Monthly Archives: December 2018

End of Year Fiction: Submission Roundup for December 2018

Welcome back! 2018 is almost in the rearview mirror, but we’ve still got one final Submission Roundup for the year! Lots of very cool calls, so if you’ve got a story looking for a home, then consider sending it the way of one of these markets.

A quick reminder first: As always, I’m not a representative for any of these markets, so if you have any questions, please send them to the respective editors!

And now onward with this month’s Submission Roundup!

Submission Roundup

Curse the Darkness
Payment: $75/flat (GBD)
Length: 3,000 to 10,000 words
Deadline: December 31st, 2019
What They Want: Open to short fiction that explores the theme of darkness.
Find the details here.

Vex Me No More
Payment: .02/word for original fiction; $25/flat for reprints
Length:  up to 5,000 words
Deadline: December 31st, 2019
What They Want: The editor is seeking horror fiction about witches.
Find the details here.

Year’s Best Hardcore Horror
Payment: .01/word ($60/max)
Length: up to 6,000 words
Deadline: December 31st, 2019
What They Want: Reprints of stories with hardcore or extreme horror that were published in 2018.
Find the details here.

Allegory
Payment: $15/flat
Length: No exact word count, but between 500 to 5,000 words preferred
Deadline: December 31st, 2019
What They Want: Open to science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories as well as quirky fiction.
Find the details here.

Shock Totem
Payment: .05/word for original fiction; .03/word for reprints
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Deadline: May 31st, 2019
What They Want: Open to horror and dark fantasy short fiction.
Find the details here.

Happy submitting!

Cosmic Monsters: Interview with Victoria Dalpe

Today, I’m thrilled to feature author Victoria Dalpe. Victoria is the author of the novel, Parasite Life, as well as numerous short stories. I was fortunate enough to meet Victoria at Readercon this past summer, and she’s as fabulous a writer as she is in person.

Recently, she and I discussed her inspiration as an author, her hometown of Providence, as well as her future plans.

A couple icebreakers to start: when did you first decide to become a writer, and who are some of your favorite authors?

Victoria DalpeI’ve been writing and telling myself stories for as long as I’ve been around frankly. As a total bookworm, I’ve just always loved the storytelling either as the reader or the writer. I didn’t start seriously writing, with the intent of it being read and/or published until I moved back to Rhode Island from NYC. I was doing a career change, as I’d gone to art school and majored in painting and film studies, then I’d worked in NYC museums. I wanted to be more creative in my day to day. When we left the city and decided to do the house and kids thing, I decided to seriously try my hand at writing again. That was about 7 years ago and 1 published novel and about 15 short stories in collections later.

Favorite authors is always a tough question, like a favorite movie, or song etc. I’m a monster person and frankly, rarely read stuff that doesn’t have the inhuman in it. Some all-time formative favorites: Anne Rice, Poe, Lovecraft, Poppy Z. Brite, Tanya Huff, Tananarive Due, Barker, Daphne Du Maurier, Nancy A. Collins. I’m a die-hard splatterpunk fan, so Skipp and Spector for sure. I’m an unabashed fan of urban fantasy, which I fully embrace, and so Kelly Armstrong, early Laurell K. Hamilton, Carrie Vaughn, Ilona Andrews. I’m also a big New Adult/ Fantasy Reader so Laini Taylor is def on top of my list there. I love good characters, monsters, a love story, anti-heroes and a hearty dose of grue and horror. And so many super interesting and talented writers are coming down the pike lately, Nadia Bulkin’s She Said Destroy was excellent, for example.

Your YA novel, Parasite Life, was released earlier this year from ChiZine. What can you share about the behind-the-scenes of writing this novel? How long did it take you to complete? Were there any surprises along the way?

I wrote it over the course of a year, it was a little story I think I’d had living in my head for ages. I’d been reading a ton of YA around that time and found myself, time and time again, getting angry at the books I was reading. I found the relationships not only problematic in these books but also a little bit dangerous, considering the age of the readers and that they are being sold as romantic (and not toxic or even abusive). So I wanted to explore the more unsavory aspects of being in a relationship with a vampire, which is as toxic and unbalanced a pair you could conceive of. I think the challenge as I was writing it was keeping it YA, but also wanting to stay true to the story I wanted to tell.

Then off it went to a slush pile at ChiZIne Publications, a favorite publisher of mine, and remarkably they picked it up. A few years later and here we are.

