Courtesy of Market Scoop

The Market

  • Anthology: Giant Creatures
  • Publisher: Permuted Press
  • Editor: Ryan C. Thomas
  • Pay rate: $15 + copy
  • Response Time: 1-3 months
  • Description (from the editor): We want original stories of animals/insects/etc. grown to enormous sizes (or at least vastly bigger than they should be). Take something that exists on earth and show us what happens when it gets really big. (More in guidelines.)
  • Submission 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 what is it about their writing that intrigues you?
Joe Lansdale for his wacky imagination and unique “voice.” Terry Pratchett for his humor and wit. Joseph Kanon for his incredible dialogue (plus I’m a WWII buff). Tim Lebbon simply for his great stories. Cody Goodfellow for his paranoid, conspiracy theorist novels. Michael Marshall Smith for the same reason. Many more simply for the joy they’ve provided over the years – Ketchum, Adams, Simmons, the list goes on.

2. What are your favorite genres? Which of these genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
I love cheesy B-movie kind of stuff. A great example would be the Drive In Omnibus by Lansdale. But I pretty much read anything, from comedy like Pratchett and Moore, to sci-fi like Herbert and Asimov, to mysteries like Chandler, to literary fiction like Hemingway. If it’s good, I’ll read it.

3. What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
Actually fantasy is the one genre I can’t seem to get into, though I have read a ton of it. Any locale works for me so long as the story’s good.

4. Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
Hmm … never really thought about it. I do prefer to get hooked early on, whether through good dialogue, a unique situation, or an idea that gets me thinking. As long as the book or story keeps it up throughout, I’m sold.

5. What type of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
I love characters that are quirky and strange, but at the same time I want them to be real somehow. Off the top of my head, someone like Indiana Jones – he’s a hero, but he’s real, he gets his ass kicked all the time. And I love smart characters, doctors and scientists that really know their shit.

6. Horror and violence can be blatant a la Romero, or suggestive a la Hitchcock. Which one do you prefer and why?
You obviously haven’t read my novel. Haha. No, I prefer both. Again, it depends on the story. Off Season was great for its violence and Straw Men was great for its creepy atmosphere. They’re both just ways to entertain and it depends on my mood.

7. In fiction and in life, what do you find most horrific?
I can’t stand the sight of real blood. So I’m creeped out by gaping wounds and all that. But you know, real horror is along the lines of what I saw living in NYC when the towers fell. It’s our mortality and the reality that people/things exist who want to take it away. And not just terrorists, but rapists, murderers, sharks … (yeah, I have a major fear of sharks. Thanks, Spielberg!)

8. What are the top three things submitters to this market should avoid?
Stories that don’t have GIANT CREATURES! Yes, I’ve already gotten a few that don’t even come close to fitting the theme. Copycat scenarios like, say, a giant shark. Meg is already out there, so either make it really unique, or find something else. And of course, no Cthulu or Godzilla stuff.

9. What are your top three pet peeves as an editor?
People who put punctuation outside the quotes, bad dialogue, and taking too much time to get the story rolling.

10. What quality are you seeking most in submissions to this market?
There are two qualities I’m looking for, though I certainly don’t judge only by them. One is whether or not the story is fun. I know that might sound weird, but I talked about atomic age films in the guidelines because those films are a blast. Which leads to the second quality: inventiveness. I limited the anthology to creatures that exist on Earth because I want to see what people can do with them. I mean, imagine if, as a truly lame example, a robin grew to the size of a sedan. You’d better run because she thinks you’re food for her babies. So show me what happens when the tables are turned and man can no longer step on an ant but it’s the other way around. So many creatures on Earth have amazing skills. Take the film Alien. That monster is based on a wasp here on earth that stabs its ovipositor into a spider and lays its eggs inside. When the eggs hatch, the babies burst from the spider and feed on it. All they did in the movie was replace the spider with humans. (Note, I don’t want aliens based on bugs…it’s just an example of a unique characteristic of one bug).

11. Any last advice for submitters to this market?
Read the guidelines, don’t try to take a story you’ve already written that doesn’t apply and add a few sentences about a big animal just to make it fit … I can tell!

D.L. Snell is an Affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, a graduate of Pacific University’s Creative Writing program, and an editor for Permuted Press. Snell’s first novel, Roses of Blood On Barbwire Vines, pits vampires against mutating zombies in a post-apocalyptic setting.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This