The winner is: Cassandra!
Autumn Harvest: Fall Between the Pages Blog Hop Tour (September 19-26, 2011)
1) HAVE FUN!!!
2) INVITE ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS!!! SPREAD THE WORD!!!
3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Monday, September 19, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, September 26, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
Winners will be drawn and posted September 27th! ***
4) MEET AND MINGLE WITH ALL THE AUTHORS AND BOOK PAGES! EXPERIENCE A NEW PARTY DESTINATION AT EVERY STOP! PARTICIPATE IN EVERY BLOG CONTEST AND BE ENTERED FOR CHANCES TO WIN MULTIPLE PRIZES! EVERY BLOG VISITED IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WIN!!
5) PARTICIPATION AT ALL BLOGS IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. REMEMBER, THE MORE BLOGS YOU HOP, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES. EVERY AUTHOR AND BOOK PAGE IS WAITING TO MEET AND INTERACT WITH YOU, SO PLEASE BE SURE TO SHOW EVERYONE SOME LOVE!
6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE FUN? WHOO! HOO!! HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOO!
***Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification ofwin, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules***
For me, a spooky fiction writer living in the Pacific Northwest, the dark, gray, rainy days of autumn mean retreating indoors, curling up in my favorite chair with my laptop, and writing scary stuff.
Autumn is the time of year I cook a lot too, and as bonus parent to my partner’s two boys who are anti-vegetable kind of kids, I like to devise ways of sneaking veggies into their food.
Sneaking green matter into food was in part how I came up with the idea for The Ginger Men, a short story about a little boy whose mother cooks something creepy when a neighbor sells her some very special spices. The tale’s a Pampered Chef meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers sort of story and it was picked up by a magazine called One Buck Horror and published in their first issue this past summer.
One Buck Horror is a monthly collection of short horror stories. The stories are good quality, old-fashioned, spooky tales that don’t rely on a lot of violence or blood and guts to give readers the heebie-jeebies. Since The Ginger Men in Volume One, I’ve become a big fan of the magazine.
I had a chance to ask the founders of One Buck Horror, Kris Matsumura Hawkins and Chris Hawkins a few questions.
JJ: Hello Kris Matsumura Hawkins and Chris Hawkins of One Buck Horror!
OBH: Hi Julie, thanks for interviewing us!
JJ: How did you guys come up with the idea for One Buck Horror and for publishing a horror magazine?
OBH: We're both avid readers with horror being one of our favorite genres. Chris writes horror stories and works in web development professionally. Merging all these things just came naturally earlier this year. I think we were also partly inspired by the Kindle Chris got for Christmas last year. Looking at the offerings in the Kindle store made us feel like we were looking at the beginning of the Gold Rush or the dotcom era.
JJ: What was your reasoning for creating an e-publication rather than a print one?
OBH: Cost and ease of production, mostly. With print, there is a whole host of issues, including printing costs and the lead time for getting copies in the hands of your readers that just doesn't exist with e-publications. The market for e-books is growing so quickly that we knew we could offer a unique and high-quality product to a larger audience, and do it faster than we could with print.
JJ: You’re a husband and wife team. What’s it like working together on One Buck Horror? Do you have separate tasks, or do you share the duties? Is it just the two of you, or do you have additional editors who help out?
OBH: It's been a lot of fun! There are times when we disagree, of course, sometimes quite loudly. However, that's really due to our passion for both writing and horror (not to mention our mutual bent towards being stubborn). :) As far as division of labor, Kris reads all stories first. Chris works on all technology including our awesome website. We both work on social networking and we both make final decisions on what stories are published. At this time we don't have anyone else working with us, but we've discussed this for our future.
JJ: How many story submissions do you receive in a month?
OBH: We went and did a quick tally! So far in the just over five months we've been open for submissions, we've received an average of 183 submissions per month! Considering our acceptance rate of about 3.3 percent and a monthly publishing schedule of 4-6 stories, we don't anticipate ever closing our submissions.
JJ: One Buck Horror is a monthly publication. Readers can purchase an issue for 99 cents. Is there a reason you decided to let readers buy an issue each month rather than making it an annual subscription-type of magazine?
OBH: This is something we hope to do in the future, assuming that we can find a good way to do it. We're dependent on distribution channels like Amazon, and they don't offer subscriptions, at least not in a way that makes sense for what we're doing. And at the moment, we're still refining our publishing schedule. We hope to continue with the monthly releases, but we might switch to bi-monthly depending on how many stories we have in our acceptance queue.
JJ: One Buck Horror offers professional pay to its authors. Recently you sent a note that writers published in the magazine are eligible to become members of the Horror Writers Association. Chris, I know you’re a member of the Horror Writers Association and that you chose to offer professional pay to your authors so they’d have the opportunity to join the HWA. Why do you think it’s important or beneficial for horror writers to join that association?
OBH: It's important for writers to network, and the HWA is a great place to do it. They have a mentor program for up-and-coming writers, as well as members-only seminars and anthologies. They're also the group behind the Bram Stoker Awards, and they have lots of resources for self-publishing and traditional publishing authors alike. It's a great organization.
JJ: Is One Buck Horror the only project the two of you are currently working on together?
OBH: We're also working daily on what we assume will be a decades-long project to civilize our two children. We refer to each of them as "Young Lord Greystoke" on a regular basis.
JJ: For writers hoping to submit to One Buck Horror, do you have any tips? A theme calendar?
OBH: There's no theme calendar at the moment, but we're definitely open to doing more themed issues in the future, like our upcoming One Buck Zombies (shameless plug). As for tips...probably the number one reason why stories get rejected in the first round is because they are not horror. I know, crazy, right? It's even part of our name, but we get a surprising number of stories that are just not scary. The number two reason we reject stories is because they're not effectively written. And even then, we still reject a lot of perfectly good stories for subjective reasons. The best advice we can give is to read an issue or two to see the kinds of stories we accept, and go from there.
JJ: Here’s the tough two part question:
If you were the main characters in a horror story and had a choice, would you prefer to face a blob-like monster evolved from a petroleum by-product or a family-turned-poltergeist from Enterprise, Alabama?
OBH: Definitely the blob-like monster evolved from a petroleum by-product! We've seen Poltergeist and we've seen what happens to people who try to fight poltergeists. It's not pretty and your house implodes in the end.
JJ: Good answer. Good reasoning. Now that you’ve decided on your monster, how would you battle the petroleum by-product blob?
OBH: We've hit on a two-part solution: we'd first hit the monster from the air with massive quantities of Dawn dishwashing detergent, which is the most environmentally friendly option. Second, we'd lure whatever is left into a Tupperware container and FedEx it to Kim Jong-Il.
JJ: Terrific! Or horrific, I should say. But you’re being environmentally and politically friendly. Another reason to love you guys.
Thank you so much for being my guests! I can’t wait to read the One Buck Zombies issue!
Thank you for visiting my blog during the Autumn Harvest: Fall Between the Pages Blog Hop Tour!
The winner of the contest is: Cassandra!