Writing Market News – November 15

Big Bad 2 – An Anthology of Evil Volume 2

Big Bad 2, to be published by Dark Oak Press will be an anthology focused on everyone’s favorite characters, the bad guys. All genres are accepted, and the only requirement is that your protagonist be a bad or evil character. This anthology follows on the success of The Big Bad. Some authors have been invited to contribute, and only 10 slots are available for open submission, so expect competition to be tight.

Deadline: January 1
Words: 3,000 – 9,000
Pay: Royalties
Reprints: No

Infinite Science Fiction

Put together by Infinite Acacia, Infinite Science Fiction will be a collection of science fiction stories. The publisher states, “We are looking for good SF that breaks away from the tired tropes of the genre.” They also state that for their purposes, fantasy, horror, and magical realism do not fall under science fiction.

Deadline: December 31
Words: 2,000 – 6,000
Pay: $.01 per word ($40 max)
Reprints: Unknown

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope is a crowdfunded anthology to be edited by Alisa Krasnostein of Twelfth Planet Press and Julia Rios of Strange Horizons. The guidelines for this anthology are very specific. Stories are meant to be for a Young Adult audience, and should have a teen protagonist that is of diverse character: non-white or non-western, disabled, mentally ill, etc. Stories should be set on contemporary Earth, but involve fantastical or advanced technological elements.

Deadline: December 31
Words: 2,500 – 10,000
Pay: $.05 per word
Reprints: Unknown

Ares Magazine

Ares is planned to be a very interesting little magazine. They are looking for speculative fiction stories across the spectrum of genres. They want stories to be action and adventure focused. From their website, I pulled this nugget of information:

Ares is the name of the Greek god of war. He is bold. He is brash. I want the magazine bearing his name to be bold and brash. The stories we have collected thus far are solid, quality stories. But too few of them could be characterized as real action-adventures. Personal stories are great, but I would like to see more swashbuckling and more derring-do.

That’s pretty clear guidance to help you draft a story that will be favorably considered. To also be included in each issue of the magazine is a stand-alone, playable board game, which is a really neat idea.

Deadline: Ongoing
Words: 1,000 – 60,000 (4,000 – 10,000 preferred)
Pay: $.05 per word
Reprints: Yes ($.01 per word)

Lamplit Underground

This week’s non-paying market is Lamplit Underground. This is an online “magazine,” with future plans for a print edition. They are looking for stories “related to the unique, the grotesque, the beautiful, the powerful.” If you have a story that makes an unconventional statement, this may be a good market for it.

Deadline: Ongoing
Words: Any
Pay: None
Reprints: Unknown

Writing Market News – November 8

I wanted to take a moment today to discuss a bit of publishing/sales news in the writing world, before getting into the latest batch of open calls. Author Chris McMullen is sponsoring an event this year called Read Tuesday to be held on December 10. Essentially, he would like to see the event become analogous to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but with a hyper-specific focus on book sales. Participating authors and publishers will commit to reducing the prices of their books, either ebook, print, or both on the day of the event.

Chris is asking for the help of anyone who loves reading to either participate in or promote Read Tuesday. He would like to see it become an annual, worldwide happening. I’ve put forward the notion of enrolling The Black Wind’s Whispers and Marching Time into this event, and the idea has generally been met with positive reaction, so keep an eye out for them to be on sale. Check the Read Tuesday Catalog for other participating books.

With that said, let’s get into the writing opportunities for this week.

Shock Totem Magazine

Shock Totem Publications is looking for dark fantasy and horror stories for their Shock Totem magazine. Mystery, suspense, supernatural, morbid humor, and more sub-genres fall under this umbrella, but they do not want epic fantasy or hard science fiction.

Deadline: November 30
Words: Under 5,000
Pay: $.05 per word
Reprints: Yes ($.02 per word)

Thresholds

Thresholds will be an anthology of speculative fiction published by The Dreadful Cafe. They are looking for stories about crossing literal and figurative thresholds into unexpected realms or situations. All genres are accepted, but they express an interest in works that cross genres, as is appropriate to the theme. All after-cost proceeds from the anthology will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Deadline: TBD
Words: 1,000 – 25,000
Pay: $125 (1,000 – 7,000 words), $250 (7,001-13,000 words), Negotiable (13,001+ words)
Reprints: Yes (self-published only)

Lost in the Witching Hour

Spook Show Publishing has a current call for their upcoming collection Lost in the Witching HourThey would like to see stories centered around the paranormal, including, but not limited to, ghosts, haunted houses, demons & possession, etc. Stories can either be campfire tales or have more involved elements. The publisher cautions against gore without good justification.

