This market report is courtesy of D.L. Snell, who writes with Permuted Press and Richard Finney. He edited Dr. Kim Paffenroth twice, John Dies at the End once, and provided a constructive critique to Joe McKinney on his next major novel after Dead City. Snell’s zombie/vampire novel was also Tomoviewed once and he felt honored. You can shoot D.L. Snell in the head at Exit 66.
Zine: Through The Eyes Of The Undead
Editor: Robert Essig
Pay rate: 1¢ / word
Response Time: 1-2 weeks
Deadline: Whenever it’s filled
Description: The stories need to be written from the perspective of the undead. They don’t need to be 1st person POV, but the story needs to be told from the eyes of a zombie, or zombies. (More in 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.
1) What authors do you enjoy and what is it about their writing that captivates you?
I enjoy Robert Bloch for his pulpy style and twist endings, Stephen King for his ability to make his characters breathe, and Bentley Little for his short fiction. I also enjoy Tim Lebbon, Ray Bradbury, and many more. (Though he was a writer of non-fiction, I have to include Hunter S. Thompson for his unbridled gonzo style.)
2) What are your favorite genres? Which of these genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
Horror and dark fantasy are my favorites, but I’ll look at anything from wild west to steampunk and science fiction. If it’s through the eyes of the undead, send it.
3) What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
The word “ordinary” is so damn ordinary, but I like something that I can relate to, something that can potentially happen to ordinary people. But like I said before, I’ll look at anything. As far as past, present, or future goes… if it’s a good story, I could care less what time frame it occurs in.
4) Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
Fast throughout is preferable, but a good story can stand alone regardless of its pacing.
5) What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
I like believable characters, like people you’ve known. I like characters with normal problems, emotions and fears. That’s not to say extraordinary people aren’t welcome; I’ve known many very extraordinary people.
6) What is your policy for vulgarity and sexual content? (Question by Ralph Robert Moore)
As long as it works with the story and isn’t there for the sake of senseless exploit, I’m fine with it.
7) Horror and violence can be blatant or suggestive. Which one do you prefer and why?
Suggestive more often than not is preferable because it builds good tension, but I don’t shy away from a guts n’ bloody good time.
8] In fiction and in life, what do you find most horrific?
Politics. Wait, no, I mean … well, it sounds clichéd, but the unknown is very frightening, as well as something invading my mind. That’s the only true secret place we have, and if something or someone could get in there I would be sucking on the double barrel in a heartbeat.
9) In general, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?
Downbeat. Upbeat can work, but is often too sappy.
10) What are the top three things submitters to this market should avoid?
- Zombies roaming around without a plot
- Sex and gore just because you like sex and gore (make sure it has something to do with the plot)
- Overuse of words (make every word count)
11) What commonalities are among the stories you’ve rejected? Is there a particular aspect authors seem to get wrong? (Question by Martel)
I’ve rejected several stories that weren’t told through the perspective of a zombie or zombies. Some of them have been so damn good that I wanted to accept them, but couldn’t.
12) If you reject a story, how open are you to a revised version, or do you only want revisions upon request? (Question by Martel)
If I want a re-write I’ll request it.
13) Describe a story you’ve recently accepted or short-listed. What made it stand out from the slush pile?
I just accepted a wild-west story and another tale about zombies dealing with their addiction to human flesh. They were just very different from everything else.
14) What trait are you seeking most in submissions to this market?
Something that strays far from the average zombie story. Something unlike Night of the Living Dead. It’s a great movie, but I think we’ve all read and seen that story enough.
15) Any last advice for submitters to this market?
Make sure the story is told through the perspective of the undead. That’s of utmost importance. When in doubt, send it out. The worst I can do is reject it.