2017 was, in some ways, a transitional year for the Taipei Writers’ Group.
We had a great time at the 2017 Taipei International Book Expo (TIBE), sold plenty of books, made contacts and plenty of new friends, and did well enough so we’ll be back again in 2018 (February 6-11, more details to follow).
However, we’ve lost a few long-standing members who have moved on or returned home, including founding member Patrick Wayland and anthology doyenne L.L.Phelps. We’ve also been a bit homeless, bouncing around several different locations for our regular critique meetings.
We’ve now found a more reliable regular place, and new writers have continued to join us and contribute their talents. Some of these are featured in our newest anthology – and the reason for this entry – Taiwan Tales Volume Two!
Before I talk about the stories, I’ll mention a bit about the process of this book. We’d gone back and forth with different ideas for a fifth short story collection, considering fantasy, mystery, and even (mostly jokingly) erotica. However, we’d seen at TIBE that the original Taiwan Tales was, despite being on the market for a couple of years, our bestseller. Night Market was pretty close behind. A lot of the buyers were curious to read about Taiwan from an expat’s perspective. That, in the end, pushed us in the direction of working on a sequel of sorts, a multi-genre collection of stories about Taiwan.
We have seven stories:
“Room 602” by Pat Woods, a Taiwanese ghost story inspired by an unusual local superstition about knocking on hotel doors.
“Notes from Underfoot” by Mark Will, a humorous and erudite story that gives a dog’s-eye-view of life in Taipei.
“The Taipei Underground” by Ray Hecht, a glimpse of the lives of two young people in Taipei Main Station’s cavernous underground.
“Bob the Unfriendly Ghost vs. The Mother Planet” by Laurel Bucholz, dealing a sometimes funny, sometimes terrifying experience of local spirits and Ayahuasca.
“Underworld” by J.J Goodwin, an epic odyssey through a strange world beneath Taipei where local and foreign mythology is alive and kicking.
“A Completely Normal Male Expat” by Connor Bixby, which, in the author’s own brand of neurotic fiction, checks out communication and the dating game in Taipei.
“Onus” by Ellyna Ford Phelps, a story of friendship, dark pasts, and goodbyes as two expats share an all-too-brief connection.
The collection was edited by Pat Woods and L.L. Phelps, and the gorgeous cover image was provided by TWG member Brian Q. Webb.
You can get our book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Taiwan-Tales-Anthology-Connor-Bixby-ebook/dp/B078XPDQDM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515985667&sr=8-1&keywords=taiwan+tales+volume+2
We’ll also be selling it, along with all our other books, at TIBE 2018, and at a special dual book launch later in February – stay tuned for more information on both of these, as well as TWG’s other new project.