Taking Submissions: Literary Erotica Anthology: Haunted

Deadline: August 5th, 2017
Payment: 1 cent per word

We are in search of erotic stories centered around the theme of haunted. How you execute this theme is up to you—a multitude of interpretations are possible.

While fantastical and spooky elements are welcome, we suggest writers familiarize themselves with the full dictionary definition of “haunt” and think outside the box. For this anthology we aren’t just looking for ghosts, ghouls, and other monsters. We want to feel something that is persistently there. Something that twists the mind, invades our waking thoughts, disturbs our sleep. The characters must be haunted or haunting.

The sex needs to be raw, passionate, hot, and at the story’s centre. Four-letter words are neither required nor discouraged, although we have a preference for graphic lust conveyed through beautiful prose.

No hard requirements in terms of secondary genres. This theme lends itself well to speculative genres—but think sexy not scary.

Please read our general submission guidelines prior to submitting. We prefer the erotic to the pornographic and have an extreme prejudice for stories with a literary style—however, hot, passionate sex must be at each story’s core. It may help to familiarize yourself with some of our other titles prior to submitting—particularly our short story anthologies and stand-alone shorts.

1,000-5,000 words, although we’ll consider pieces that fall outside those parameters on a case-by-case basis. Multiple and simultaneous submissions ok. No reprints.

If accepted, pay is 1 cent per word. The deadline for submissions is August 5, 2017.


Submit here.

Via: Mug Wump Press.

Taking Submissions: Electric Spec November Issue 2017

Deadline: October 15th, 2017
Payment: $20 per story

Please don’t query us about your story submission. We don’t have the manpower to answer such queries. An editor will email you back as soon as possible with the decision about your story. This can take a few days, or, up to three months. We make every effort to get back to authors in a timely manner but we get a lot of submissions so sometimes it’s not possible.

A note on our editorial policy: before publication we may edit the story for length or readability. However, we always remain true to the spirit of the story.

Issues are published at the end of February, May, August, and November. We reserve the right to shift publication date slightly, as necessary.

We have reading periods for each issue, though we never close to submissions.

February closes January 15

May closes April 15

August closes July 15

November closes October 15

Please do not submit the same story more than once, and please submit only one story at a time.

We consider any story between 250 and 7000 words with speculative fiction elements. We prefer science fiction, fantasy, and the macabre, but we’re willing to push the limits of traditional forms of these genres.

We do not consider poetry, stories with over-the-top sex or violence, serials, novels, fan fiction, or non-fiction. We don’t accept multiple submissions; in other words, only submit one story at a time and wait for a response before submitting another. We accept simultaneous submissions as long as you let us know up front and tell us as soon as it’s accepted elsewhere. We do not publish reprints, including anything that has appeared on a website.

We pay $20 for each story we publish. We buy first-printing world exclusive rights for four months. Payment will be made shortly after publication using PayPal. We encourage our authors to establish a PayPal account if they don’t already have one.

We prefer to read submissions in traditional manuscript format. This means indented paragraphs instead of left justification, and Courier or Times New Roman font in 12 pt, double-spaced. Also, please include the title, your name, address, and word length on the first page of your story.

To submit your story to Electric Spec, e-mail it as an attachment in Rich Text Format (RTF) to submissions at electricspec (dot) com. Use the following subject line: SUBMISSION:Story Title by Author’s Name (Word Count). In the body of the e-mail, include writing credits, if any, and the word count of the story. With the proliferation of viruses on the Internet, we do not open attachments unaccompanied by a cover letter.

We respond to most submissions within six weeks. Because we are a quarterly magazine, it may take us up to three months to make a final decision, but we will let you know if your story is being held for voting. Please note we do not send out messages upon receipt of stories.

If you want to withdraw a story from consideration, please e-mail us at submissions at electricspec (dot) com and include the word WITHDRAW in the subject line. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us at our submissions address and include the word QUERY in the subject line.

Why Submit to Electric Spec?

At Electric Spec, we encourage authors to do their market research before submitting work. Electric Spec stands out from other markets because:

  • We pay for stories and artwork.
  • We don’t have slush readers. At least one of our editors looks at every story that comes in.
  • We’ve been around for over ten years – and we’ve never missed an issue, deadline, or author payment.
  • We actually edit the stories we publish. Our experienced editors work with authors to make their stories the best they can possibly be. Many magazines out there don’t do that – and it shows.
  • We have a quick turn-around time regarding publication. We try to send out rejections in 30-40 days. Acceptances take longer, but we will let you know if your story is in the running (i.e. held for voting) in that same time frame.
  • We love authors because we’re authors, too. All of the editors are published speculative fiction authors.

Art Submission Guidelines

We are currently accepting art submissions for our issues.

Please do not submit the same artwork more than once.

Please submit artwork separately from stories.

We will consider any picture with a speculative fiction element for issue cover art. Look at previous covers to ascertain our tastes. We prefer energetic pieces that narrow the boundary between realism and fantastical, both in genre and style. Consider that our readers come to Electric Spec for stories; we want to see story portrayed by your imagery. Art may be re-sized to fit standard browsers; we will not crop or alter the piece without your permission.

No over-the-top sex or violence, or fan fiction characters or settings, please. Though we appreciate the form, we don’t use caricature or graphic novel style art for our covers.

We pay $20 for each piece of artwork we publish. We buy first-printing world exclusive rights for four months and non-exclusive rights thereafter. Please note this means we want art that has not been published elsewhere. Payment will be made shortly after publication using PayPal.

To submit your art to Electric Spec, e-mail it as an attachment to submissions at electricspec (dot) com. Use the following subject line: ART SUBMISSION: Title by Artist’s Name. We prefer standard electronic formats such as jpeg or gif files.

Unless you receive a note indicating otherwise, your work may be considered for any future issue. We have, rarely, commissioned original artwork for the cover; if we ask, please be honest about how fast you can work. We operate under tight deadlines for publication.

