Upcoming Project: Thank You for Ten

In the theatre world (in which I have spent a great deal of time), the stage manager has many jobs. One of them, on the nights of a performance, is to move throughout the theatre finding actors and letting them know how long they have until the show starts, usually in minutes. If ten minutes remain, they will announce to the actors that are hustling about, “Ten minutes.”

At which point, just about every actor that isn’t a total rookie, (I’m talking about 98% here) will respond to the warning by saying, “Thank you for ten.” It’s a courtesy response, but it’s also to let the stage manager know that you are duly informed of what time it is.

Like any good writer, I have commandeered the phrase for my own purposes, though it’s not as far removed from its original purpose as you might think. Today I am announcing that I will be self-publishing, Thank You For Ten: Short Fiction About a Little Theatre.

As you may have guessed by now, the “ten” in question here refers not to minutes before curtain, but to a number of stories. Thank You For Ten is to be a collection of ten of my short stories, written last year, all of which take place in the same theatre.

Which theatre? This one. They are all set in the same place my novel is set in. Since the playhouse in my novel is very much a character in its own right, reading this collection of short stories will act as a sort of introduction to the Little Dionysus Playhouse.

The stories are from different angles, points of view, of different tones and with varying themes, all tied together both by basic theme and setting. While none of the main characters from my forthcoming novel appear for any significant amount of time within the short stories, the mood and spirit of the novel, I think, is there in all ten stories. You won’t have to read the stories to understand the novel, nor read the novel to understand the stories. Rather, each work complements the other.

Having gained some confidence in the area of self-publishing through my experiences with my recent Nanowrimo novel and having some patience friends who have been through this process before, I feel ready to take on this small challenge. I hope to have it all set and ready for download, (or printing, some things have to be worked out) by summer. Until then I will keep you updated on my progress, and share thoughts about the stories in general.

Whether you have intimate knowledge of community theatre, know someone who does, or just feel moved by the plight and privilege of the creative artist, there’s something waiting for you within Thank You For Ten: Short Fiction About a Little Theatre. I look forward to sharing these with you.

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