You are also an accomplished writer of short fiction. What was your inspiration behind “The Wife,” which appeared recently in Tragedy Queens from Clash Books?

As a monster lover, I am often drawn to the stranger critters. I’d read in some monster book about a lady monster out of Asia who flew around on her hair, terrorized people, had a huge hole in her neck etc. BUT if you caught it and stuffed all the hair in a hole you could marry one. I found this story absolutely fascinating because who would want to take some crazy flying lady home? Would she be a good wife? And my story answers that question.

Parasite LifeYou reside in Providence, the cosmic horror capital of the world. How, if at all, does your hometown affect your work?

A ton! I definitely think there is something in the water in New England, in general, that makes it ripe for horror. Perhaps it’s the history, as one of the oldest parts of the country, perhaps it’s the long dark winters and long oppressive summers. But whatever it is, there is a certain something that permeates the land and its people. I’m a huge Lovecraft fan, and have been published in two Lovecraft Anthologies as well as co-editing the 2019 Necronomicon Anthology with the fabulous and talented Justin Steele. I love weird fiction and the directions it has been going in the last few years, and the critical attention it’s getting. Providence just has a vibe to it, that something is just a little bit off, that is quite inspiring.

In addition to your writing, you’re also an actress and producer. How does your process differ when you’re working on film versus fiction? Conversely, how is your approach the same?

Well, the actress part is solely because I was around! My husband needed some sucker to do a body cast and so I got the part. For being a big personality, I’m actually a pretty terrible actress, never been comfortable being vulnerable on stage or screen- too stiff. My husband is a filmmaker as are a cluster of our friends, so I’ve been lucky enough to help with all sorts of projects. The thing about a film is that it is entirely collaborative, every person is a cog in the machine. Writing is often the entire opposite creative process, the writer sets the scene, fill in the players, the sets etc. Film you need to assemble a team that can help get the vision off the paper and onto the screen.

If forced to choose, what’s your favorite part of the writing process: crafting setting, developing characters, or writing dialogue?

That is a tough question! Honestly, I think my favorite part is starting something. I love the beginning of a story when it can go anywhere and the limits are basically your imagination. I also love finishing a project! There is something so satisfying about wrapping something up, even if it’s just the first draft.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m editing a collection of my short stories currently as well as my second novel. On top of that, starting to read through the submissions for the Necronomicon 2019, think it’s going to be awesome and a fun challenge to be an editor.

Huge thanks to Victoria for being part of this week’s author interview series. Finder her online at her blog and Amazon page as well as on Twitter and Facebook!

Happy reading!

Darkness and Entropy: Interview with Brian Fatah Steele

Welcome back! Today, I’m thrilled to spotlight author Brian Fatah Steele. Brian is the author of Your Arms Around Entropy and Other Stories, and There Is Darkness in Every Room as well as numerous short stories.

Recently, Brian and I discussed his inspiration as an author, his work as an interviewer, and his writing plans for the future.

A couple icebreakers to start: when did you first decide to become a writer, and who are some of your favorite authors?

Brian Fatah SteeleIn the mid-nineties I started going to Kent State University for Fine Arts. I wanted to be an illustrator, possibly work on comic books, but I dropped out after my junior year. I had become very disillusioned with visual arts, but I realized when I still worked with it, I was constructing stories in my head to go along with the illustrations. Both my parents were educators and I had been raised on a steady diet of books growing up, so I decided to try writing as a creative outlet. All I had backing me was about 25 years of reading fiction and one high school creative writing class I had enjoyed immensely. To my surprise, I found myself far more fulfilled by writing than I ever had by visual arts. Now cresting into my 40-ies, I absolutely identify as a writer who simply dabbles in art.

My big three influences are Clive Barker, Brian Lumley, and Warren Ellis. I read The Books of Blood far too young, and it made me want to write outside of traditional horror tropes. Lumley taught me that I could throw whatever I wanted into a story and not be confined. Ellis showed me that you could have a message amidst all the brutality. I love a mix of authors – Edward Lee, Neil Gaiman, Anne Rice, James Rollins, Grant Morrison, S.M. Peters, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, Mary SanGiovanni, Laird Barron, Nate Southard, John McCallum Swain, Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason, John Claude Smith, Christopher Moore, H.P. Lovecraft, and too many more to name.

Congrats on the recent release of your collection, Your Arms Around Entropy and Other Stories. What can you share about your process while writing this book?