We respond to most submissions within a month. We do not send messages upon receipt of submisisons. Because we are a quarterly magazine, it may take us up to three months. For art work sometimes we consider submissions after the three months has passed, i.e. we consider art work for more than one issue. If we do not reject a piece, it is still under consideration. Of course, in the meantime, if you place it elsewhere, please let us know.

If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us at submissions at electricspec (dot) com.

Via: Electric Spec.

Taking Submissions: Deadman’s Tome September Issue

Deadline: August 6th, 2017
Payment: Royalties 60% of net earning split evenly amongst the authors

Calling for submissions for the Deadman’s Tome September issue. The theme? Let’s go deep into the realm of sci-fi horror. Let’s explore the claustrophobic corridors of abandoned space ships, the fragmented ruins of distant worlds, and the demonic horrors that watch us from afar!

Theme: Dark horror sci-fi. Gore and adult subject matter welcomed

Word Limit: 5k

Payment: Royalties 60% of net earning split evenly amongst the authors

End Date: August 6th, 2017

Send to [email protected] with SCIFI HORROR in subject.

Via: Deadman’s Tome.

Taking Submissions: Autumn’s Harvest Anthology Call: Autumn Fantasy Anthology

Deadline: August 25th, 2017
Payment: One half-cent per word, with a minimum payment of $5.00 and a maximum of $15.00.

Estimated to come out in November.
Word Count:    500-10,500
Theme:    Autumn is a beautiful and magical time, and yet many times it is the most neglected. You hear of the wonder of Winter, the beauty of Spring, and the joy of Summer, well, this time we want to hear about Autumn. It is a time of death and rebirth. As the trees loose their leaves in one last explosion of color before the stark paleness of Winter, waiting to return again like a pheonix, what becomes of the world around them, both seen and unseen? What lurks benaeth the harvest moon? What only comes out when the world is fading and the Earth itself holds its breath, waiting for the first snow to fall? Fairies? Monsters? Witches? What adventures wait in this magical in-between? We can’t wait to find out!
We are primarily wanting fantasy and dark fantasy settings focusing on an Autumn theme. While we will consider modern/futuristic stories, we want the focus to be on the nature of Autumn and magic/fantasy elements inspired by it.
Response Time:  Please allow up to one month. After that, if you don’t hear from us then feel free to give us a little nudge.
Payment: Payment will be one half-cent per word, with a minimum payment of $5.00 and a maximum of $15.00. Payments will be made by PayPal in USD. Payments will go out no later than four months after the publication date.
Editing: Yes, your story will be edited if we decide to accept it. After we go through and edit your story, it will then be sent back to you for final approval. In some cases, we may ask for revisions to be made. 
Reprints, Multiple & Simultaneous Submissions: Yes. Payment for reprints is a maximum of $10.
Guidelines for Submissions:
  • All submissions are to be sent [email protected]
  • In the subject line please type AUTUMN ANTHOLOGY SUBMISSION: [Your Story Title Here].
  • In the body of your email, please include your name and word count. If the story is under 2,000 words, please paste the text in the body of the email, otherwise please attach it. 
We will list all published authors on our site. Once you have a story accepted for publication, we will post a little author bio up on our site with a list of all published pieces (published by FDM).

Via: Fantasia Divinity Magazine.

Trembling With Fear 07/16/2017

‘Trembling With Fear’ Is Horror Tree’s weekly inclusion of shorts and drabbles submitted for your entertainment by our readers! As long as the submissions are coming in, we’ll be posting every Sunday for your enjoyment.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

My Name is Jacob Hoffman

With daylight dulled by thick pewter clouds, the city is unusually bleak this afternoon. It’ll be dark soon. Just my luck.

Why the hell did I agree to cover Mavis’ shift at the bar? I should’ve known better than to say yes. I should be inside by now, locked up safe and sound.

She wasn’t supposed to tell me her name. It’s too personal. Too human. We don’t do that around here. Not with the disappearances.

The rain begins again. Shivering, I skulk down Twenty-Ninth Street.

There haven’t been any incidents in a while. I don’t know whether that means we’re safe, or that death’s overdue and looking to return with a vengeance.

Maybe there won’t be any problem, I tell myself. The rain’s been sporadic, so maybe the sewers won’t be too full yet. Maybe the creatures won’t surface tonight. In my gut, I know that isn’t true. They’re coming. And I’m alone and out in the open— a prime target.

I pause to shake off the fat raindrops which rests on my shoulders. I pull my coat’s collar tight against my throat.

With every passing minute, the pedestrians dwindle until it finally seems like I’m the only one outside in the whole damn city. The rain keeps pounding down. It’s just a matter of time before the sewers begin to flood. After that, the creatures will emerge. I shudder at the thought.

As the orange streetlights flicker on, my pace quickens. I’ve got a dozen blocks to cover before nightfall and time’s running out. Lightning flashes. Thunder cracks.

There’s a faint scrape, like footsteps, somewhere nearby. Behind me, I think. I go a little faster.

The sound follows me down Thirty-Second and by Thirty-Third I decide to try and lose whoever, or whatever, is tailing me. As soon as my foot strikes the pavement on Thirty-Fifth, I make a left, then a right, then a left again. Half a block here, a full block there, a quarter of a block somewhere else. It doesn’t matter where I’m headed as long as I’m moving forward.

It stalks me. My throat tightens with panic. The sky darkens and I push forward. Still, it follows me, so I sprint.

Somewhere along the way I turn a wrong corner and run into an alley. It’s a dead end, but I discover it too late. I round the corner and my face slams against cold hard metal. Everything fades to black.

My eyes flutter open. Blood seeps from my brow. It drips down the bridge of my nose and lingers on my lips.

My body throbs. Soggy and shivering, I see my breath in little puffs. For a moment, I forget about the noise and the creatures and why or where I was trying to go. There’s only the searing pain in the back of my head and the sharp ache on my face.

In a puddle of runoff and dumpster drippings, I lie flat on my back, sprawled out, waiting until everything around me stops spinning. I stare up at the bulb shining above me. Behind it, the sky is impenetrable and black.

