Saturday, December 11, 2010

Grand Mal Press

  • Publisher: Grand Mal Press
  • Editor(s): Darren Heath
  • Pay Rate: token advance, 8% royalties on print, 15% on ebook
  • Response Time: 3 months at the latest
  • Reading Period: until closed
  • Description: sci-fi, horror, mystery, et al
  • Submission Guidelines:

NOTE: Author D.L. Snell conducted the following interview to give writers a better idea of what the editors of this specific market are seeking; however, most editors are open to ideas outside of the preferences discussed here, as long as they fit the basic submission guidelines.

1) What authors do you enjoy, and why does their writing captivate you?
We like anything fresh and exciting. Some authors we love are Joe Lansdale, Raymond Chandler, Douglas Adams, Jack Ketchum, Brian Keene, William Gibson, Philip K dick, Dan Simmons, Tim Lebbon, Richard K Morgan, Jim Thompson. We like anything well written with a unique style.

2) What are your favorite genres? Which genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?

We are looking for horror, sci-fi, mystery, thrillers, and genre-related humor like The Hitchhiker’s Guide or The Stupidest Angel.

3) What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
Doesn't matter as long as it serves the story. We are not huge fans of fantasy, though.

4) Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
We enjoy books that start out strong somehow. The first page should really grab us. After that, the plot can go at the pace it deserves.

5) What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
We like detectives, but also quirky characters that are fun to follow. We also enjoy coming of age stories.

6) Is there a specific tone you'd like to set in your publication? What kind of voices grab you and keep you enthralled? Any examples?

We're looking for unique styles and voices, stuff that is very engaging. We like the type of writing where style plays a part in the storytelling. The authors previously mentioned are good examples. Be witty, be satirical, be cutting edge, make us go “Wow, this is new and fresh.” But don't forget "story." Story is king.

7) What is your policy for vulgarity, violence, and sexual content? Any taboos?
If it works for the story then fine. If there's unnecessary racism, rape, cruelty, etc, we won't be impressed.

8) What kind of themes are you seeking most in submissions to this market? In general, what themes interest you?

Anything speculative. We like reading Stephen King as much as we like Frederick Pohl and Raymond Chandler. But make sure characters are 3 dimensional. A good story has a good character arc.

9) Overall, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?
We like ’em both.

10) Any last advice for submitters to this market? Any critical do's or do not's?
Read the guidelines to see what we don't want.  Don't send rehashed plots we've seen before. Make sure the script is as polished as possible.  Beyond that, we're eager to read everything that comes in. Show us what you've got!

For more scoops, go to

D.L. Snell writes with Permuted Press. He edited Dr. Kim Paffenroth twice, John Dies at the End once, and provided a constructive critique to Joe McKinney on his next major novel after Dead City. You can shoot D.L. Snell in the head at

To reprint this article, please contact D.L. Snell.

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