Archive for April, 2011

Niteblade Contributor Interview with Beth Cato

Beth Cato‘s stories have appeared in numerous issues of Niteblade.  Her work is available in print and online.  Beth’s novels are represented by Rebecca Strauss of the McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency.

When did you first recognize yourself as a writer?

When I was four or five years old. I loved books and I made my own at home with scrap paper and staples. However, as an adult I didn’t make a serious commitment until I was 26, stuck at home with a baby, and losing my mind. Writing helped me to find my brain again. Mostly.

What draws you to speculative fiction?

I love the “what if?” element of spec fic. The real world has so many limitations and is often dull. If you bring magic or aliens or the end of the world into the mix, well, you have a different set of challenges to live by.

Is there a piece of writing advice you’ve never followed?

Yes. I avoid advice that I MUST write 1,000 words a day or I MUST write so-and-so. Everyone has their own style and it changes over time. Some days you can make 1,000 words and some days you can be grateful for 50. I had to learn to be flexible and forgive myself for falling short sometimes.

Your work has made several appearances in Niteblade.  In the March 2009 issue, Rhonda chose to publish your story, “The Pacifier.”  Is there a story behind how it came about?

I read Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road and was haunted by what the book didn’t show. How would a person survive with a baby in a post-apocalyptic environment? What would they resort to in order to stay alive? The trilogy about Jessie and Aaron emerged in those answers.

What have you been working on lately?

I recently acquired a literary agent—and that still boggles my mind—and I’ve spent the past week working on edits. It’s scary and exciting to think of my NaNoWriMo labor of love actually going out on submission to publishers in the next few months.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with Niteblade’s readers?

I can say “Niteblade is awesome,” but I’m probably preaching to the choir. If you want to read my Niteblade stories, you can find links in my bibliography at Thanks for having me here!

Niteblade Contributor Interview with Heather S. Ingemar

Heather S. Ingemar doesn’t tie herself to one creative outlet.  She’s a story teller, songwriter and musician.  Echelon Press released her horror short story “Middle of Nowhere” in February.  It’s available at Omnilit and Amazon.  You can follow Heather on Twitter.

Heather S. Ingemar

When did you first recognize yourself as a writer?

Probably 2006. That was when I began seriously considering publication.


What draws you to speculative writing?

I’ve always been drawn to the fantastic, the what-if scenarios that could happen. For me, it’s always been castles-in-the-air. (laughs) I guess it’s only natural that would show up in my prose…!


Is there a piece of writing advice you’ve never followed?

“Write EVERY Day.” Nope, never really followed that one… Kinda hard to when you work part time, musician part time, and help run the family farm full time… I’m more fond of “quality over quantity.”


In the September 2009 issue of Niteblade, Rhonda chose to publish your story, “Cold Too Long“.  Is there a story behind how it came about?

I just had this yen to write a story featuring a skeleton. I’ve never written anything dealing with bones; it’s always been monsters and fantastic beasts. No bones. I wanted to experiment with that. And then, the first line of the story came to me and I was sold!


What have you been working on lately?

I have been working to get several pieces ready for publication, and then this year, I’ve decided I want to work on writing in verse. I feel like I want to try something new, something challenging, and verse is both of those things. We’ll see how it goes!


Is there anything else you’d like to share with Niteblade’s readers?

I’ve got several stories now available for Kindle and Nook, and I’m keeping busy getting others ready for publication. I invite you all to stop by my website, http://heatherthebard.wordpress.comfor the latest news, and ‘fan’ me on Facebook – look for Heather S. Ingemar. I love hearing from people. 🙂

The Cartoon Creations of Steve Cartwright

With moustachioed lips pulled back from yellowed teeth, a surly old troll snarls at each and every viewer who catches a glimpse of his ugly mug. A green-faced fortune-teller gazes into a crystal ball, reading the uncertain futures of any and all passers-by. A tormented soul partially enshrouded in blackness wails behind crimson bars. These and other colourfully strange images can be seen in Cartoons by Cartwright.

When he isn’t pummelling himself in the head with a frozen mackerel or drooling on tavern napkins, Steve Cartwright is creating his unique brand of cartoon art. A freelance artist, illustrator, and cartoonist working out of Atlanta, Steve has composed works for a variety of venues, including newspapers, magazines, websites, and books. He received the 2004 James Award for his Champagne Shivers cover art. In addition to his for-profit ventures, Steve also works pro bono for various animal rescue groups. From time to time, he’s even been known to scribble on those aforementioned tavern napkins (hopefully before they become too soaked in drool).

More of Steve’s work can be seen here:

Cartoons by Cartwright!


A Few Quick Stats

I know a fair number of writers are interested in submission statistics, so I thought I’d share some of ours in a short blog post.

I’ve got two strong sources of data. Duotrope’s Digest and Submishmash. Duotrope’s has listed Niteblade since we first opened, so their stats are based on a longer time frame than Submishmash’s. However, Duotrope’s information is not as complete because it is based on submitters self-reporting data. Since not all submitters use Duotrope’s Digest, nor necessarily accurately report their information, it’s nice that we can supplement that data with some from Submishmash.

Duotrope’s Digest shows an average response time of 22.8 days for an acceptance and 24 days for a rejection.
Those numbers are strongly influenced by historical data, our turn over time for submissions now that we’ve switched systems has greatly decreased. You can see this in action by looking at the rss feed for Niteblade on Duotrope’s Digest. You’ll see the 20 day response is an abberation now. Yay!

Duotrope’s Digest reports that our responses break down like this:
Acceptances: 9.38%
Rejections: 85.94%
Rewrite Requests: –*
Author Withdrawals: 4.69%

Submishmash, which only has stats from the beginning of December 2010, shows the following:
Acceptances: 5.05%
Rejections: 87.88%
Author Withdrawals: 7.07%
Interestingly, these rejection numbers are low because poets often send more than one poem as a single submission and we often pass on all of them. That means some of the rejections that are recorded singly actually represent as many as five pieces.

Nom nom, numbers to crunch!

*I included this because it illustrated the incompleteness of data from Duotrope’s Digest. I don’t often request re-writes, but it happens.