Over the month of March, I will be featuring publishers who are taking pitches at the World Horror Convention 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The posts will focus on the kinds of things publishers accepting pitches will be looking for, advice, things to avoid, and other useful tidbits you should know before you pitch.
Please Note: While Redrum Horror will be in attendance at the World Horror Convention later this month, they’re not officially taking pitches. They’re a friendly bunch, and they are looking to add to their Abattoir Press sub-imprint, so this post will function as more as a D.L. Snell’s market scoop rather than a traditional pitching guide. Some great, useful info nonetheless
Publisher: Redrum Horror
Editor(s): Ed Kurtz
Genre(s) Accepted: Horror
Submission Guidelines: Redrum Submissions (currently closed to fiction and short story collections)
Facebook Page: Redrum Horror
About: Redrum Horror is a new imprint with a passion for horror fiction old and new. Beginning with Joe McKinney’s The Red Empire and Other Stories, Redrum Horror will publish exciting new trade paperback editions of the horror novels you loved back in the day alongside new classics from luminaries in the genre like Joe McKinney, Gary Brandner, Jeremy C. Shipp, Guy N. Smith and many more.
1) Tell us a little bit about why you decided to start up Redrum Horror and Abattoir Press. Go into your involvement and role a bit more. What was the main impetus or driving force that led you to starting this up?
EK: I am enormously fond of numbered collections of genre material like Charles Ardai’s Hard Case Crime series and the Dragon Dynasty line of martial arts movies, and I wanted to see something like that in horror fiction. That was the basic starting premise, a line of books catering to horror readers that, in time, would evolve into a lovely matching library of titles spanning the gamut from bizarro fiction to extreme horror to the classic small-town horror stuff from the 80s and 70s. I have a good friend who happens to be a professional artist, so I asked him if he wanted to do covers for the line, and once he agreed I was in business.
The only trouble with the Redrum Horror line is that it is somewhat limited as to what I can publish with it, so I also developed Abattoir Press for all those other projects I wanted to do that didn’t quite fit with the Redrum vision. This way I was able to bring Ronald Malfi’s brilliant quiet horror novel Via Dolorosa to paperback and ebook for the first time and also develop a series of noir/horror detective novellas that are being penned by a group of different authors for Abattoir. I find the two imprints to be complimentary and equally exciting with regard to what’s happening in the near future. But it’s also a tremendous amount of hard work!
2) What’s the most important thing you’re look for from a writer when you’re evaluating a submission?
EK: Obviously any editor wants to see quality writing first and foremost, but what I am really looking for is original content. It’s so easy to leap on whatever sub-genre bandwagon happens to be popular at any given moment, and that’s fine, but my main interest is in new stories that I haven’t already read in a hundred variations. I am by no means anti-zombie, but unless a zombie story is doing something I’ve never seen one do before, I’m probably not going to be very interested.
3) What’s your preferred format for submissions in terms of things to include—do you generally prefer that writers include sample chapters plus a synopsis or just the first few pages, or just the sample chapters, etc?
EK: I am asking for complete manuscripts of approximately 20,000—30,000 words in length. I also want a synopsis of 3-5 pages and a standard cover letter in the body of the email.
4) What do you wish more writers would know before they sent submissions your way? Are you the sole overseer of the submissions that come through to Redrum or Abattoir?
EK: At present I am the eyes that will go bloodshot over these submissions, yes! If nothing else, I would like writers to read guidelines more carefully to make sure they are submitting their work to the right place. It only helps them to do so—submission can tie a project up for a while, and it’s a waste of everybody’s time to send something to a publisher that you would know they won’t want if you read the guidelines!
5) What are some of the new titles we can expect this year from your press?
EK: Redrum Horror will continue with Deadbeat by cult icon Guy N. Smith (Redum Horror #3), Hellborn by Gary Brandner (Redrum Horror #4), Bottled Abyss by Bram Stoker Award winner Benjamin Kane Ethridge (Redrum Horror #5), and The Thing in the Mist: Stories by John S. Glasby (Redrum Horror #6).
Abattoir Press will kick off The Sam Truman Mysteries series in 2012, which I am tremendously excited about. Set in the early 1960s, the series is about a down-and-out ex-P.I. who quite accidentally discovers a dark, supernatural underworld that rears its ugly head in the form of a new mystery in each book. The first volume, Catch My Killer!, will be available in April, followed in six week increments by The Last Invasion by Brandon Zuern, Soft Kiss, Hard Death by Tobin Elliot, and at least three more. They will all be released initially as ebooks, but omnibus paperback editions will follow. It’s a terrific series from a group of amazing young writers from the horror, crime, and sci-fi worlds. I think it’s going to be big!
Finally, the Abattoir Novella Series will include work from the open submissions we receive in March, and published in a similar fashion to The Sam Truman Mysteries—ebook editions first, omnibus paperback later.
And for those who want them some Redrum and Abattoir right now, there’s always The Red Empire and Other Stories by Joe McKinney (Redrum Horror #1), Attic Clowns by Jeremy C. Shipp (Redrum Horror #2), Via Dolorosa by Ronald Malfi, and my own novel, Bleed.
Thanks so much for letting me take up space on your site! It’s been a blast.
And thanks to Ed for dropping by