Sebold, and too many tree ferns.
Find David Here: