Editor Interview: Ghostley Books

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Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: Uncanny Literature

Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

A: James Ward Kirk Fiction

Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?

A: Abdulkarim Alghabban; Ron Yungul

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: Most Horror publications, in my experience, publish hack writing or pieces written by those who have little or no experience with the art form. I publish literature. Any writer can write literature with some effort, but doing so requires the patience of a painter and the reading of a scholar. Without patience and massive amounts of reading, literature cannot be produced. So, I would venture to state that there are no other publishers who do a similar thing. I would love to be proved wrong.

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Write literature, and make sure the overall storyline is not so transgressive that there is not one glimmer of hope to be found somewhere. Study classic Horror literature. Read Arthur Machen, Poe, Dickens, Le Fanu, Gilman, Stoker and, yes, even Lovecraft and Bradbury.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission to GHOSTLEY BOOKS (or TREMBLING JOURNAL) carries a cover letter, a third-person bio, a brief explanation of what the novel or story collection (or single story or article for TREMBLING JOURNAL) is about, and the first chapter or story, etc.

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: Most usually it is obvious that he has not studied the guidelines, which are there for a reason. I'm not at all demanding like many publishers are. It should be a simple thing to read a few guidelines and follow them. For example, when I say that evil should be depicted as a counterfeit of good and I receive submissions with Satan worship shown in a favorable light (this has actually happened), it's evident at that point that my guidelines have not been considered.

Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: Yes, I like cover letters, third-person bios, and working email addresses. I do like to get a general idea of what the author has been doing with his talent, so a list of publications can be helpful--though I never require previous publication for the writer. We all have to begin somewhere.

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: The first paragraph is generally enough for me to get a good idea of what the story is about. A good writer will show his talent from the very beginning. Thinking editors may like a literary surprise later in the manuscript and beginning the work with something less than literary is never a good idea. Many editors read the first paragraph and make the decision then and there.

Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?

A: Once I accept the manuscript, I offer a contract and then do a line edit which is then looked over by the writer for final approval. Once the ms. is finalized, it goes to print without further editing. I have no readers or assistants, so writers should send their most polished works. An unpolished piece, though it may indeed be a gem, will go unnoticed by me.

Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?

A: Holy Communion first thing in the morning, followed by breakfast and coffee and time spent with my lovely wife Ember. Once she is off to work, I begin editing the works of others, or writing my own stories or novels. I also watch loads of films, and read a lot as well as photograph my own book covers. Long walks are also a part of my day, as well as typical household duties such as cleaning, laundry, shopping, cooking, and afternoon naps.

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: Publishers should embrace every possible form of technology available. I wouldn't know the first thing about most of it, which is why I serve only as an Acquisitions Editor beneath an Editor-In-Chief. I do strongly believe, though, that physical books are deeply important to many people, and should never become defunct. And certainly the local fire department should never be given the task of ferreting out hidden books and burning them--along with their owners.

Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?

A: The works I accept should be fairly well polished. Rarely will I accept work that 'has potential' but has not been well written to begin with. I don't have the time for deep edits of any sort. After acceptance and the contract is signed, I will do a line edit, which does take effort, but is always very much worth the time spent. The final ms. is then read over and approved by the author before publication.

Q: Do you nominate work you've published for any national or international awards?

A: I do not nominate any published work.