Deadline: December 31
Words: Up to 15,000
Pay: $10 (5,000+ words only, otherwise only a contributor copy)
Reprints: Yes

Vampires Suck

Vampires Suck will be an anthology of humorous fiction about Vampires and their lore, to be published by Strange Musings Press. I’m putting this in today as the non-paying market, since details are sketchy regarding payment. The only requirements for style and genre are 1. vampires and 2. humor. The publisher evidently has a story lined up that is heavy on the Twilight satire, so, sorry, that topic is taken. 

Deadline: January 1
Words: 500 – 6,000
Pay: Free ebook copy and possible royalties
Reprints: Unknown

Writing Market News – November 1

As anyone who cares about writing probably knows, today kicks off National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Given the heavy participation in this event, I understand there may be a decline of interest in writing short stories during November, but I’m still planning to keep on for those who aren’t tackling a novel project. In homage to those who are, I will try to find markets that accept reprints, and I will note that here. Hopefully we can find something for everyone.

In other news, in talking with some people and thinking on the matter, I have decided to include one non-paying market per week. Non-paying markets can have a lower barrier to entry than paying markets. As such, they can be a decent springboard for aspiring writers to get something published. This should help further motivate them, as well as begin to build a bibliography that can show other publishers the writer is serious about the business.

Leading the list today, we have a pair of markets that should appeal to those who may have been interested in submitting for Marching Time, but didn’t make it in for whatever reason.

Time Travel (prompt)

InfectiveINk.com is looking for stories with time travel as a central element. This is just a prompt theme, and that’s the only guidance given, so you should have complete flexibility with your story. All styles and genres are accepted, except erotica. Stories will be published on their website.

Deadline: November 28, 2013
Words: 1,500 – 5,000
Pay: $10
Reprints: Yes

Inaccurate Realities Issue #2

Issue #2 of Inaccurate Realities also has time travel as the main theme. An important note here is Inaccurate Realities is targeted toward the Young Adult market, so your story should take that into consideration. Given the strongest YA consideration these days seems to be length, it shouldn’t make it too hard to make any speculative short story work for YA.

Deadline: November 15, 2013
Words: 2,000 – 5,000
Pay: $15 – $25
Reprints: Yes

Penumbra eMag February 2014

For their February edition, Penumbra is looking for stories involving ancient Egypt or Egyptian mythology. Your piece should be speculative in nature. It seems like it should be obvious, but for clarification, no Stargate fanfiction is allowed. The publisher also asks you to note if  you are unpublished, as they enjoy publishing new authors.

Deadline: December 1, 2013
Words: Under 3,500
Pay: $.05 per word
Reprints: No

Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women

The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women is to be an anthology of reprints of science fiction stories written by women only. The anthology will be published by Running Press in the US and Constable & Robinson in the UK. Submissions must be previously published, and must be legally available for reprint in late 2014. Stories that are available online are acceptable to submit.

Deadline: November 30, 2013
Words: Under 10,000
Pay: $.02 per word
Reprints: Yes (required)

Contact: Stories of the New World

The non-paying market this week is Contact: Stories of the New World. This is a science fiction and fantasy anthology to be published by Dreamscape Press. They desire stories of discovery. What happens when a new race is encountered for the first time? What mysteries does a new planet hold?

Note: Dreamscape has a few other anthologies all closing around the same time. Find them all here. Also, I’ve seen from experience that deadlines for Dreamscape may bump if they can’t get enough submissions. This is both a good and a bad sign. Good for you as it means you should have an easier time getting a piece accepted. Bad because the quality of work alongside yours may be of lower quality than you would like.

Deadline: November 15, 2013
Words: 1,500 – 12,000
Pay: None
Reprints: Yes

Note: It occurred to me in the titling of this post, that my previous date usage might have confused (and likely annoyed) the European crowd, so I tidied it up this time.