As I struggle to my feet, my legs feel gelatinous and wobbly. The light flickers above me. Hoping to catch my breath, I stand and lean against the brick wall.

From one of the back corners of the alley, the sound returns. I whip around to face it, but the light above me fizzles out. The drizzle stops. The air is still and humid.

At the opening of the alley, footsteps slam against the wet concrete, trying to escape. Someone flees from the beasts, but with every step, the stranger leads them right to me. The steps crescendo.

My stomach drops. There’s no time to escape, so I press myself between the wall and dumpster, hoping the garbage covers my scent.

The footsteps end with a thump—like the sound of a body landing on pavement. A woman’s scream pierces the air. I freeze. Muscles stiff as stone. The scream echoes against the walls of the alley, creating a discordant choir—singing agony and terror in rounds.

At first, there are words “No! Stop! Please! Don’t”, all the usual things people cry out when they’re begging for mercy. But after several seconds, the words fall away and in their place come other noises.

Eventually, the echoed screams fade to a whimper which tapers off into a tiny gargle, then stops altogether. It isn’t until after the screaming’s stopped that I wish it would continue. Screaming means pain but silence means death. I don’t know which is worse.

The creatures grunt and suck and slurp. As I witness the unholy sound of her flesh being sliced and shred, acid creeps into my throat and vomit fills my mouth. The noises turn into crunching as the creatures gnaw on her bones. Their nails click on the concrete as they leave.

A few minutes pass. I relax and slowly exit the alley. I fumble to light a match. When it ignites, I discover I’m standing in a puddle of blood. A whimper rises in my throat. As I wade through the puddle, it soaks into my socks and wicks up around my ankles. The match slips from my fingers into the pool, and the alley plunges into darkness once more.

I take a deep breath, then I run. And I run. And when I think I won’t make it another step, I run some more. With twists and turns, I dash through the maze of open streets and narrow alleys. I’m going to make it home if it’s the last thing I do.

Up ahead, over a corner bakery, a street sign flashes Forty-Eighth. Finally, something familiar. It’s so damn beautiful I could cry. Relief courses through my veins like morphine. The acidic sting in my tired muscles melts away. I’m close.

I sprint until I reach Hamilton and Fifty-Second. I made it. The nightmare is nearly over. Not only have I survived— I’m home.

I stumble up the doorstep and fumble with my keys. They slip through my wet fingers and fall to the ground. As I bend over to retrieve them, I see a creature crouching on the fire escape, staring back at me.

It licks its lips and lets out a deep growl.

I try the key again, but my hand trembles so violently, I can’t do it. The creature snarls. For a moment, I’m paralyzed with fear and my thoughts jump to the woman in the alley.

The creature’s nails click against the metallic steps— slowly descending the fire escape. It lingers on the last step. Suddenly, it opens its jaws and clamps down on my leg—teeth piercing straight through one of my knees.

My free leg to kicks the creature’s face. It releases its grip on my limb and steps back. I pound my fists against the door, screaming, “Open up!”

Claws dig into my skin and rip open thick stripes of flesh.

“Help!” I plead, slamming an open palm against the iron grates of tenant 1A’s front window.

From inside, the curtains inch open to reveal a child’s face. His mother quickly covers his eyes, but she doesn’t turn away. The creature continues to devour me. I beg for mercy until words escape me.

The woman in the window makes no effort to help — she just stands there, silently witnessing my final moments.

As darkness settles upon me, I realize I probably should’ve told her my name.



Stephanie Villegas

Stephanie Villegas

Stephanie Villegas is a freelance writer living in sunny Southern California. She graduated with a degree in Religious Studies from UCSD, where she developed a deep interest in cultural beliefs and the paranormal. Among many other obsessions, she can’t get enough of Speculative Horror, Film Noir, vigilante comic books, and mechanical typewriters. Her Flash Fiction is published at Postcard Shorts and she anticipates the release of her debut novel later this year.

Occasionally, she blogs at http://easypeasyfiction.blogspot.com/

To Die For

“Look, it’s not even cooked.”  The diner poked at her food in disgust. “Ugh.”

“You asked for rare,” her companion reminded her.

“Rare does not mean raw.”  She looked around.  “Waiter, I need to see the chef now!”

“But madam …”

“Forget it.  I’ll go.”

She got up and marched into the kitchen, stepped over the bodies.  She hacked another piece off the chef, flashed it under the grill.

“If you want anything doing properly,” she said as she returned to her seat, “you’ve got to do it yourself.”

She smiled happily.  The food here really was to die for.

Stephanie Ellis

Stephanie Ellis is a TeachingAssistant in a Southampton secondary school but previously worked for many years as a technical author. Her genre fiction short stories have found success in Massacre and Sanitarium magazines as well as a variety of horror anthologies. She is also an active member of theFlashDogs flash fiction online community where most of her contributions are of the darker kind. Also, co-curator and co-editor at The Infernal Clock.

You can find out more about Stephanie at: http://stephellis.weebly.com/.

The Companion

I’m glad you’re here.

I know.

I didn’t know who else to turn to.

You can always come to me.

You’re always there.

I’m always here.

It’s beyond my endurance now; I can’t sleep.

I know.

You always understand.

I do.

Everything’s so dark.

I’ll find you.

Something’s moving around.

I know.

I can’t see.

I can see you.

It hears me.

I know.

It smells putrid.

You’ll get used to it.

I’m afraid. I don’t know what’s happening.

I can tell you.

It feels wrong.

You’ll numb yourself to it.

I think it’s coming for me.

I’m already here.

Carl R. Jennings

Carl R. Jennings is by day a thickly Russian accented bartender in Southwestern Virginia. By night he is the rooster themed superhero: the Molotov Cocktail, protecting the weak and beer-sodden. While heroically posing on a rooftop in the moonlight in case a roaming photographer happens by, he finds the time to write down a word or two in the lifelong dream that he can put aside the superhero mantle and utility comb to become a real author.

