The following market report on the anthology, Zombie Jesus and Other True Stories, as well as the follow-up interview are courtesy of Market Scoops by D.L. Snell.
Anthology: Zombie Jesus and Other True Stories
Editors: Lori Michelle, Max Booth III and Stan Swanson
Pay Rate: $20 plus contributor’s copy
Response Time: $20 plus contributor’s copy
Reading Period: January 13th—May 31st
Description (from the editor): Alternate history horror
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?
Stephen King, of course, holds a special place in our hearts. He has a great knack for diving into your average day man and bringing out the true horrors that hide beneath. No one better has been able to bring up a scenario and make the reader ask themselves what they would do if thrown into the same situation. In fact, we appreciate all this man has accomplished so much that we even made a sort of “SK Holiday” back in August on our blog wherein we reviewed some of his older work. We look to do it again next August as well.
2. What are your favorite genres? Which genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
Well, obviously our favorite genre is horror. But just because it’s horror, don’t think that we’re expecting a bunch of blood and guts. No, we are looking for stories that are truly horrifying—concepts that rock the very sense of reality itself. We want to be scared, not grossed out.
As for this specific anthology, we don’t want stories that only take place in the past and have a horror element thrown in. We want tales more in vein of The Twilight Zone. We want the weird and the creative. We would like our writers to take a specific historical event, and ask themselves, what if something had gone differently? How would the future have changed? The biggest example being, of course, what if Hitler had won the war? What kind of world would we live in now? And, if you throw in some horror tropes such as zombies or cockatrices or what have you, why, that would be just fine.
3. What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
For this anthology we are looking for real settings instead of full blown fantasy. Just because it’s an alternate history theme, that does not mean that the story has to take place in the past, either; it just means that something in the past went in a different path than what we know to be true; therefore, the future could be and probably is the most appropriate setting for our book.
4. Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
Either, really. Just that it is written well and truly horrifying. Both fast and slow have their advantages; with fast paced stories you are thrown into the story immediately, right there in the action — while a slow paced story, however, prides itself on building the tension. That’s the most important thing when it comes to slow paced stories, that it keeps with the tension. And if your story does begin slow, then it better have one hell of a climax if you want to stand out among the rest of the dozens of submissions we’ve already received.
5. What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
It would be interesting to see others’ takes on famous historical figures — a few examples being maybe Teddy Roosevelt, Lee Harvey Oswald, Vlad the Impaler, etc. The possibilities are endless. But don’t think that we only want stories featuring famous historical figures; the events and their consequences are more important here, although that isn’t to say that your characters (whoever they are, real or fictional) shouldn’t be written well all the same.
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?
An anthology shouldn’t stick to one specific tone but instead offer a variety of nightmares to appeal to all readers.
7. What is your policy for vulgarity, violence, and sexual content? Any taboos?
Only when necessary. If it pertains to the plot, then by all means knock yourself out. But if you’re just trying to be edgy, then we’re the wrong publication for you.
8. What kind of themes are you seeking most in submissions to this market? In general, what themes interest you?
One question: WHAT IF? What if Y had happened instead of X? What would the consequences be?
9. Overall, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?
Whatever seems appropriate for the rest of the story. If the rest of the story is dark and utterly hopeless, then we don’t want a copout upbeat ending. But there’s no reason to force a downer on us either. Each tale is different.
10. Any last advice for submitters to this market? Any critical do’s or do not’s?
Do not send us stories that take place in the past and that’s it. Just because there’s the word “history” in the description does not mean you get to skip reading the rest of the guidelines. Please make sure you understand what we’re after before submitting. Also, good luck! This book is going to be awesome.