Meet Deep Cuts Editor, Angel Leigh McCoy — Both of Us

I lead a double life, walking in the light and on the dark side. The light shines very brightly from my day job, where I am surrounded by the brilliant minds of the most creative game designers and artists in the games industry. We laugh all day long at ArenaNet. Work there is play; it truly is. We work hard. We play hard.

The Light Side

I’ve been writing game content for a very long time, first in the table-top RPG arena, and now in computer games. I’m a kid at heart, what can I say. And I am so grateful to be surrounded by young, lively people. It keeps me young and lively!

I’ve been at ArenaNet coming up on 5 years. That’s a damn long time, relatively speaking. My heart and soul have gone into Guild Wars 2 in that time. Late nights, early mornings, and working weekends have been the norm for the past year or more of it. I’ve traveled for work as well, going to Paris for a whirlwind Paris Games Week, where I met some of my favorite fans (Bonjour, mes amis!), and to Burbank for the voice sessions. Those recording sessions were thrilling and exhausting. (And, I got to direct Julie Nathanson, Nolan North, Fred Tatasciore, Claudia Christian, Felicia Day, and so many other great actors!) I can’t begin to describe the joy these talented people brought me when I heard them bring the words I’d written to life. For a tiny little writer like me, it was as if I’d died and gone to Heaven.

Here’s a little taste of the game (so proud!):

The Dark Side

So, yeah, I have a dark side. Anyone named “Angel” kinda has to, don’t you think? Many, many years ago, when I was 13, my father thought it would be a good idea to take me to see “Carrie.” I have a very clear memory of the ending of that movie and my reaction to it. (Spoiler alert!) When Carrie reaches up out of her grave, well, let’s just say it scared me. I cried for ten minutes. And I loved it enough to begin a life-long affair with horror and dark fantasy.

In high school, between my beloved Barbara Cartland novels (see “Light Side,” above), I would insert horror. Books like The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz, and The Mind Spider and Other Stories by Fritz Leiber pushed barbed roots deep into my brain.

The earliest short stories I ever wrote were horror, and some even made it into the school paper. I remember one junior high endeavor in particular called “Thomas and The Big-Mouth Bass” about a boy and a talking fish. Not exactly original, but I was a kid. I’ve written many more stories since then, only a percentage of which were good enough to see publication. The more I’ve practiced, though, the more often a publisher or editor likes my stories enough to put their stamp on them. That’s the self-taught, self-motivated path of the writer.

It would be so easy to just do my day job and then go home to the kitties and call friends or watch TV, but I don’t. Instead, I write, and I have done for a couple decades now. Lately, in the past few years, I’ve been editing as well, in an effort to give back to the writing and reading populations. Deep Cuts is just one of my anthology editing projects. I’m also the head editor at WilyWriters.com, where I produce the fiction podcast and edit the Best of Wily Writers anthologies.

In the years to come, I don’t expect any of this to change. I’ll keep writing and editing until my fingers go into rigor mortis.

A Side Note: We’re getting so close on our Kickstarter that I am now confident that we’ll make it. (I wasn’t always!) So, since I have the opportunity, I’m going to take this little spot and thank everyone who pledged or tweeted or facebooked or just plain encouraged me and my co-editors on this project. We are working so hard (you have no idea!), and you’ve all responded to our passion with love, interest, and support. I am SO appreciative!


Angel Leigh McCoy is the producer and lead editor at WilyWriters.com, a professional speculative fiction e-zine.

An SFWA & HWA member, she writes horror, dark fantasy, and doompunk. Her fiction has appeared in numerous media, and in 2011, her novelette “Charlie Darwin, or the Trine of 1809″ was released by Nevermet Press. She also had stories appear in Strange Aeons, Necrotic Tissue, Beast Within 2, Fear of the Dark, and Growing Dread: Biopunk Visions, among others.

Her story “Crack O’Doom,” printed in the anthology Fear of the Dark recently earned her an honorable mention in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year, volume 4, due out in 2012.

During the day, she gets paid to be a gamer. She is a writer/game designer at ArenaNet, part of a vast team effort to make the coolest MMORPG ever: Guild Wars 2. She began her career writing for White Wolf, Wizards of the Coast, FASA, and other RPG companies. At Xbox.com, she was the correspondent Wireless Angel.

Angel lives with Boo, Simon, and Lapis Lazuli in Seattle, where the long, dark winters feed her penchant for all things spooky and cozy. Visit her websiteFacebook, or Twitter.

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