Writing Market News – 10/25

I was very pleased to see the positive response to the inaugural writing news post here on the Bloghole. It makes the work of putting this together seem much less daunting knowing that people are putting this information to good use. Good luck to those who already put in submissions for last week’s markets. (If anyone has a submission accepted from a market listed here, please share in the comments.)

This week we have a very diverse spread of opportunities, from speculative fiction set in the Garden of Eden to modern humor and satire.

Flytrap Magazine Issue #11

First up today is a very short notice call for a successful Kickstarter project to publish another issue of Flytrap Magazine, after the series had been on hiatus since 2008. All styles and genres are accepted, but the editor has this to say, “I like stories with sex and feminism and apocalypses and snarky humor in them, but don’t let that limit you.” Only one week left for submissions on this, so get writing if you’re interested.

Deadline: October 31, 2013
Words: Under 5000
Pay: $.05 per word

Garden of Eden

The first of a series of biblical themed anthologies from Garden Gnome Publications, Garden of Eden is seeking stories set in the Garden. The publisher doesn’t want simple re-tellings of the known story, however. They want stories of other characters who existed in the Garden, what they were doing there, and how they interacted with Adam and Eve.

Deadline: November 23, 2013
Words: 300 – 10,000
Pay: $3 for up to 1,500 words, $7 for 1,501 – 10,000 words

Fae

Fairies tend to occupy the realm of children’s stories, but Fae is looking for adult fiction centered around the tricky little creatures. Desired are stories that are true to established Fairy lore, but presented in new settings and with new twists. Sprites, pixies, gnomes, imps, and other fairy-like creatures are also acceptable. The anthology is to be published by World Weaver Press.

Deadline: November 30, 2013
Words: Under 7,500
Pay: $10

Krampus

Also from World Weaver Press, in partnership with Enchanted ConversationKrampus will feature the mythological figure that shares the name. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Krampus is the European counterpart to Saint Nicholas. Instead of rewarding well-behaved children, Krampus tortures and punishes misbehaved ones. He is traditionally depicted as a fairly standard devil. Horns, cloven hooves, all that. WWP would like to see adult stories centered around this diabolical creature.

Deadline: November 30, 2013
Words: Under 10,000
Pay: $10

OutFunny

In a bit of a deviation, today I also bring you OutFunny, a fledgling humor and satire website. The site focuses on short, quick hitting humor stories, comparable in content to Cracked or The Onion. Users then have the opportunity to append one liners to the stories, in an attempt to gain votes confirming their hilarity. The submission guidelines specify that submitted content will be prioritized toward users who have been active in trying to “outfunny” the writers by penning one liners. One caveat here is that linking with a Facebook account seems to be the only way to sign up for an OutFunny account.

Deadline: Ongoing
Words: Around 150
Pay: $25

Bonus – Angry Robot Open Door

Angry Robot Books is currently accepting novel submissions from writers without agent representation through the end of the year. Angry Robots has published several familiar authors such as Dan Abnett, Gav Thorpe, and other Black Library authors, as well as the unavoidable Chuck Wendig. Submissions should fall under science fiction, fantasy, or horror, and all sub-genres thereof. There are a slew of guidelines, so check out the submission page if you have a novel lurking in the shadows.

Deadline: December 31, 2013
Words: 75,000 – 140,000 (approximate)
Pay: Variable

Writing Market News

This will be the first of a weekly series of posts highlighting what I feel are some interesting short story writing opportunities. There are many open calls out there, but it can be hard to find and keep track of them all. Given that a disproportionate number of them seem to be for mature romance and erotica (sorry, I won’t be highlighting those categories), that makes finding the pertinent ones even more difficult.

As long as there are enough calls available to put a decent list together each week, I will be focusing on markets paying at least token rates. I think it’s important that authors get paid for their work, and I think you probably are more interested in paying markets than otherwise, so that will be the priority.

First up today, we have a pair of apocalyptic open calls.

Vignettes from the End of the World

Vignettes will be a collection of flash fiction to be published by Apokrupha, focusing on the end of the world, of course. Any form of apocalypse is acceptable, but they caution against zombies, unless done extremely well. Depending on the length of your story, this call is also paying into the upper reaches of pro-pay, so that’s not too shabby.

