Anyone who has been paying attention will know that I have rather a soft spot for alternative and crowd-based forms of art. I love the ideas behind crowd-funding, crowd-sourcing, creative commons, and so forth. I love the community – the fact that it means you can reach your readers/fans directly, the fact that it makes it possible to do things that would be impossible in the more traditional avenues.

Which is why when I became aware of Patreon, I had to find a way to experiment with it, see if I could make it work for the thing I love to do, which is compile and edit amazing writing and art from relatively unknown writers and artists. So I created Latchkey Tales, a journal coming out every two months containing stories and poetry and cover art by some amazingly talented people. 

I had no idea what a labour of love Latchkey Tales would become. I am constantly awed by the work produced by my writers and artists, and the fact that they are willing to come on board with this project for minimal payments, and share their incredible creations with us. It is truly humbling.

It has stayed relatively small. The subscribers have slowly gone up with each edition, and it does keep climbing gradually, but it is still a relatively small project. A few weeks back I launched the Indiegogo for the Omnibus edition for 2014, and then life kind of exploded and I didn’t do the promos I had wanted, and so it is languishing somewhat, and that saddens me.

I am very proud of this book – it represents the best of my little writer and artist community – the stories and poetry are amazing, and the artwork that these artists produce for me month after month is really astonishing. Hopefully I can manage to breath some life into it over the next three weeks, so we can hit our goals and I can pay these amazing generous people what they deserve for their really great work. If you’ve been considering reading Latchkey, this would be an excellent in. There are very basic rewards, and also some bigger ones, if you’re feeling completionist.

Latchkey really has been my urchin child – it shouldn’t work, and yet it does, because iof my amazing community, because of the people who keep subscribing month after month, and because of the writers and artists who keep producing amazing work and who have continued to believe in this little experimental project of mine.

Come join us. It’s something special. 🙂