When the topic first came up, there was all kinds of conversation about what topics we should cover, what guidelines would be. The Ebola virus had just been found in Texas, on a man who had recently traveled to Africa. He then died of it. The whole nation was in a panic. They even quarantined the nurse who could have been a carrier as well. It was well-managed at some levels, but still, we all waited to see if Ebola was going to burn out of Texas and terrorize us all.
A virus was a very good place to start an anthology. A terrible, weaponized illness that couldn't be fought with guns or walls.
Then we started thinking about characters. There was even a thread where people could announce what their submission would cover as a main character, since we didn't want the perspective of 5 Emergency doctors, 3 bus drivers etc. So, there I was, looking at this list of characters people had written. And all the logical ones, the really cool ones, were taken in someone's story line. I was left with the description given in one of the CDC chapters which was shared with the group. The reporter was interviewing a CDC doctor who said something to the effect of "This disease came out of Africa. It never hit Ghana, of course, but it ravaged parts of Africa a few months ago. It was fought and contained. So that isn't a concern."
And so of course I thought, "Oh yeah. I need to write the start of the virus, in the farthest places of the world, in the dark of technology, where no one looks too much, and no one cares about massacres and kidnappings. That is where my submission came from. And Dede, my main character is a girl of tremendous power and self worth. A brilliant mind tragically not valued because of its vessel. The Gift is the prologue of the Prep For Doom Anthology. I hope you love Dede, as much as I do.