This book came together after about five years of submitting short stories to anthologies. I realized most of them had a cosmic horror theme, or in some cases, were a straight-up Lovecraft homage. After penning the title story, I felt it was ready to share. Some lean more cosmic than other, but all the tales I feel have a certain nihilistic vibe to them. I’m not necessarily a pessimistic person, but hopelessness translates great in horror, and I’m especially interested when we would find it abhorrent and vast.

You write short stories as well as novels and novellas. How does your approach differ (or stay the same) depending on length?

I’m very much a plotter. I’ll think about a story for days up to months before I ever type out a single word. Even then, everything gets a summary first. All characters get names, I know my locations, the movements, even some of the dialogue. A short story will simply get written out, the word count whatever it ends up being. It’ll get edited afterwards for a variety of things.

I’ve got my novel/novella system down now, one that works best for me. Lots of short chapters, usually shifting POV. My chapters are usually around 1000 words, and I outline a novel to be between 50 to 60 chapters. The goal is to get at least one chapter done a day. Sometimes I get two chapters done, sometimes I don’t get any. Regardless, this works for me. All my novels tend to have ensemble casts as opposed to focusing on one main protagonist, so this also benefits my style. Sure the story sometimes veers off from the outline a bit here and there, but never too much.

What first drew you to the horror genre? Do you remember the first horror movie you saw or story you read?

There Is Darkness in Every RoomWe have a Carnegie Public Library in my home town of East Liverpool, and when I was very young they had this series of book in the children’s section that I gravitated to. Hardbound books that fictionalized the old Universal horror movies – Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein, Lon Chaney Jr’s Wolfman, etc. There must have been twenty of these things, and I checked them out regularly. I was probably only like seven.

I believe the first adult horror movie I saw was the original Halloween. Maybe it was The Fog. I recall seeing both around the same time. Either way, John Carpenter terrified me as a child. Today, he’s my favorite director. And I’m pretty sure the first adult horror I read were those original Books of Blood I snagged. I still have them, and I think they might be the original American printing. They say 1986 inside, so if I bought them even a year later, my dumb ass read them at 10 years old. That explains a lot.

You are currently residing in my beloved birth state of Ohio. I, for one, think that the Ohio landscapes—rusted-out factories, unending fields of wheat and corn, creepy little small-town neighborhoods—are absolutely rife with horror possibilities. How does living in the Buckeye State impact you as a storyteller?

I absolutely agree! I feel like “Rust-Belt Gothic” needs to be explored more. I dive into the concept of the “Creepy Farmhouse” in my novel There is Darkness in Every Room, and in a story within Your Arms Around Entropy. I explore the idea of the “Dying Town” also in my latest collection as well as it being a central theme in an upcoming novel. Ohio has blistering hot summers and withering cold winters, we are a political swing state, and we have Amish communities only a stone’s throw from metropolitan cities. There’s abject poverty and a rising drug epidemic, yet you’ll trip on a college campus if you’re not paying attention. I’m Bipolar so I can say this – Ohio is Bipolar as fuck.

It’s actually hard not to set more of my stories in Ohio, because I honestly believe the setting here is so malleable and ripe for use. That said, I don’t want to be that guy.

In addition to your fiction writing, you also run the 7Q Interview series on your site. What made you decide to become an interviewer?

Your Arms Around EntropyIt seemed to me authors were only getting interviews when they had books coming out, and even then, it appeared to be the same authors all the time. I can’t really blame these sites, most of them have day jobs, plus they’re also doing reviews and juggling additional articles. It occurred to me that if I did an interview series, the same interview every week, I could feature a great deal more authors, some who might be falling through the cracks. Some who hadn’t been interviewed before, or who maybe don’t get two books a year out, so their presence has faded a bit. That’s not to say I don’t want to interview authors with a new book out, or bigger names, but I can feature everybody when that’s all I focus on.

What projects are you currently working on?

My next novel Bleed Away the Sky will come out from Bloodshot Books in early 2019. It’s a sort of Cosmic Horror/Urban Fantasy piece. I have another novel, similar in style, making its rounds to publishers now. Currently I’m working on what I’m calling a character-driven-splatterpunk-novel-with-supernatural-elements.

Big thanks to Brian Fatah Steele for being part of this week’s author interview series! Find him online at Twitter, Amazon, and Goodreads!

Happy reading!