Wednesday, November 01, 2006

DKA Day 3, Continuing with Mir

Continuing the discussion about Dragons, Knights, and Angles Magazine with Mirtika Schultz, assistant editor and fangirl of Gerald Butler.

5. What types of stories is DKA looking for? I mean, what would have the best chance of getting published?

Something with a fresh twist and very good prose. We always look for those. We like stories of hope that offer an emotional and spiritual and not just cerebral experience. We want characters who aren't bits of cardboard pushed around to serve a doctrine, political stance, or scientific concept. Make us care about the characters.

I refer your readers to the contest-winning story by Chris Mikesell, "The Unfortunate Purgatory of Arthur MacArthur" for a look at solid, good prose with atmosphere and an interesting character. Plus, it has a hopeful, happy ending (of sorts). Is this a slipstream story? You decide.

I also refer you again to "Damage" by Jane LeBak, an angel story. (Angels, really, as there are more than one.) The twist here: the guardian angel is actually a fallen angel, and one who has critically damaged the fetus to which he is then tethered. Consequences and redemption ensue. And surprises.

We like humor, too. We've published some pieces with a chuckling spirit.

Ultimately, we don't want to be bored and we don't want crappy writing or flat characters. Beyond that, be creative.

6. What are DKA's plans in the future?

To stay afloat. No, really. We depend on volunteer workers and donations. (A good part of the budget comes from the volunteer staff.) If you want to support the CSF community, consider donating to DKA. It's easy. We take Paypal. (Jason's note: see the Paypal link on the left sidebar of DKA)

Besides the matter of survival, we hope to be able to offer higher pay rates. That depends on how much support we get.

Next year, we will host our second fiction contest. Unlike this year's, we may have to charge an entry fee, a minimal one. We had hoped to offer it as a free contest, but funds are low and the reality is that for a good prize(es) to be given, a five or ten dollar entry fee may be required.

We're no different than any magazine with an ethical heart and a fannish soul: We aspire to offer higher quality stories and poems of wonder and magic and space. We pray and we work to improve the magazine. But the long-term depends a lot on what those of you out there do. If you support us and submit good work, we'll continue.

7. I help moderate a site for Star Wars related fanfiction ( We get some pretty crazy submissions sometimes. What is the most interesting (read: weird, unpublishable) story that you've come across in reading submissions?

We recently read a very strange and incomprehensible story with oodles of math and talk of dimensions. We declined it. Later on, we accepted another rather odd story by the same writer. I fought for that one. I like odd stories, as long as I see evidence of good craft and some character I can relate to or sympathize with or root for or be enthralled by. Good sci-fi concepts will nab me, too, but the execution is often lacking with science fiction, it seems.

Usually, our unpublishable stories and poems aren't that way due to weirdness. They are unpublishable due to poor execution: awkward prose, jarring metaphors, stilted dialogue, cliche plotlines, etc.

8. Do you have a favorite story you'd like to highlight here?

I really loved the ones I mentioned and recommended in a previous question. Those would be my top two.

Others your readers may enjoy: "Sorrow's Shroud" by Rachel Marks (Issue 30) got very good reader feedback and had a redemptive, hopeful ending. The Dragon Keepers, or How the Dragon Spits Fire by Candy Taylor Tutt in issue 31 has a Rudyard Kipling "voice" and is both amusing and rather charming. As a book-lover, I had a soft spot for Tyler McHenry, Middle-Aged Lover of Books by Wade Ogletree.

I wouldn't mind highlighting my poem about Lot's wife, "MONUMENT "in issue 34. A shameless plug, I know.


I like this quote from Johne Cook, former managing editor of DKA who wrote the vision statement:
To my way of thinking, dragons represent the mystical, the unknown world, dangerous and magical and huge beyond reckoning. Knights represent the horizontal, selfless but moral humans fighting the good fight with feeble flesh and faith. Angels represent the vertical, messengers of an almighty God, purveyors of Providence, proof of the unprovable, denizens of a supernatural spiritual reality.
I was watching the end of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers yesterday where Sam and Frodo were talking about the story that will be told of them someday. I felt an encouragement from the Lord, telling me "there are still stories of good and evil waiting to be told." I felt it was an encouragement for me to continue with my writing, but I think it applies to DKA as well. Our species needs hope, and it has been a tradition as far back as cave paintings: Telling of the exploits of our heroes to encourage us all. Sci-fi and fantasy seem to do this particularly well. I encourage everyone who reads this to check out DKA and support them if you feel so moved. We need a place for these "stories of good and evil" to reside.

And continue the journey with the other members of the blog tour below.

Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Kameron M. Franklin
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Joleen Howell
Karen and at Karen¹s myspace
Oliver King
Tina Kulesa
Kevin Lucia
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Cheryl Russel
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Frank Creed
Christina Deanne
Lost Genre Guild
John Otte

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the support and the cool interview. I enjoyed answering.