To The Sea, The Sorrow

Leah sat on the edge of the pier and looked out to sea, salt tears welling in her wide grey eyes. She thought of her mother; the beautiful hair gone, oily sweat growing slick on pallid skin. She thought of the day she returned from school to find her mother’s bed empty and her father stone-faced, teeth clenched.

“She has gone to the sea,” he’d told his daughter who, old enough, dismissed the words as a well-meaning fable.

As Leah stood and left, a pale shape broke the water. Oil-slick and bald, it watched the girl with wide grey eyes.

Daniel Pietersen

Daniel Pietersen is an author of weird horror and terror philosophy, interested in how speculative works tell us about the world today as much as the world to come. He has had two short stories published in The Audient Void and a longer work that deal with time and regret can be found on the Aether & Ichor blog. Daniel lives in Edinburgh with his wife and dog.

They Glistened Black In The Sun

The Clickers were everywhere.
Thankfully Jesse had hidden.
She knew if they saw her she was dead.
They slept during the day.
It should have been safe.
Yet here they were.
Each time they moved the clicking grew louder.
Something had them agitated.
They were hunting.
The sound was drawing closer.
She just had to be quiet.
Not draw their attention.
One of them passed where she hid.
Its carapace glistening black in the sun.
Closing her eyes, she tried not to whimper.
Hours passed before they left.
Hours more before she worked up the courage to try for home.

Stuart Conover

Stuart Conover is a father, husband, rescue dog owner, horror author, blogger, journalist, horror enthusiast, comic book geek, science fiction junkie, and IT professional. With all of that to cram in on a daily basis, it is highly debatable that he ever is able to sleep and rumors have him attached to an IV drip of caffeine to get through most days.

A resident in the suburbs of Chicago (and once upon a time in the city) most of Stuart’s fiction takes place in the Midwest if not the Windy City itself. From downtown to the suburbs to the cornfields – the area is ripe for urban horror of all facets.

Oh, he’s also the editor of this site!

You can find out more about Stuart over at his homepage.

The Horror Tree Presents… An Interview With Ace Antonio Hall

Liz – I’d like to introduce you to author, actor, and all-round nice-guy, Ace Antonio Hall!

Ace, tell us a little bit about your part of the world?

Ace – I live in South Pasadena, California, which is about one of the best places in SoCal an author can live. It’s neighbor, Pasadena, is rumored to had been the first “Beverly Hills”. The people here are great, the Target stores out here have the best popcorn for your buck, and the jogging trails from South Pasadena to San Gabriel are awe-inspiring. I mean, to capture a California sunset in South Pasadena is to hold an angel’s wings with bated breath.

Liz – that certainly paints a picture! What do you enjoy most about writing?

Ace – I love the fact that anything, is possible. A writer has the chance to create worlds, and beyond. Take for example, the way Laurell K. Hamilton created the power of the ardor for her character Anita Blake. How she came up with that idea can be argued over many a margarita, but the fact that it’s so imaginative has to inspire horror, science fiction, and romance novelists, whether on their first manuscript of their twentieth. That power to create, to manipulate a reader’s mind, to scare them, to make them cry, and even better, to put my character through as much turmoil as possible, makes me get up nearly every morning at four a.m. to write. People don’t care how much you know, until they KNOW how much you care! Well, I love, love, love to read, and I love, love, love to write.

I always tell my fellow writers when I’m speaking on panels, “When you get some free time, write. When you get some lazy time, plan. When you get down time, world build. When your time comes, shine!”

Liz – Glad to see another 4am riser! It’s the best time of the day to write, in my opinion. Would you say creativity is in your blood?

Ace – That is something that I’ll let you decide. I have been fortunate to over-the-years to come up with a few ideas that have been very imaginative, and many more that have not been as imaginative.

Liz – You’ve stated, ‘Not only must a writer be an avid reader, but one who reads a ton in their areas of writing’ – can you elaborate on this?

Ace – A very fine teacher, and former literary agent, Denise Dumars, was the first person to look at my horrid first novel, back in 2009. I remember her saying, “Ace, we call this a kitchen-sink novel. It has everything in it except the kitchen sink. But it doesn’t seem like you even read in your genre. It is horror, isn’t it?” she asked. That’s because it had spies, monsters, natural disasters, action, and whatever else I could throw in, as a novice, thinking it would make it better to mix all the genres I loved to read.

Denise gave me the best advice ever, and I started reading horror novels, namely in the undead sub-genre, and what I learned after reading well over fifty novels and short stories, was the tropes, the language, the rules, the voice, different styles, the scares, what was standard, what was over-used, and what was paying homage to that genre so much so, that it became innate in my very being. After about a year of reading only in the genre I wanted to write, was I able to, not only recreate what I’d learned and was inspired by, but create, from my own personal experiences and imagination, only something that I COULD WRITE.

Liz – That’s some good advice I think all of us as authors could take on.

What motivated you to study screenwriting at college?

Ace – When I was maybe, eight or nine years old, I made monster comic books with my artist friend Johnny Bryant, and dreamed of seeing my stories on the big screen. My favorite comics to draw were Godzilla, and I developed my own set of super heroes. I knew that if I’d gotten some formal training, it would better-prepare me for the future. A lot of my friends who are writers never needed that kind of formal training, but can tell you every plot line that Larry Niven has ever written. Me, I wasn’t so good reciting and analyzing an author’s work, but by studying with masters of their craft, I developed better technique that translated into what many of my readers call a “visual style” of writing.

Liz – You’ve had an impressive career in education – you taught middle school English for 10 years, before moving to Los Angeles to take on the role of director of education for the Sylvan Learning Centre – has this experience benefited or influenced your writing?

Ace – I think it has. Being immersed in the psychology of children, their likes, their concerns, their troubles, their tragedies, and their future, molded certain principles and themes in my writing like abandonment, growing up in single-parent homes, or homes with strong matriarchs and weak patriarchs, their language, and their dreams. One of my stories, published by Bard and Sages, called Raising Mary: Frankenstein is about a dying girl with a last wish to have her dead relative, Mary Shelley, raised from the grave. I wouldn’t had harnessed the magic of a young girl’s imagination had I not taught children.

