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Editor Interview: Timber Ghost Press Blog and Newsletter

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

A: Dread-inspiring horror

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

A: I really like what Death's Head Press is doing with their Splatter Western line. It shows great branding, and as a customer/reader, I know the type of literature I am going to get from them. I also admire Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. Max Booth III and Lori Michelle have raised the bar with publishing horror and when I created Timber Ghost Press, I used them as a role model.

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

A: Some of my favorite writers include Stephen King, Betty Rocksteady, Lucy A. Snyder, Bentley Little, Simon R. Greene, Dathan Auerbach, R.A. Salvatore, and Jim Butcher.

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

A: When you read a book from Timber Ghost Press you know it is going to be weird, creepy, or disturbing. It's going to make you think and it may not always fit inside of a category easily.

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

A: The best piece of advice would be to write something that builds the tension and dread slowly. I want a slow burn on the creep factor. Bonus points if it is well-done cosmic horror as I am a big fan of the cosmic. If you submit something that is cosmic, set in a rural location, and gets creepier with each page, then there is a good chance I will ask for a full manuscript.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: My ideal submission would be about some people recreating in the woods and they stumble across something (maybe an altar or obelisk or something of the sort) and then find out that there is some entity in the woods hunting them down one by one. Bonus points for ancient rites, stars aligning, etc... Or, I am a sucker for horror and westerns mashed together. If you can write me a slow-burn, creepy, weird, and disturbing horror western, I'll eat that up.

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

A: Often they will send me submissions that aren't really horror or they are too short. I know that we are open to novellas, however, if a story is too short, it makes it harder to market and I am likely to pass on those submissions unless they are really great.

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

A: I enjoy a well-written cover letter. It lets me know what kind of experience a person has. That's not to say that I won't publish new authors because ultimately it comes down to the writing and the story.

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

A: I can sometimes know within the first few pages if I am going to pass on it or not. Sometimes I will pass on a piece because it doesn't fit the brand I'm shooting for with Timber Ghost Press. Other times I will pass on it because it doesn't hook me, or I don't feel much for the protagonist.

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

A: If a submission catches my interest, I will ask for the full manuscript. If the story is engaging and I like it, I will then start evaluating a piece based on how well it is written. If a manuscript is full of errors, I will probably pass on it even though it is a good story.

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

A: I will generally read through 1-2 novel/novella submissions a day, and perhaps 3-5 flash/poetry submissions a day. As I mentioned before, I will generally have an idea early on if I am going to reject a piece. At any given time, I usually have 2-3 full manuscript requests I am reading through as well.

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

A: I think it is very important to embrace modern tech. I am constantly on the lookout for apps or software that will assist my day-to-day business operations. That includes using electronic submission processes, databases, digital signing software for contracts, etc. It makes my life so much easier. Most of our communication to the public takes place via Twitter and Facebook, as well as with our newsletter.

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

A: Each piece goes through at least one round of editing. I will do the edits on some of the books, and I contract editing out to a person I trust for other works. It all just depends on what is going on at the time and how much time/money I have at my disposal. As far as what gets edited in each piece, it depends. Generally speaking, each book will go through line edits, copy edits, and proofreading. However, there have been times that a book has gone through substantive editing. The author reviews and approves all edits that take place on their piece.

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

A: Yes. I nominate our books to the Bram Stoker Awards with the Horror Writers Association.