The following market report on the anthology, One Buck Horror, as well as the follow-up interview are courtesy of Market Scoops by D.L. Snell.
Anthology: One Buck Horror
Editor: Christopher Hawkins, Kris M. Hawkins
Pay Rate: 5¢ per word
Response Time: 1-2 months
Reading Period: Open
Description (from the editor): One Buck Horror is an ebook anthology series dedicated to showcasing the best in horror short fiction from new and established writers. Each issue will feature four to six short stories, and will be available in a variety of formats (including Kindle, ePub and others) for the low price of one dollar per issue.
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?
Kris: My favorite authors are Isabel Allende, Neil Gaiman, Robin McKinley and Arturo Perez-Reverte. What I love about all of them is that the worlds each of them create feel so complete and immersive.
Chris: I grew up reading a lot of Ray Bradbury, Stephen King and Richard Matheson, all of whom have a gift for creating strong characters and making the most improbable concepts seem grounded and believable.
2. What are your favorite genres? Which genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
Kris: I love fantasy, science fiction, narrative non-fiction, young adult fiction, and horror (of course). For this publication, I would really love to see refreshed classic horror themes that evoke a sense of nostalgia without being slavish to horror conventions.
Chris: Horror, naturally. But I also read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi. For One Buck Horror, the most important things are that a story be scary and that it be compelling. If you can accomplish that, then genre is secondary.
3. What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
Kris: I most love ordinary locales that turn out to be more than they first appear.
Chris: When I read for pleasure, I like to be transported, preferably to somewhere I’ve never been before. So the specific setting is less important to me than how well that setting is realized on the page.
4. Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
Kris: I like a great hook at the beginning, slow character building in the middle with a breakneck finish. The books of Michael Crichton spring to mind when I think of this sort of pacing.
Chris: Great stories are like roller coasters: anticipation that builds and builds to a thrilling payoff that leaves you wanting more.
5. What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
Kris: I love characters that you have to spend time getting to know and end up enjoying despite their flaws or perhaps because of them. Steerpike from the Gormenghast books is one of my favorite examples of this character type.
Chris: I’m drawn to characters that are well-rounded, and feel like real people. The best characters are those that seem to have lives beyond the confines of the page.
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?
Kris: I’d be thrilled if our publication allowed readers to recapture the fun of being scared while enjoying some damn fine writing.
Chris: Horror should be fun. I think it’s easy to lose sight of that when you get into darker themes and more and more extreme scenarios. I want people to come away from reading One Buck Horror feeling scared, but entertained. And hopefully with smiles on their faces.
7. What is your policy for vulgarity, violence, and sexual content? Any taboos?
Kris: All three are fine with me taken in context of a good story. I have no true taboos but I’ve found that a story will need to be otherwise flawless in order for me to get past strong themes of child abuse or sexual torture.
Chris: All of those things are fine as long as they serve the story, and not the other way around. If a story is shocking just for the sake of being shocking, then it’s probably not for us.
8. What kind of themes are you seeking most in submissions to this market? In general, what themes interest you?
Kris: Classic horror all the way. While I love fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction and alternate history, I really want the dominant theme to be classic horror.
Chris: I’m open to all themes, as long as the writing is good and the characters feel like real people.
9. Overall, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?
Kris: I absolutely despise forced upbeat “Hollywood” endings. I would much rather see a scorched earth ending that feels authentic than have to endure a happy ending that’s been tacked on.
Chris: Downbeat or upbeat … either one is fine as long as it’s true to the characters involved in the story. Authenticity is more important than outcome.
10. Any last advice for submitters to this market? Any critical do’s or do not’s?
Make sure you’re presenting your work in the best possible light. Use proper manuscript formatting, check your spelling, and make sure you’ve read our submission requirements. You don’t want anything to detract from the quality of the work, so make sure you’re giving your work a chance to shine.