Thursday, February 23, 2012

Splickety Magazine!

The name just makes me want to say hot diggity dog! Where else would such a high-energy name come from than a high-energy editor? Ben Erlichman had an idea which became a direction which became a reality in the form of Splickety Magazine, flash fiction at its best.

I thought you all might like to meet Ben:

What gave you the idea for a mag about flash fiction?

I got the idea for Splickety Magazine after being published three times in Harpstring Magazine, which is another excellent imprint from Written World Communications (WWC). I hadn't done much flash fiction of my own but I've always appreciated how difficult it is to craft a complete story in fewer than 1,000 words. I realized that WWC didn't have a flash fiction magazine, so I figured I should start one. I also haven't seen much in the way of magazine-type flash fiction publications out in the marketplace, so I hope Splickety can help to fill that void.

What do you like to see from authors?

I like strong stories with believable characters. I need a defined plot with a beginning, a middle, and an end, not something "artsy" that makes me have to think really hard about what's actually going on. Our magazine is for people with short attention spans, so trying to be clever at the expense of the story structure is something I dislike. I need a palpable conflict in the submission--it needs to drive the story. I don't mind stuff that's a little different, too, as long as the story is clear.

Do you have a fave genre?

Personally I gravitate toward action/adventure since that's what I write, so of course I'm interested in seeing that come through Splickety. I think it's pretty unrepresented as its own genre in the big scheme of things. That said, I'm hyper-critical of fight-scenes and the like since that's what I write. If you're going to send me something A/A, it had better be really, really good, and I'll probably still revise it in the editing process anyway.

Overall, I'm open to just about any genre, though. The submissions don't necessarily have to be Christian-themed or based, either, so don't let that prevent you from submitting.

What are some ideas for future issues?

I would LOVE to do a micro-fiction (100 words or less) contest and publish the best ones in an upcoming issue along with some regular submissions. I also want to do a nano-fiction (10 words or less) contest and put the top 25 or 50 in there, and perhaps give a prize to the winners.

We also have a lineup of featured authors for upcoming issues. I'm working on getting one for our next issue in May of 2012, but I've got one or two lined up for subsequent issues in August and November. By "featured" I mean that they're published, well-known authors with multiple books out. Brandilyn Collins graciously agreed to host our first issue with the prologue from her new book Over the Edge. I also have an author who has been sharing her latest work as a serial novel on her blog, and her final installation will appear in Splickety Magazine, in print, for our next issue.

I'm always open to ideas, of course, so if there's something you'd like to see, let me know and we'll consider it.

Thanks, Ben. Later this week, I’m going to feature two of Splickety’s authors, Andrew Winch and Jon Zech so you can all get an idea of some of the contributors. Who knows? YOU might be the next one!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Young Whippersnapper!


I have to pay my respects to the young whippersnapper who became my crit partner four years ago. Jessica Nelson, a truly gifted writer, is about to introduce her first novel, LOVE ON THE RANGE, a Love Inspired Romance. The story will be out April 3, 2012 and is a delightful read.

It's a long road to publication, but Jessica was determined. Though just a whippersnapper compared to a lot of folks writing, her perseverance left no doubt she would be pubbed.

Whether you are fifteen or fifty, if you've been blessed with the talent to write, get off your duff and start putting words to paper. Shut off the tv, or leave it on for comfort, if you're a noise-infused writer, whatever it takes. But write!

Never give up your dream, don't even postpose it, you might be the next Jessica Nelson with a new book to celebrate.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

SAD DAY FOR MUSIC

Farewell, Whitney Houston.

Yes, I was a HUGE fan. When she sang, I was sure I heard the gates of heaven open so all could hear her better there. She had THE voice of this generation without a doubt. Remember the highs and lows? Both vocally and personally that we watched her go through? A mixture of joy and sadness...

When God blesses an individual with incredible talent, there comes huge responsibility with the talent as well. And artists, as we all know, can be very troubled individuals. But we also know God can be in the mix. Only He knows the human heart of each individual.

When Ms. Houston sang the national anthem during the Gulf War, I cried liked a baby, not only at her magnificent voice, but her enthusiasm for America. She raised us to our feet and helped us stand tall at a crucial point in our history. Her voice lifted us up and gave us hope--joy we hadn't felt in a while.

Hopefully we can all remember that our talents in voice, writing, theatre, and/or all of the above, aren't in and of themselves, but in and of God. There is a responsibility.

Don't hide your light under a bushel. Shine. You never know when your breath is your last on this earth.

May God bless her and hold her in His hand. Her personal struggles--our personal struggles are never ours alone. He is always--always--always with us.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

MOST FOLKS GO POSTAL; I GO COCKADOODIE!

HE DIDN'T GET OUT OF THE COCKADOODIE CAR! Anyone remember Kathy Bates screaming in the movie Misery about how the writer cheated her? Well....I've read three romantic suspense books because I like the actual story the writer tells, but I can't stand the cockadoodie nonsense she allows to happen in her books.

In one instance, a piece of equipment which gives away the evidence of a murder, sees down a hallway, around corners, through walls into a bedroom and witnesses a murder, without ever moving. Now, I wasn't a physics major, but 'taint possible, folks.

In another book, a PI in a VERY small town, is asked by the chief of police if the PI has a permit for his gun. Anybody want to venture a guess who signs the permits for weapons in a town? That's right. He had to know about the cockadoodie permit!

Now, I hope you realize, I didn't really go postal over this, but these three books all received 5-star reviews. And, again, I like the stories. Not a big fan of alpha males who talk rather flamboyantly, but I can even get over that. But don't cheat me as a reader by not doing your homework. I had made up my mind not to do this post a couple weeks ago, but after book three it stuck in my "craw" if you don't mind me dating myself.

Readers plunk down hard cash, and I would, as an agent, turn these submissions down if an author didn't fix these problems; instead they went from author, to editors and into print without anyone noticing.

Some things are preferences, others are the laws of physics. C'mon now...