What piece of writing advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you started writing?[ Click here to read more... ]
Without a doubt, start sooner. I’ve been writing since childhood. Unfortunately there was never anyone there to encourage me, to push me, so writing just kind of blended into the background of my life.
Toasted Cheese, May 2011
In what ways has Shock Totem evolved away from your original expectation for the journal (for better or worse)?[ Click here to read more... ]
We're almost the complete opposite of what we first set out to be. We opened our doors as an e-zine paying 1 cent a word, and now we're a print magazine that pays 5 cents a word. And despite the additional cost to us, we're definitely better for it.
But as I mentioned at the beginning of Issue 1, our overall vision remains the same: Shock Totem is a magazine full of stories that we, as readers, enjoy the hell out of.
We're also pissing fewer people off. Or I am, anyway. Haha.
Decibel Magazine, October 2010
What empty niche in the world of small press horror does Shock Totem seek to fill?[ Click here to read more... ]
From a reader’s standpoint, one of my biggest complaints about the small press, specifically with some magazines and webzines, is that the same authors are being published over and over again. At a certain point it becomes a bit of a drag, even if it’s an author I dig. I like variety. I want to read stuff from authors I’ve never read before. But names sell, you know. I get that; it’s good marketing. However, without intending to sound arrogant, I don’t think it’s honest publishing.
So with Shock Totem, our goal has always been to publish quality fiction, regardless of the name behind it. And I think readers have appreciated that.
Guest Blog at Simon Marshall-Jones's Ramblings of a Tattooed Head, July 2010
So, why do I write?[ Click here to read more... ]
For the same reason I breathe, I guess—I have to. I’ve always written. I still have things I wrote in crayon! But it’s only been in the past few years that I truly realized how much writing meant to me.
I was under the impression that I wanted to be a musician when I grew up. Of course, at 32 years old, I’d already grown up—and my music career was about as active as a coma. My mind was into it, but my heart wasn’t. It took me a long time to realize that. Music was something I wanted to do. Writing was something I did, and I’ve been doing it for so long that I couldn’t step back and look at it objectively; it was so ingrained in me that I was blind to it. It had been there so long, I simply failed to see it.
Duotrope Editor Interview, June 2010
What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?[ Click here to read more... ]
I think the main thing most writers get wrong is that they write for other people and not for themselves. It's not the readers' story until it's in their hands. Before that, it's your story. Too many authors write for the heart and not from it." I gave that answer in a previous interview (D.L. Snell's Market Scoops, October 2009), but I think it applies here. Basically, the standard answer is this: Read and follow our guidelines. The somewhat standard answer is this: Read our magazine. The most important answer is this: Be honest, write honest.
D.L. Snell’s Market Scoops, October 2009
What authors do you enjoy and what is it about their writing that captivates you?[ Click here to read more... ]
I am very much a new-school kind of reader. The style of early horror writers—and yes, this includes the likes of Poe and Blackwood and Lovecraft—often makes me cross-eyed. I appreciate the legacy of their work, of course, but it's not often that I can truly immerse myself in their stories. And I've tried countless times.