Deadline: November 5, 2013
Words: 500 or less
Pay: $20

Fat Zombie

The other collection of death and destruction takes an interesting look at those doing their best to survive. Fat Zombie, an anthology presented by Permuted Press, wants stories of unlikely survival. People no one would expect to make it through the end of times. Losers, geeks, freaks, handicapped, or otherwise physically or mentally incapable protagonists are the goal. An apt comparison was made to me that this sounds like the movie Zombieland. All types of apocalypse are acceptable, including zombies.

Deadline: November 30, 2013
Words: 3,000 – 10,000
Pay: $25 (not listed on website, but confirmed with the editor)

Catch me when you can… Jack the Ripper

The iconic serial killer Jack the Ripper stars in our next collection, which should well suit those from the UK. Catch me when you can is an anthology to be published by KnightWatch Press, an imprint of Fringeworks. Desired are stories in a broad spectrum of genres focusing on Jack the Ripper’s return. The idea is a new perspective on the famous serial killer, causing mayhem in a new setting, while remaining true to his defining characteristics. This is a Jack the Ripper anthology, not a general serial killer anthology, and the publisher is clear on that.

Deadline: November 30, 2013
Words: 3,000 – 6,500
Pay: 4% profit sharing
Other: Submissions must be in British English only

Far Worlds

Finally, I thought it fitting to highlight to current effort of the Bolthole publishing team, the Far Worlds anthology. There are some very interesting aspects of this collection. Stories may be of any genre, but may not be set on Earth. The intent is for stories to focus on one or more non-human races entirely. Who are they? What do they look like? How do they act? There are infinite stories to be told, but it will be a challenge to make these alien characters unique, yet still relatable to readers.

At some point in the story, a mysterious device called the Drift Engine must make an appearance. Not much is known about the device, other than it will enter and leave the area without stopping or interfering in anything going on around it. Another rule of the collection is that no faster than light travel is available in the setting.

In order to be included in this anthology, you must be a member of the Bolthole. If you aren’t already, it’s easy, so move on over here and sign up. You must must also pitch a short synopsis to the editors. Upon approval of that, you can proceed with writing the story.

Deadline (Synopsis): November 20, 2013
Deadline (Story): December 15, 2013
Words: 2,000 – 10,000
Pay: Profit sharing depending on number of authors

Interview with Emby Press

It’s October. You know what that means. Monsters, ghouls and goblins. Horrors and haunts galore. I won’t bother disguising the fact that Halloween is my favourite holiday. So what finer to celebrate than with an interview with Miles Boothe, manager of Emby Press and its monster filled books?

Emby Press. The stuff of your nightmares!

Emby Press. The stuff of your nightmares!

He2etic: We usually start with a qualifier. Can you tell us about your background in writing and publishing? Other projects and releases you’ve worked on both with Emby Press and before?

Miles: My father was a magazine publisher and I grew up spending a lot of time lurking around his company’s art and photo departments (they were the most fun – the advertising and circulation departments not so much…).

I was also an avid reader and was bitten early by the “Hey, I could write a better story than that!” bug.

For many years I just kept all of my ideas locked upstairs. I don’t remember what instigated the sitting down and pounding out of my first true attempt at a story, but I was surprised and delighted when the first draft sold upon my initial inquiry to a major publisher and went on to become an NYT bestseller!

Wait, that’s not what happened at all… It was terrible, of course, but I was still unaccountably proud that I had written it and became completely obsessed with how to make it better.  I wound up submitting it to a writer’s workshop to be critiqued by A.C. Crispin (a day I’ve thought about a good bit since her recent passing) and she was very helpful in pointing out what needed work, what should go and what could be salvaged. But, there was a part that she liked, and she said so in front of the auditorium. Loudly enough so that everybody could hear…

“Monsters are how we express so many of our conscious and subconscious thoughts, feelings and desires.”

 

That really stoked my fire and I’ve been writing since then.

I’m in a handful of anthologies, but I’ve always been more interested in writing about what inspires me instead of what’s being called for, and that’s how the whole monster-hunter thing got started.

The Whitechapel Demon, by Josh Reynolds! Coming soon.

The Whitechapel Demon, by Josh Reynolds! Coming soon.

