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

The Market

Publisher: Lachesis Publishing
Editor: Louise Bohmer
Pay Rate: 10% gross print sales; 40% gross eSales
Response Time: 3-5 months
Description (from the editor): Lachesis Publishing is a royalty-paying publisher of fiction works (novels, novellas) by authors, new or previously published. We are a print and an ebook publisher offering our reading public the very best titles via direct download or overnight shipping from our website store.
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 what is it about their writing that captivates you?
Some of my favorites include Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft, Aldous Huxley, Virginia Woolf, and contemporary writers such as Tom Piccirilli, John Everson… I could go on. What captivates me most–and all these writers incorporate these to some degree–is the imagination used and the skill it takes to make that imagination believable. The way to hook me? Make me think with smooth, slightly lyrical prose. I love a poetic voice, but only when the writer has mastered that style in prose form. That takes some high talent to do, in my opinion.

The story must have meat and bones, too. A solid plot, no gaping holes, and great character development. I want to feel, smell, hear, and see along with your characters.

2. What are your favorite genres? Which of these genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
I like to change up the pace of my reading material now and again, so I read a variety of genres: horror, science fiction, speculative, and dark fantasy, and even contemporary, well-plotted, tight mysteries and suspense, as well as erotic romance.

When it comes to Lachesis or LBF submissions, I like to see a broad range of emotions in the characters, and a great deal of potential for the protagonist’s growth through the course of the story. If the tale has a touch of spooky atmosphere that is well done, tight suspense entwined in the plot, or a touch of dark fantasy, these are bonuses for the reader in me. But mainly your story must draw me in right away, whatever the genre, or mix of genres, is. If I am bored after only one paragraph, I’m not interested. However, if I finish your partial and want more, you’ve got a good chance of acceptance.

3. What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
I’m a folklore buff, so I love rural or forest settings with subtle fantastical possibilities, and I also have a weakness for well-written historical settings. Mythological settings too, if they are done well. Anything draped in atmosphere that sets an excellent mood immediately. I am a sucker for atmosphere, but there is a fine line between overdescribing and subtlety.

4. Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
I am a firm believer you should start the story as close to the end, in the heart of the action, as possible. Cut away what you don’t need, but also give your readers just enough time to catch their breath before you pounce on them again. I personally like to follow a pacing style of rising action, climax or crux of the plot and premise I am working with, then work toward a conclusion that offers some form of resolution for my characters. I don’t want to leave my reader hanging at the end, but I don’t want to hand them all the answers, either. I want them to think, but I want them to be satisfied, too, when they come to the final page. I don’t want my reader to feel cheated – that’s important.

5. What type of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
I like intricately developed characters. Very well rounded, no cardboard cutout stereotypes. Dig deep with your characters, talk to them, interview them if you have to, to find the story they want you to tell. Personally, in my earlier drafts I discover the story through learning about the motivations, backgrounds, and lives of my characters. Why would Sam want to kill Jane? Why is the werewolf so angry? Okay, these are off-the-cuff questions, and obviously part tongue-in-cheek, but what I mean is, dig deep and be willing to cry, bleed (not literally, please), sweat, and suffer with your characters. Give me a story with characters I can sink my teeth deep into, and you’ve got me.

6. Horror and violence can be blatant or suggestive. Which one do you prefer and why?
I’m more a fan of Barkeresque gore, making gore beautiful, so to speak. Like the woman with half her face torn off that approaches the character in the prologue of The Damnation Game. Barker paints her as this horrifically beautiful, graceful being, even though she’s terribly disfigured. Pulling that off takes some major talent, in my opinion. I don’t mind gore when it serves a purpose.

But I am not a big fan of mere shock value. If I set out to shock you, I’ll have an underlying reason: to make you think. Gore simply for gore’s sake doesn’t go over big with me.

7. In fiction and in life, what do you find most horrific?
Poorly formatted manuscripts! Actually, that can be pretty horrific if you are trying to transfer it to another pre-formatted document template.

Anyway, hmmm, let’s see. Intolerance, people who lack critical thinking skills, slimy hair stuck in the sink drain.

8. What are the top three things submitters to this market should avoid?

1. Poor grammar and spelling in your submission
2. Not adhering to guidelines (automatic rejection, more or less)
3. Flat, passive writing

9. What are your top three pet peeves as an editor?

1. Wandering body parts (“His eyes exploded,” “Her eyes dropped to the floor”)
2. Overuse of passive words (had, that, was, had been, there was)
3. Dragging plot and zero character development

10. What quality are you seeking most in submissions to this market?

1. Hook me within your first paragraph
2. A clean, polished manuscript that includes a brief cover letter and adheres to all our guidelines
3. An engrossing story that won’t let me up for a breath before I finish your partial

11. Any last advice for submitters to this market?
I can’t stress this enough: read our guidelines and follow them; submit a highly polished manuscript. As Lachesis Publishing and our LBF imprint grow, we must become pickier in what we take for publication. The more you adhere to our guidelines, and the more your manuscript catches and holds our attention, the greater your chances of publication. Even the slightest typo can trip up an editor’s eye. We get to a point where we can’t help it – it is automatic. So the cleaner the manuscript, the smoother the story, the better your chance of acceptance is.

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