The following market report on Permuted Press, as well as the follow-up interview are courtesy of Market Scoops by D.L. Snell.
Publisher: Permuted Press
Editor: Jacob Kier
Pay Rate: Varies, advance paying
Response Time: 30 days for query, 6 months for manuscripts
Reading Time: Until filled
Description: Seeking apocalyptic, time travel, Cthulhu Mythos, and other genre novels.
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?
I love old school Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Richard Laymon. I’m a big fan of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I’m less likely to follow a particular author these days than to be drawn to interesting ideas, setups, or situations.
Within the apocalyptic/zombie genres, I’ve really enjoyed Brian Keene, Jonathan Maberry, and Simon Clark’s work. My absolute favorite apocalyptic novel is Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
2. What are your favorite genres? Which genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
It should be obvious looking at the Permtued catalog that I love zombie fiction and apocalyptic fiction in general. I’m attempting to bring in more variety this time by also looking at time travel novels and novels that make use of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.
3. What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
I’m not opposed to any setting, but I do tend to be more interested in real settings rather than fantasy or futuristic settings. Generally the situation and characters are more crucial to me than the setting.
4. Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
I think any good novel is going to take the time to develop characters and include slower thoughtful moments, but I’m less inclined to be interested in novels which have long slow periods, or which build up too slowly. Most often I’m into novels that have a good flow of fast pace mixed with slower moments.
5. What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
It seems somewhat cliché I suppose, but I like normal characters thrown into abnormal situations. How does the school teacher react to the apocalypse? What does the southern farmer do when confronted with Lovecraftian monstrosities? Exploring what happens when the average Joe is pushed to the extreme interests me.
One other that sticks out is that, despite that they don’t line up with my personal philosophy at all, I’m often drawn to charismatic nihilistic characters – Fight Club’s Tyler Durden comes to mind. The characters who are so self-centered that you want to loathe them, and yet you find yourself liking and even cheering for them.
6. Is there a specific tone you’d like to set in your material? What kind of voices grab you and keep you enthralled? Any examples?
It’s difficult to end the world without it being dark! That said, dark with no glimpses of light is boring. There has to be some hope – even if it ends up being futile – or you’re left with a pretty bland story.
7. What is your policy for vulgarity, violence, and sexual content? Any taboos?
I’m not interested in extremes just to be extreme. Vulgarity and violence are fine as long as they’re enhancing the story in a realistic way and not a distraction. Sex in books is fine, but I’m not looking for material that’s overly descriptive sexually.
8. What kind of themes are you seeking most in submissions to this market? In general, what themes interest you?
I’m fascinated by any story where a person or group is caught in a situation where they must come up with creative ways to fight or survive. The situations that force everyone to become a MacGuyver. Whether it’s scrounging to survive a zombie apocalypse, being shipwrecked on a desert island, or being locked down in a skyscraper fighting terrorists, I can’t get enough. But the best tales like these are the ones that also use these desperate situations to remind us of what’s important: relationships, love, family, endurance. Throw MacGuyver into the zombie apocalypse and you’ll have a heck of an entertaining novel. Throw MacGuyver into a zombie apocalypse and make readers cry, and you’ll have a book with potential to become a classic.
9. Overall, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?
I can’t say I prefer one over the other; I’m open to either.
10. Any last advice for submitters to this market? Any critical do’s or do not’s?
I encourage anyone submitting to spend some time on your query letter. As I mention in the guidelines, your query letter is either going to open the door for your novel, or close it. Make sure your description of your book sounds like something you’d actually want to read, not just a dry plotting of the novel’s main points.
It’s been said a million times before, but get someone – ideally multiple people – to read your novel and give you feedback. Generally writers (me included) just aren’t good at seeing the problems in their own work.