This part is pretty well documented, but one day I was reading Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter by Brian P. Easton, and it hit me like a lightning bolt that there were just not enough monster-hunting stories out there, and that I wanted to write some, and that there should be an anthology dedicated to monster-hunting stories!

I pitched the idea to a publisher (the now defunct Pill Hill Press), we put out the call and got a ton of stories.

When PHP closed, I had the 3rd volume of the monster hunter series half done, and there was never any question that I had to finish it and get it out there.

Emby Press was born and the rest is monster-hunting history! There are currently three volumes of the Legends of the Monster Hunter series in print, with an omnibus of 1 and 2, and a 4th and 5th in editing. I have three more currently accepting submissions (attention writers!) and that’s only the tip of the monster-hunting iceberg.

The big news is that Emby’s first two novel releases are scheduled for release this fall! We’ve just announced Josh Reynold’s The Whitechapel Demon and I cannot wait to release it! Fans of Josh’s Charles St. Cyprian Royal Occultist stories are going to be very excited to get their hands on it!

The second novel is Black Fox In Thin Places by Scathe meic Beohr and is an amazingly beautiful work set in 17th century Ireland based upon the history of the Seelie and Unseelie people, told through the eyes of a young girl. It is written in a style that will remind readers of Tolkien, Lewis and Carroll. But the story is timeless and is a joy to read. There is a great deal more to it than that, but suffice to say that I am thrilled to be able to publish it!

“You’re much better off writing and making those mistakes – that’s how you learn. Especially when you are just getting started, the more you get out there and mix it up, the better writer you will become.”

 

Last, I just had a serial novel accepted by JukePop, a site that I absolutely love, and am psyched to get back to the serial style, which is how I wrote my first novel.

He2etic: Most publishers really aim for a wider reaching genre, like horror or fantasy. You’ve really hit it with the monster niche specifically. What inspires this passion?

Miles: All of the works I’ve described above include a bevy of monsters. The majority of what I’ve read and loved usually has a monster or two in it and the movies and television shows I love the most had and have monsters in them, so it seemed like a perfectly fine idea to devote a press to the theme of monsters.

Use Enough Gun, from Emby Press.

Use Enough Gun, from Emby Press.

Monsters are how we express so many of our conscious and subconscious thoughts, feelings and desires. Monsters have been present in the storytelling of every culture, going back as far as figures drawn on cave walls.

How each era presents monsters is always a fascinating reflection of the struggles, triumphs and collective wisdom of those times, and no matter what facet of culture you are looking at, a monster will usually pop up at some point. From ancient mythology to theology, to folklore to pop-culture, the theme is nearly always present in one form or another, and intertwined with daily life.

There are so many ways to present monsters that I have to believe that the storytelling possibilities are endless, so I let my monster flag fly.

I also very much appreciate when an outfit delivers what it promises.

You like to read stories about monsters? Emby Press has monster stories for you. Problem solved.

He2etic: On a personal note, what is your all time favorite monster? If he or she has ever been on the big screen, what is your favorite rendition?  

Miles: It’s really not that easy… Monsters in film and literature are like a lavish buffet, loaded with all of your favorites. On rainy, foggy nights you just need a classic ghost story, and sometimes you get a little thrill from the rumor of some creature spotted on a road not far from where you live.

Leather, Denim & Silver, by Miles Booth.

Leather, Denim & Silver, edited by Miles Boothe.

Then Halloween comes and you have to mix documentaries of 18th century vampire stakings, witch burnings and the Beast of Gévaudan with the Universal classics and Hammer films.

I started with and will always love Harryhausen’s work as well as watching movies with lizards and ants blown up to the size of busses. I begged my father to take me to Bigfoot docu-movies in the 70’s. There was King Kong, and then came Jaws and Alien. How do you choose between those? The original Salem’s Lot blew my mind and seared the image of vampires into my brain. The Howling did the same with werewolves.

I dig modern movies like Predator and Pitch Black, and this summer was a blast watching skyscraper-sized robots battle Kaiju in Pacific Rim.

One of my favorite children’s books is David and the Phoenix by Edward Ormondroyd. I loved the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books and movies. I wanted to read The Terror by Dan Simmons in one sitting, but it’s, you know, Dan Simmons.

