The following market report on White Cat Magazine, as well as the follow-up interview are courtesy of Market Scoops by D.L. Snell.
Magazine: White Cat Magazine
Editors: Charles P. Zaglanis, Ferrel Moore
Pay Rate: 5¢/word
Response Time: 2 months
Reading Period: Quarterly
Description (from the editor): Online quarterly web magazine, eBook and print publisher.
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.
1. What authors do you enjoy, and why does their writing captivate you?
The short list of authors I enjoy reading would include James Lee Burke, Charlene Harris, Jasper Kent, Lee Childs, Dan Brown, Raymond Khoury, Sheri Priest, David Baldacci and Ramsey Campbell, Kathryn Reich, Janet Evanovich. What do they all have in common? They know how to keep a story moving.
2. What are your favorite genres? Which genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
Mystery and suspense intrigue me when integrated into any genre. For example, it’s the mystery and suspense in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. It’s also the mystery and suspense that flows through Sheri Priest’s Boneshaker that I find interesting. Having said that, at White Cat Magazine, we’re thrilled to have submissions from all genres save erotica or those involving excessive violence. Anything from westerns to romance, science fiction to mystery and everything in between.
3. What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
In short stories, I used to think it was a bit difficult to present exotic locales with the attention to detail they deserve. However, a number of our international contributors have shown me that it is possible to add the elements of exotic locales with a deft touch. Real or fantasy, past, present or future are secondary to the story. If it’s a good story, that trumps most anything.
4. Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
Particularly for short fiction, pacing is critical to modern readers. So our preference is for fiction that starts strong and continues at a good pace till the end. Of course, it’s a bit of a dance with the various types of readers, isn’t it? But I think readers of fiction on the web move along more than those settling into a comfortable chair with a three-inch-thick book.
5. What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
Dangerous, complex characters are the most interesting to me. When we enter the world of fiction, we go there for a reason, and it isn’t to sleep. Complex, unpredictable characters driven by strong desires. Contrasted characters that generate electricity just by being in the same room. Dave Robicheux, the detective from James Lee Burke’s stories, is a prime example of an interesting character.
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?
That’s a great question, and the answer is simple – I’d like to see strong voices that clearly exhibit mastery of the storytelling craft combined with an ear for natural dialogue.
7. What is your policy for vulgarity, violence, and sexual content? Any taboos?
The policy is that most of us get enough swearing in day-to-day life, so I read more attentively those writers who elevate their game. I value my reading time and I enjoy the company of classy people. Combining these two preferences should tell writers that I would prefer stories that satisfy both elements. The same answer would apply to violence and sexual content. Taboos? If it involves violence and sexual content with kids don’t bother sending it.
8. What kind of themes are you seeking most in submissions to this market? In general, what themes interest you?
I’ve never had an interest in themes at all. I enjoy the concept of deeper meanings and multiple layers of revelation, but most seem a little hokey because focusing on broad social themes distracts the writer from focusing on what’s most important–creating an interesting, relevant story. Themes give writing teachers something to lecture about. I have seen more stories wrecked on the rocks of theme creation than perhaps anything else. If what we write comes from our true world view, thematic story elements will evolve in due course as a writer matures.
9. Overall, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?
10. Any last advice for submitters to this market? Any critical do’s or do not’s?
None other than the standard advice to read the submission guidelines.
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