Liz – You then decided to leave your education career behind you in order to pursue writing and acting – was it a hard decision to make?

Ace – Yes, it was! Simply because it was a decision to leave behind a stable 80 grand-a-year job to hustle as a stand-in actor for sometimes 1,500 a week, to sometimes nothing when the show got canceled in a very unstable profession. However, I needed the free time to think, create, develop and polish my craft. Being an English teacher where you take your work home (reading and grading up to 120 student essays/stories), and leading a multi-million-dollar institution as a director at the Sylvan Learning Center was just too demanding and if it weren’t for my dear friend, Jane Eugene, from the iconic British Soul group, Loose Ends, encouraging me to follow my dreams and write, that dark hole of regret that was growing in my soul would have enveloped my entire being by now. I’d be a walking cesspool of bitterness.

Liz – Sometimes you just have to take the chance and trust that the universe has your back.

A TV show named Creature Features captured your attention from a young age – what was it about the show that stood out and how has that influenced your writing?

Ace – Lol. This interview has the best line of questioning I’ve ever had the pleasure of answering! Another great question, Liz. Partly because it proves you’ve shown an interest for your subject and that is probably one of the most flattering things an interviewer can do. (Liz – Why, thank you, Ace!) Yes! Yes! Yes! I loved Creature Features. I was always enamored by the possibilities of putting people in situations where fear drives them into even more danger. The Creature from the Black Lagoon and so many other films that came on that program shaped my warped imagination. Those programs gave me the foundation to scare the heck out of my readers with the fantastical.

Liz – Confessions of Sylva Slasher debuted in 2013, courtesy of Montag Press, what influenced you to write a young adult zombie novel?

Ace – Would you believe me if I told you it started out as a story about a woman trying to overcome breast cancer? How it turned into an eighteen-year-old necromancer fighting just as many as her own personal demons as the monsters of the world, I don’t know. What I can tell you is that Sylva Slasher would never had been born had it not been for Anita Blake, nor Bruce Lee. I wanted to create a female teen Bruce Lee with a twist of horror and that’s who I came up with. The first novel I ever read was Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key that featured a female protagonist. That has never gotten out of my system. I guess it didn’t hurt to have crushes on Wonder Woman and Batgirl when I grew up, either. Wasn’t the Wonder Woman film awesome? Gal Gadot is so beautiful, and her acting in the movie was top-rate. What a great film for DC. But as everyone who knows me knows, I’m a huge Spider-Man and Marvel fan. So “Avengers Assemble! “-nuff said.

Liz – Now that is a kick-ass assembly of inspiring characters. Is it true that you believe we have entered the ‘Golden Age of Zombies?’

Ace – Awesome Question, Liz! Yes, just like the Golden Age of Hollywood, which started in 1927 with the Jazz Singer, we are seeing a prolific paradigm shift in zombie theatrical and TV releases. The same way that I credit Christopher Nolan by changing the superhero game in 2005 with Batman Begins by, not making a superhero movie per se, but a dramatic film with the protagonist happening to be a superhero, and thus lifting the genre to a greater cinematic quality, the October 31, 2010 debut of Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead, did the same for the undead genre and brought us into the Golden Age of Zombies. Look at the film World War Z? Clearly, one of the best ever!

I will add though, that Shinji Mikami’s survival horror video game Resident Evil, released by Capcom in 1996, is the catalyst for the zombie craze. He re-birthed the fascinating world that George Romero made famous and infected the young world with, to this day, the scariest video game I ever played. Playing that game was the first time I jumped clear out of my skin and up on the ceiling. I made everyone else in the room who watched me play jump from pure fright, too. Awesome! We are now in an era that the undead films and projects are made with better plots, characters and stories. Hear ye! Hear ye! It is definitely the Golden Era.

Liz – I couldn’t play Resident Evil as a child – far too scary for me, back in the day! You’ve also published a number of short stories, do you have a favourite, and why?

Ace – Yes, I’ve been fortunate to have had a dozen or so stories published in the last year. Many of them you can find on my website at AAntonioHall.com/books. I think my favorite is the one published by Bard and Sages, Society of Misfit Stories, Raising Mary: Frankenstein, because it involved so many emotional elements in the story, as well as fantastical moments. I guarantee that once you meet my character, Dresy Swansea, you’ll see why the story was nominated in 2016 as “Horror Story of the Year” by Preditors and Editors, and was on the Reading List for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Awards in 2016-2017.

Liz – You’ve also seen success with your acting, including working as a stand-in for shows such as Son of Zorn, and How to Get Away with Murder. Can you tell us a little about your experiences? How does it feel to see your goals unfolding?

Ace – I always joke that I’ve lived a Forest Gump life in that I been associated with some of the most iconic personas in history: I danced with Madonna in a club called The World, hung out at Michael Jackson’s house because I once gave Rebbie Jackson’s daughter, Yashi, a vocal lesson at their home in Woodland Hills, CA, and was welcome to her son, Austin’s, high school graduation party. Check this out: I was in charge of seating Prince, and welcomed him to B.B. King’s nightclub at the Citywalk when I was a promoter there. I lived with N’Sync’s and Britney Spears’ co-manager, Doug Brown, and got to saw them all the time in the studio.

I managed an artist named Asu the Mike Tightner, who did a few songs with Tupac, and produced an underground video featuring he and 2Pac. I had a father who wrote the lyrics to “So What” by Miles Davis that led me to meet the iconic Cicely Tyson and hear her tell me stories about Miles Davis, and omigod, had one of the most talented actresses in TV and Film today, Viola Davis ask me to be HER Facebook friend. I thought it was a hoax and when I asked her did she friend me, she said, “And I’ve been waiting for you to to friend me!” I ran right to my phone and accepted. Lol. I mean, I got a lap dance from Ashley Graham with her husband sitting right next to me when I stood in for NeYo on Lip Sync Battle for rehearsal, and that was crazy! Yeah, it was definitely mind-blowing to play the talented, smart and absolutely beautiful Vanessa Williams’ boyfriend in Desperate Housewives, but truly, writing is my passion.