Right now I’m waiting for the third book in Easton’s Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter series and wondering why no television series or movie has been made of these yet.

I’m also currently infatuated with early 20th Century Spiritualism. Did you know that Houdini was also famous for his efforts to debunk spiritualists, but evidently promised his wife that after death, he would try to contact her? That he and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was a spiritualist, were said to have argued vehemently over what is really out there? Mind-blowing, fascinating stuff, all of it…

“Clichés get a bad rap. Clichés work – that’s why they’re cliches, and the only real sin in using them is to present them the exact same way as someone else.”

 

It’s impossible to name a favorite out of just those, and there are so many more! I’m just glad that they’re all out there.

He2etic: What’s the single biggest mistake most budding authors make in your opinion?

Miles: The single biggest mistake, in my opinion, is to spend your time worrying about making mistakes, or listening to other people lecture on the evils of mistake making. You’re much better off writing and making those mistakes – that’s how you learn. Especially when you are just getting started, the more you get out there and mix it up, the better writer you will become. Just get those words on the page!

Write what you want to write. Write when you want to write it.  If it comes together in the way that you wanted it to, show it to someone. If they like it, write more and show it to more people.

The Trigger Reflex, edited by Miles Booth.

The Trigger Reflex, edited by Miles Booth.

You won’t get too far before someone points out a way to make it better, and you need to acknowledge and implement those observations. Then get on with making the next mistake!

It’s inevitable that along the way you will either learn the lessons of grammar, plotting, character development and so forth, or your writing path will come to a stop. This is a process that every writer must go through, it’s just tough when half of the blog posts you see are titled “More Reasons Than Science Can Count On Why Your Writing Sucks.”  Don’t let them distract you or get in the way of your story.

He2etic: What’s your opinion on the value of literary cliché’s versus something that’s too original (ie, kind of out there)? Any advice on striking a balance?

Miles: Clichés get a bad rap. Clichés work – that’s why they’re cliches, and the only real sin in using them is to present them the exact same way as someone else. If you are working from an idea born of your own creativity and passion and giving it your own voice, you are usually going to be okay. Clichés can offer a lot in terms of structure and formula and are a great way to learn how to navigate these.

Having said that, going for something completely original is always a goal and is usually required to some degree to sell work these days. But, you need to have a very detailed understanding of clichés to know how to avoid them and to create something that works as well.

Never forget that you have to keep the reader with you and that the more you get away from their comfort zone, the better you have to be to keep them on the page.

See where I’m going with this? Of course you do, because so many have said it before…

He2etic: Finally, any tips or advice on getting ahead?

Monster Hunter: Blood Trails. Coming soon from Emby Press.

Monster Hunter: Blood Trails. Coming soon from Emby Press.

Miles: It’s a total cliché, but if you want to be a writer, then you have to write! Don’t worry about mistakes. Write about the things that you are passionate about. Stay open to and thankful for the advice that others give, right up to the point where it is no longer given in a benevolent spirit.

And, these days, it’s important to have some of idea of what kind of writer you want to be! I know some writers that have published a couple of short stories, and that’s enough for them.

I know others that bang out word counts that can only be matched by telephone directories from major cities.

But they’re all writers. Don’t get swamped because you didn’t get 2,000 words written by lunch.  Set a goal (get a story published), and meet that goal before you decide to give Jack Kerouac some competition.

Last, take full advantage of and enjoy the hell out of the digital wonderland that we live in now. The ability to research is unparalleled, networking on social platforms is amazing and expressing graphic art on your website to match your story can be almost as satisfying as the writing itself. You can find just about every open market there is between Duotrope, Ralan, Dark Markets, and Horror Tree (and others!).

The water is fine, so just jump on in.

Of course, that’s coming from a guy picturing a host of monsters lurking just beneath the surface, but that’s what makes it fun!

That’s it for today! A huge thanks to Miles Boothe for his time and thoughts! Follow the Bolthole @BLBolthole.

“Kaiju Rising” Kickstarter Interview

On September 6th, 2013, J.M. Martin launched a Kickstarter for Kaiju Rising, an kaiju monster anthology. With five days left to go before being funded, Kaiju Rising has long hit it’s initial goal of $10,000 and has climbed higher than $14,000 from over 300 backers. Today, Tim Marquitz, author of The Demon Squad series, has found time to speak to us on the subject of kaiju that he’ll be editing.

