The following market report on the anthology, Deadcore, as well as the follow-up interview are courtesy of Market Scoops by D.L. Snell.

The Market

Publisher: Comet Press
Editor: Cheryl Mullenax
Pay Rate: 1/2 cents/word
Response Time: 4-6 weeks
Deadline: July 1, 2010 or until filled
Description (from the editor): Extreme zombie themed horror anthology
Complete Guidelines: Writer’s Guidelines

Note: Horror author D.L. Snell conducted the following interview to give writers a better idea of what the editors of this specific market are seeking; however, most editors are open to ideas outside of the preferences discussed here, as long as they fit the basic submission guidelines.

The Scoop

1. What authors do you enjoy, and why does their writing captivate you?
Some that come to mind are Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Michael Slade, Stephen King, Jeffrey Sackett, Bentley Little, and Brian Keene. I think what is common among them and what is captivating is that they can tell a great story with a simple and straightforward writing style (and their ability to scare the hell out of me). I am a fan of small press horror, however, and read whatever I can get my hands on.

2. What are your favorite genres? Which of these genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
All things horror, apocalyptic, monsters, zombies, conspiracy, occult horror and especially the crime thriller/horror combo. We did the cross-genred hardboiled crime/horror anthology The Death Panel last year, and it was amazing how well and creatively horror writers blurred the lines between those genres.

For this anthology, we’re looking for novelette/novella length zombie stories. Many zombie stories are by nature apocalyptic, but it’s not necessary. I’m open to any kind of zombie story and would especially like to see conspiracy or detective elements, but any subgenre of horror incorporated into the story is welcome.

3. What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
Ordinary locales in real (earth) settings, either present, past, or future. For zombie stories, the apocalyptic future, but I have read excellent stories that take place in the past.

4. Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
I have no preference. It depends on the story.

5. What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
Flawed, everyday men/women who find themselves in a horrific situation, pull up their britches, and deal with it. I’m going to use yet another Jaws reference (perfect for any type of character example!): The Mayor. Sure, he made some bad decisions, and got some people killed in the process, but he thought he was doing the best thing for his community.

6. What is your policy for vulgarity, violence, and sexual content?
Anything goes, but common sense should prevail.

7. In general, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?
No preference, as long as it’s not sappy.

8. What are the top three things submitters to this market should avoid?
As long as the story involves zombies, I can’t think of any particular thing to avoid.

9. What trait are you seeking most in submissions to this market?
Extreme, hardcore zombie stories. There are many great zombie anthologies out there, and we wanted to give authors an opportunity and the room to develop their stories and characters with the extended word length (15,000-30,000).

10. Any last advice for submitters to this market?
Have fun writing. Read the guidelines. I’m not a nitpicker on manuscript formatting, but do proofread carefully before sending your story.

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