Life has dealt me some cool cards, and my life, if anything, has been extremely exciting, but in all honestly, all I really ever wanted was to write entertaining stories good enough that even the great authors of today could nod to, and appreciate.

Liz – You have an impressive portfolio of connections, that’s for sure. But to have a legit friend request from Viola Davis!? I’m beyond fangirling over here… you have no idea, haha! With so much success with both, do you prefer, writing or acting? Why?

Ace – Writing: Because I read to inhale, and I write to exhale. Creating stories is the way I breathe. Writing is why I exist. And I want the world to experience my stories as much and as many times as they possibly can. I want to create worlds that people can delve into and disappear.; stories that stay with my readers forever, and mold the way the see things.

Liz – ‘Because I read to inhale, and I write to exhale.’ – I really like that! Sounds like something I should have pinned to the top of my computer monitor. Do you find the ability to act helps with developing characters in your stories?

Ace – Not my acting, but watching great actors, like Viola Davis, and Alfie Enoch, inspires me to create nuances and emotions in characters that are borne from the struggles of the choices they made with their character’s past. I’ve worked with Damon Wayans, Jr. probably more than fifty times, and it’s always great to see how he approaches his characters. He’s a strong actor and a natural comic. It allows me to think about creating characters that are compelling and entertaining.

Liz – Liz – Damon Wayans, Jr. is hilarious! I came across a little random fact about you and have to ask – how did you come to play the music for New Kid’s on the Block’s remix of ‘Dirty Dawg’? (I’m a massive NKOTB fan from way back! I’m not kidding…I had my wedding to Joey McIntyre mapped out and everything…)

Ace – You are too funny! One of my homies, the legendary Greg Nice, from the hip-hop duo, Nice and Smooth asked me to do the music. We recorded it in D&D Studios on 37th Street in Manhattan. Again, another iconic musical group that I’ve had the pleasure to be associated with was New Kids on the Block. In hindsight, I wished I’d done more with the track. But Greg was happy with the keyboard parts that I did, and then he added the magic that he always does with his records. To this day, it is the record I made the most money off of, and although I didn’t get credit on the record, everyone who’s anyone knows I did the keys on it. I can’t tell how much of an honor it was, and feel indebted to Greg Nice for asking me to do it. Remember when NKOTB had four albums on the charts at the same time? They were bigger than big, back in the day.

Liz – They certainly were! I’m not ashamed to admit I have an NKOTB playlist on my Spotify…Tell us about the inspiration behind your latest release, Lord of the Flies -Fitness for Writers.

Ace – In 2008, I’d gotten to the point where my waist was an unhealthy 38” and I was up to 210 pounds. After my niece teased me about my “man-boobs”, I decided that enough was enough and started a lifestyle that combined fitness, healthier eating (because I still enjoy peach cobbler, but my diet was consistently HEALTHIER than it had been), detoxing, and better sleeping habits. Eventually, I got my waist down to 29” and my weight to 164 pounds.

After six years of that lifestyle, I’d gotten the rep for being a generally healthy guy, and I was approached by the Editor of Omnium Gatherum to do a fitness workshop for the 2017 StokerCon, back in March 2016. That Halloween at a Horror Writers Association party, she asked me to write a book as a compliment to the workshop. I wasn’t confident that I could pull it off, but went for it, and couldn’t have been happier with the results. I sold out of the book in the first two hours of release, on February 25th at StokerCon!

Liz – What a brilliant result! You must be so proud! What inspired you to put together the video, 24 Cali Fitness (a music parody of Bruno Mars’ 24k Magic) What was the process like in putting it together?

Ace – A friend of mine, a 16X Jiu Jitsu World Champion, loved Bruno Mars, and infected me with her love of his music. He’s a great artist and a terrific performer. It didn’t take long before I became a big fan of his art. I called up a friend of mine who cast me a few times in theatrical projects that featured the beautiful and talented actress, Shanti Lowry (The Game, Family Time) and asked her to direct it. She pulled in director, Dale Stelly, celebrity choreographer, Jabari Odom (Mariah Carey, Ginuine, Chris Brown), and John (Good Times) Amos’ son, KC Amos, to edit the project. I was blown away at the prospect of working with so many talented professionals of that industry.

The next thing I knew, Jane Eugene from Loose Ends was singing on it, and the original member/songwriter from the Commodores, Dave Cochrane, co-produced it with me. The record got some radio play in Las Vegas on KCEP Power 88 FM. It only got about 1,600 hits total between my website, and the other YouTube versions, so it wasn’t a big hit like all the other 24K Magic parodies, but I had a lot of fun doing it. What many people don’t know is that I had laminectomy back surgery two days after the video shoot, and as much as I wanted to get in tip-top shape for the video couldn’t, because of pre-surgery restrictions. So, my tummy looked “out-of-shape”, but I took it all in as a funny parody, and didn’t mind people laughing at the concept.

The process: Lawdy, Lawdy! There were so many fires I had to put out, being that I was also funding the video myself, and the entire experience probably added more gray hairs on my head, but if I had to do it all again, I would (with someone else’s money, though). It was an amazing experience and I’m so grateful to Amber Schwartz and Shanti Lowry for doing the project. Those two incredible women made the 24 Cali Fitness video special. I’m indebted to them, forever.

Liz – You’ve also recently undertaken your first major radio interview in Los Angeles, which must have been exciting – how did it come about?

Ace – Nice and Smooth was in town doing a few shows, and I hung out with them. The Legendary Holiday was their deejay, and I played the song for him. He loved it! The rest is history. He played the song, a couple of times, and loved it so much, he said he’d put it in rotation. When I was up in Vegas, I gave him a call and he had me come down to the radio station for an exclusive interview. I can NOT tell you the emotional outburst of humility and gratefulness I felt when I was driving in the streets of Las Vegas, listening to the radio and all of a sudden heard my song come on the radio in between a Janet Jackson song and Beyoncé song! It was one of the most memorable moments of the year, next to having Omnium Gatherum release my book, Lord of the Flies: Fitness for Writers! To hear my song on a popular FM radio station was incredible!