Dark Fantasy author Tim Marquitz. Up to city-decimating no good.

Dark Fantasy author Tim Marquitz. Up to city-decimating no good.

He2etic: Aside from those in Pacific Rim, what other kaiju have inspired you? Not just in the movies, but in games or literature? Are there any that, looking back, surprise you that they are kaiju fiction?

Tim: You know, of all the guys involved in the project, I’m probably the least knowledgeable with regards to Kaiju. The vast majority of my experience has been growing up watching Godzilla and King Kong and all the Godzilla versus whatever stories, like Mothra and whatnot.

As such, it’s kind of hard for me to credit the genre with a ton of inspiration beyond the most recent blockbuster, Pacific Rim.

He2etic: What would you say is the absolute most original kaiju you’ve ever seen? And what kaiju do  you consider to be your favourite of all time?

“I believe that creators stepping outside of that defined mold can only help to promote the genre as a whole.”

 

Tim: Given my experience, I’m going to twist this one around and go with the most original  I’ve ever read as opposed to seen. Some of the authors in Kaiju Rising have gone out of their way to create memorable and different kaiju.

Some of the art of Kaiju Rising, from Ragnarok Publications and Sunstone Games.

Some of the art of Kaiju Rising, from Ragnarok Publications and Sunstone Games.

We’ve one who’s a fifty foot tall monk, much like the character in the old TV show, Kung Fu. We’ve also got one that’s more like a tree entity, slightly similar to the Lord of the Rings Ents.

Going through these stories is making me realize just how wide a concept kaiju is. While there are definitely the standard insect and animal ones, there are a bunch of off the wall, creative and disturbing monsters on display, which are definitely the most memorable I’ve encountered.

He2etic: At first glance, the traditional kaiju is basically a kind of gigantic animal or insect. What are your feelings on unorthodox kaiju, such as giant crazed robots, the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man from Ghostbusters, or Kineticlops from the PS2 game War of the Monsters? Do you consider them to really be kaiju?

Tim: I love the idea, and yes I do. I think it’s great for the genre to have a wider range of concepts. While there are certainly the definitive types, I believe that creators stepping outside of that defined mold can only help to promote the genre as a whole.

The idea of giant monsters made out of marshmallow or rock or whatever are fantastic.  There are so many ways to go with the idea while remaining faithful to the kaiju idea of a giant monstrosity.

“The interaction and struggle for survival is the story of the kaiju…”

 

He2etic: What kind of themes do you enjoy seeing in your kaiju stories? Do you prefer your kaiju to be an unapologetic evil or sympathetic in some regard?

Tim: For me, I like the personalization/humanization of the kaiju.

While I want them to be destructive and threatening, I like the feeling of them having a purpose behind their actions. The animalistic/instinctive nature is less interesting to me than the idea of the monster having cause to attack humanity, the two cultures at odds.

Armageddon Bound, by Tim Marquitz.

Armageddon Bound, by Tim Marquitz.

The friction between the two is what makes the story for me. Mindless destruction is fun to watch, but it’s limited and can easily become repetitive. A monster working toward a goal makes me way more  interested.

He2etic: As a niche genre, what are some common challenges you think writers face when concocting kaiju tales? What are the most common pitfalls they should strive avoid?

Tim: I think writers need to keep originality in mind. Don’t just run with a giant lizard or  insect monster because it’s cool. Create something that’ll stand out. Give it a purpose and reason for its conflict with humanity.

I think focusing on the destruction would be a bad move for kaiju authors. The interaction and struggle for survival is the story of the kaiju, not the wreckage strewn about. That part’s fun, but people want to see the smaller, weaker humans rise up and conquer. Not showing that evolution or piece of hope takes away from the genre, in my opinion.

Bob Eggleton, the last unlockable KickStarter tier.

Bob Eggleton, the last unlockable KickStarter tier.

That’s all the time we have today! Thanks again to Tim Marquitz! If you want to donate to the Kickstarter, there is still time left! And one final stretch goal to root for.

Follow the Bolthole @BLBolthole for more great news and interviews. Blog background by Manuel Mesones @Manuel_Mesones. You can check out his portfolio here.