Editor Interview: In Between Altered States

This interview is provided for archival purposes. The listing is not currently active.

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

A: Fringe Flash Fiction

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

A: I admire Sunnyoutside Press out of Buffalo, NY. David McNamara is a fine editor and bookmaker. The work he chooses always hits the mark and the books are artfully handcrafted. I also admire Alternating Current/Propaganda Press. Leah Angstman is a hard working woman that works for the people. It is hard to keep up with her energy.

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

A: I publish flash fiction which is starting to take off in the small press, but still pretty behind the times as most people are gravitating towards writing longer works and novels rather than shorter hard-hitting pieces. I admire the work of Steinbeck, Cather, Stegner, Marquez and Hegi, but what you will find on this website will be nothing like those writers. These days my favorite flash fiction writers are Len Kuntz, Robert Vaughan and Cheryl Anne Gardner.

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

A: The flash fiction that I publish at In Between Altered States is very short....300 words or less and can be anywhere from fringe to downright frightening. At IBAS I strive to create a dream like state where each individual story sort of melts into the next one with those weird, almost painfully seamed connections. Each story is great on its own, but together they build an experience. It is the most fun I have at the website because it is like putting together a puzzle and trying to mesh writer's words together.

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

A: My advice would be to please, please, please read the submission guidelines. In the guidelines I have listed the topics that I am collecting work for and their deadline dates. I require very little from the writer except great work, so please take the time to read the requirements I do have.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission is intelligent and twisted and makes me sort of cringe because it crosses lines in the sand that society has drawn. One of my favorite stories was about a woman who found out she had AIDS and sat down to then call all the men she had unprotected sex with to deal out this possible fate. It was hard to read. It was read yet on the edge of what most could stomach. The author had commented that he has submitted the story to so many places and no one would touch it because of content. If you have those stories, they belong at In Between Altered States. I like wayward fiction.

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

A: The biggest thing submitters get wrong is not reading some of the previously published work. I am not looking for nice stories or works about nature and daffodils. I like work that crawls out from the underside of a rock.

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

A: I do enjoy a "howdy do?" but to be honest I don't ever look at where people have been published before. It doesn't much matter to me. If the work speaks to me I publish it.

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

A: I read the entire piece which isn't hard considering they are only 300 words long. I chose that format because reading long pieces online gives me a headache and I don't have the attention span for it.

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

A: Pieces get accepted really by how well they fit with the other works I have already accepted because I am creating a dream sequence. They have to link together in some way no matter how minute. The writer can't prepare for this and often I will create new topics to give stories a home if I really love them.

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

A: I am a nurse in an emergency room and a mother so my day is pretty full. Most of my editing is done on off days when the kiddo is at school or late at night when there is silence. I am constantly thinking about each issue though...about where I want to take it.

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

A: In this day and age I think you have to embrace technology. It is only going to get more advanced and the longer you put off learning it or turning your nose up to it the farther behind the curve you'll be. I produce another publication that is mostly poetry based that is strictly print. I'm basically living life with one foot in each world and it is interesting to see how the differ and how the print one thrives just as much as the online one.