Liz – Since you’ve embarked on your writing journey, have you met anyone who has influenced and/or mentored you?

Ace – Two people I credit with mentoring me in the “Write” direction was: Heather Graham, Alexandra Sokoloff and Robert J. Sawyer. Heather was the first author I met, back in 2008, and immediately we clicked. I met her at the WeHo Book Fair, and she told me about HWA. She gave me her email address and was so nice to answer any questions I had, and gave me great advice. I met Robert J. Sawyer on the set of Flash Forward, and we also immediately hit it off. He has been a great influence, and friend.

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS) president, Tony N. Todaro has probably had the most influence on me through his group. He took me in, elected me Vice-President and offered me the most substantial programs that novice writers need. I learned about the business, met industry professionals, developed marketing tactics, spoke on dozens of writing panels, helped run conferences and crafted my writing all because of his organization, GLAWS.

Liz – What’s next on your busy agenda?

Ace – I just got back this morning (June 26th) from speaking at a conference at the University of Pacific in Stockton. I love Scott Evans’ writing conference. He does great promotion and the second I step out of the car, am treated like royalty. The people up there know me, and I love that. My panels are always filled, and I always am able to offer help to many writers.

This month, I’m finishing up an untitled horror novel (maybe I’ll call it Feeder), about a young troubled dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) who is investigating a homicide that may be connected to a string of child abductions and becomes personally involved when her own siblings are kidnapped. It isn’t until the ghost of her deceased mother “Feeds” her clues that she begins to gain an advantage on the killer, and get a step closer to saving her younger brother and sister before something happens to them. I’ve already finished the book, and am now in the fourth draft editing the manuscript. My goal is to be done with the novel by September.

Liz – Wow! That sounds fascinating – I can’t wait to read it! Thank you so much for your time!

If you would like to know more about Ace, or check out his work, click on the below links.


Download 24 Cali Fitness Free: https://www.aantoniohall.com/links

Lord of the Flies: Fitness for Writershttps://www.amazon.com/Lord-Flies-Ace-Antonio-Hall/dp/0997971754/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494565518&sr=8-1&keywords=fitness+for+writers

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7091539.Ace_Antonio_Hall

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LordoftheFliesFitnessBook/
Twitter https://twitter.com/fitness4writers
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/aceantoniohall/
Official Website https://www.instagram.com/aceantoniohall/

Taking Submissions: Untitled Indie Shelves Horror Anthology

Deadline: September 30th, 2017
Payment: 75% of net profit from each unit sold will be split between the accepted authors, with each author earning an equal split.

No Erotica
Sex, profanity, gore, and adult themes are allowed, but any submission that relies too heavily on any of these will not be accepted.

Word Count- 7,500-10,000
Genre: Horror
Accepting between 12 and 17 submissions.

The goal is to showcase the talent of budding Independent Authors.  The Horror Anthology will be around 500 pages.  The final amount of accepted submissions will depend on the length of each accepted submission.  Indie Shelves Publishing will retain 25% of the net profits of each unit sold.  The remaining 75% of net profit from each unit sold will be split between the accepted authors, with each author earning an equal split.  5% of Indie Shelves Publishing’s 25% royalty will go to the chosen editor/s.  5% of Indie Shelves Publishing’s 25% royalty will go to the chosen cover designer/s.
Each chosen author will be allowed a marketing page, immediately following their submission.  They will be able to list any other works, upcoming works, social media accounts, blog sites, or websites.  The goal is to help get you exposure.
Indie Shelves Publishing values the success of the individual author, over its own financial gain.  If, at any time, the author is offered a more beneficial arrangement, or no longer feels that the inclusion of their work, in this anthology, is in their best interest, they may request the removal of their work from the anthology.  The request must be in writing.
Once the written request is received, Indie Shelves Publishing will, within 30 days, remove the authors story from the published anthology.  Any/all distribution rights, with Indie Shelves Publishing, for works featured in this anthology, have no minimum term for inclusion.

Via: Indie Shelves.

Taking Submissions: Furry Frolics

Deadline: October 1st, 2017
Payment: Contributor’s Copy

Thurston Howl Publications is now accepting submissions for its furry anthology, Furry Frolics (tentative title); Fred Patten, editor.
Deadline: October 1, 2017
Word count: 2,500-8,000; a little above and a little below will be acceptable

Humor has been a rarity in furry fiction.  We aim to change that!  Furry Frolics will friz your fur and tickle your tail.  We want your funniest fiction.

There have been stories with anthro animals mixing with humans in our civilization:  what would it REALLY be like for a furry in our world?  Having to wear clothing on top of thick fur?  The ever-popular “tails and doors don’t mix”?  Or having tails and wearing pants at all; or tails and chairs with no tail-holes?  Being in a stinky crowd with an animal’s enhanced scent?  Or: being the manager of a hotel that caters to all sentient animals, predators and prey, of all sizes?  (Think Zootopia.)

Funny-animal stories will be accepted, but try to make it a genuine anthro-animal story, not one that would work just as well if the characters were all humans.  Also remember that “funny” is not the same thing as “silly”, although if you can make it both, go ahead.  (What is the anthro equivalent of a pie in the face?  Remember that most mammals besides humans and horses don’t sweat.)

We will NOT accept:
Racism, sexism, or discrimination presented in a positive light.
Pedophilia or sex with characters under the age of 18 presented in a positive light.
Rape, torture, dubious consent, forced seduction presented in a positive light.
Snuff or Necrophilia presented in a positive light.
Bestiality presented in a positive light.
If you are in doubt, ASK. Better to ask then to get an outright rejection!

