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

The Market

Publisher: Grand Mal Press
Editor: Steve Pasore
Pay Rate: $25
Response Time: 30 days
Deadline: October 1st
Description: POD horror anthology with aliens as the focus
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?
Joe R. Lansdale, Dan Simmons, Stephen King, Tim Lebbon, Douglas Winter, Raymond Chandler, Michael Marshall Smith, Chuck Palahniuk … to name a few. I like any writer who mixes good prose with well developed characters and original stories, no matter the genre.

2) What are your favorite genres? Which genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
We’re trying to keep this pretty streamlined. We’re not that interested in humor but just about anything else goes. I’m a big fan of films such as Alien, Predator, Event Horizon, Signs, Pandorum, etc. I have not read Cowboys and Aliens but the idea of a western alien horror story is right up my alley. For the Hard Boiled Horror antho, I am looking for anything horror-related with a mystery to it. You know, if Chandler and King put their heads together. I love noir fiction but it can be a mix of genres as well … western, sci fi, war, etc. I’m hoping writers will surprise me.

3) What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
Any setting works for me if the story works within it. Right now though, fantasy (i.e., sword and sorcery) settings would be a very hard sell.

4) Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
I like any pacing. Sometimes jumping into the middle of a balls-to the-walls battle hooks me right away. Sometimes a slow creepy build keeps me riveted. It all depends.

5) What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
The only characters I have a hard time identifying with are superheroes. Beyond that … anything.

6) Is there a specific tone you’d like to set in your publication? What kind of voices grab you and keep you enthralled? Any examples?
Not sure. I just want the books to not stray far from the themes.

7) What is your policy for vulgarity, violence, and sexual content? Any taboos?
Everything is welcome if it works in the story. However, the usual offenders – child rape, animal abuse, racism, etc. – are not going to win favors with me unless they are pertinent to the story.

8) What kind of themes are you seeking most in submissions to this market? In general, what themes interest you?
I read anything, spec fic, bios, history, classics, etc. For this market, a good dark, well plotted, character driven theme is best.

9) Overall, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?
Whatever works for the story.

10) Any last advice for submitters to this market? Any critical do’s or do not’s?
Read the directions about subbing so the format is correct. But beyond that I look forward to whatever is thrown at me. And feel free to ask me questions before you sub if you’re not sure about something.

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