You can submit up to three stories, but we will only accept one per author (if any).
Reprints are fine, but you have to own full permission of the work in order for us to consider it.
We will not accept simultaneous submissions.
Payment: Authors will receive a free copy of the print book.
Send submissions in .doc or .docx format to  [email protected] .
We will inform all authors regarding decisions within a week or two after the deadline.
Tentative publication date:  January 2018.

Via: Thurston Howl Publications.

Taking Submissions: ‘The Heart of a Devil: Horror and Dark Fantasy Villains Anthology’

Deadline: August 10th, 2017
Payment: Payment will be one half-cent per word, with a minimum payment of $5.00 and a maximum of $15.00. Reprints are the same but with a max of $10.
Note: Reprints Allowed

Estimated to come out in time for Halloween.
Word Count:    500-10,500
Theme:    For this anthology, we want glimpses into the world of those we love to hate. Monsters, demons, murderers, etc. Are they as evil as they seem? What made them do those horrible things? What was their breaking point? Were they good once or has their heart always been black? A broader take on the fairy tale villains anthology.
Any time period and sub-genre are accepted, however there must be a villain/bad guy as the focus of your story.  Villains may be taken from fairy tales, mythology, folklore, monster legends, history, or entirely original.
Due to a large number of submissions for the new anthology that fail to meet the theme and/or guidelines, we have decided to give some extra clarification for what we are looking for.
This is NOT just a horror anthology about villains/evil people.
Get us into the heart of the villains. Make us question if they are really that bad. Help us understand why they do what they do. Show us that underneath their actions, there is something there that could make us empathize with their plight. Go beyond the darkness and evil and help us wonder what’s under the surface of those we love to hate.
Response Time:  Please allow up to one month. After that, if you don’t hear from us then feel free to give us a little nudge.
Payment: Payment will be one half-cent per word, with a minimum payment of $5.00 and a maximum of $15.00. Payments will be made by PayPal in USD. Payments will go out no later than four months after the publication date.
Editing: Yes, your story will be edited if we decide to accept it. After we go through and edit your story, it will then be sent back to you for final approval. In some cases, we may ask for revisions to be made. 
Reprints, Multiple & Simultaneous Submissions: Yes. Payment for reprints is a maximum of $10.
Guidelines for Submissions:
  • All submissions are to be sent [email protected]
  • In the subject line please type HORROR ANTHOLOGY SUBMISSION: [Your Story Title Here].
  • In the body of your email, please include your name and word count. If the story is under 2,000 words, please paste the text in the body of the email, otherwise please attach it. 
We will list all published authors on our site. Once you have a story accepted for publication, we will post a little author bio up on our site with a list of all published pieces (published by FDM).

Via: Fantasia Divinity Magazine.

Ongoing Submissions: The Arcanist

Payment: $50

Welcome to The Arcanist!

We’re a new Medium-based literary magazine that focuses on fantasy and sci-fi flash fiction. We love magical worlds full of dragons and speculative looks at the future, and we think these two genres are important to our culture, which is why we want to give writers of these genres a new place to publish their work. One that pays them, too. (Yay!)

Since we’re brand new, we’re opening up submissions for our weekly publication schedule (we aim to properly launch within the next couple months).

So, let’s get on with it:

What We Talk About When We Talk About SF/F Flash Fiction

Fantasy and sci-fi stories are incredibly engaging for audiences of all ages. Look at the impact The Lord of the Rings has on pop culture or how Nineteen Eighty-Four still informs the masses today. These stories are important, entertaining, and thought-provoking. They deserve more platforms.

We are that new platform. There are many Medium-based lit mags out there, but rarely any that focus solely on these genres. Those days are over, friends. The Arcanist is a place devoted to SF/F content primed for a digital reader on the go. It’s also a place where writers can get paid for their work, which we feel is super important because, you know, bills and takeout are important aspects of life.

You Didn’t Even Tell Us the What You Want

Oops. But hey, now you know where we stand.

Anyway, we want stories that are 1,000 words or less. We know this is a tough task given the lengthy, world-building heavy nature of the genres, but we believe in you!

Here’s a breakdown: 1K words (or less), a proper story (with a beginning, middle, and end), and a good character (to love or hate or feel at least something about). These stories should rooted in sci-fi or fantasy. We understand that SF/F encompasses many different sub genres (like horror, for example) and we welcome those, too.

If you want a good guide on this type of writing, Faith M. Boughan over at Fantasy Faction has a great write up about common mistakes. Check it out here.

What Are Some of the Things You Don’t Want?

No hate speech, racism, or any other offensive materials. This is a no-brainer.

No extremely vulgar stories filled to the brim with naughty words. We’re not saying that those can’t be good stories, but they’re stories we don’t want.

No excessive gore or violence unless it is integral to the story. If it’s in there just to be gross, it’s not for us.

No fan fiction. We want originality.

No poetry.

We would also prefer that your story be published here first. If you have already published it elsewhere, we can look but it’s a tough sell.

Didn’t You Say Something About Payment?

Why yes we did. We pay our fiction writers $50 for accepted submissions. We will reach out directly to you for payment details upon accepting your story. We pay using PayPal or Venmo.

Okay, So How Do I Submit?

You can submit by following this link and filling out the simple form. We do not accept paper submissions of any kind. If you would rather email us, read the linked form and follow the instructions at the bottom.

Here’s that link again. Just in case.

How Long Until I Hear Back?

We give each submission a thorough examination, which takes time. Since we are just starting out, it’s hard to give an exact estimate. We promise we will get back to you, though, and request that you be patient!

Can You Wrap All This Up? I have Stories to Write.

Sure, here’s everything in a nutshell:

  • SF/F stories only (including their sub genres)
  • 1,000 words or less.
  • Stories must be actual stories. Not poems or elegant descriptions — actual stories that follow an arch.
  • You can submit using this form.
  • We pay $50 for the fiction stories we accept.
  • If you have any questions, drop us a line at editor(at)thearcanist.io

Thanks for your interest! We look forward to reading your submissions.

Via: The Arcanist.

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