Diane Arrelle Author Interview Feb 21, 2020 19:11:58 GMT -5
Post by Admin Kbatz on Feb 21, 2020 19:11:58 GMT -5
Speculative Short Fiction Author Diane Arrelle Interview.
Diane has had over 200 short stories published and two 2 published books, Just A Drop In The Cup, a collection of short-short stories and Elements Of The Short Story, and How to Write a Selling Story. She is one of the founding members as well as the second president of the Garden State Horror Writers and a past president of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference as well currently sitting on the PWC board of directors.
Recently, Diane has started a new and exciting publishing company, Jersey Pines Ink, LLC.
For more, visit www.arrellewrites.com/ Thanks dianearrelle!!
You write flash and short fiction. What are the differences between novelettes and
novellas in publishing today? Are word limits defined by the publisher?
I really don’t write stories longer that about 4,000 words except unless I’m invited to
write for an anthology of long stories. I enjoy all the variations of short fiction today. So
many choices on length and style. My favorite is the drabble the 100 word story. The
internet has opened up so many new styles over the past decade. Word limits are
definitely defined by the publishers. The magazines and anthologies are their
playground we are just invited to play in them.
How is the road to publication for short fiction these days compared to decades
ago? Where can you find magazines, anthologies, and publishers open to shorter
The world of short fiction has changed dramatically not only over the decades but over
the last few years. It is constantly redefining itself which makes it the most exciting time
to write short stories ever. The have been many golden ages for short fiction, they just
have different names. Writing the short story decades ago was more inflexible.
Submitting was complicated and time consuming. Sometimes writers would have to wait
close to a year to hear back on a submission and have to wait for the response by snail
mail. I usually got my steps in back then by checking the mailbox ten times a day
waiting for the mail carrier to come. Simultaneous submissions were basically frowned
upon back then so once you mailed a story it was lost to you for months. The internet
has created a much better playing field for the writing, much more immediate and there
are so many more choices between e-zines and and the availability of anthologies.
Although the author still has to follow each publishers guidelines exactly.
As far as marketing, that has improved a thousand fold. Back in the dark ages (1980s-
2000) there was The Writer’s Market the big book of annual guidelines. It was
expensive and usually had out of date entries by the time it hit the book stores and
libraries. I belongs to marketing zines that were mailed monthly and I have to admit they
were fun. I loved The Gila Queen’s Guide to markets and Scavenger’s Newsletter and
looked forward to getting them in the mail. Now there are dozens maybe even hundreds
of marketing resources on the internet and tons of Facebook groups that share
guidelines in an extremely quick manner. I check Dark Markets, Duotrope, Ralan, and
Submission Grinder ever week and get newsletters from sites that supply them.
Marketing todasy takes me so much longer because there are so many places to check.
You write horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Is the catch all term
'speculative' still defining the genre or are the sub-genres more specific today?
I feel speculative is a fine catch all term when I don’t want to go into detail with someone
when explaining what I write but it seems to me to be pretty useless when I am actually
writing or speaking with writers. There are so many genres and subgenres out there
now that when I see an editor asking for a subgenre I’ve never heard of, and there are
many and the list is ever growing, I look it up and see if it is something I write or would
like to write. Sometimes I find a subgenre that I do write has changed its name to
something else, which makes me happy because it opens more markets to me. My
advice is to be sure what the editor is looking for and read some samples before you
How important are conferences, networking, and writers’ groups both as a new
writer and an experienced author?
I went to my first writers’ conference in 1980 and it changed my life. I never would have
become a published author if I hadn’t taken the train to Philly and walked into the
Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. It changed my life so totally that I’m currently a board
member of it. At the same time I started going to SF/F Cons which was beyond
exciting. I loved being part of the literary world, meeting writers, making friends, learning
what is current and relevant. Every conference and workshop I attended made me a
better writer, a more informed person and a part of a wonderful community. My advise is
go as often as possible.
In addition to writing, you've also founded Jersey Ink Press. How is the business
of publishing different from only being an author?
It has been an exciting and frustrating three years transitioning to editor and publisher. I
don’t spend as much time with my personal writing but there’s definitely a thrill to see
my name change from author to editor. The first JPI anthology, Crypt Gnats (check it
out and be sure to buy a copy on-line) took me almost a year to edit and publish but
what a great experience. I love the stories, I enjoyed working with (and even meeting
some) my authors, I love the cover art and I am so proud of what we all accomplished. I
have just started editing our next anthology, Whodunit.
How important is marketing both for short fiction works as well as for a
More important for the publisher. We need the authors to use their resources to get the
title out of being buried under the hundreds of books appearing online constantly. We
use social media whenever we can and we go to Cons and conferences to promote our
books. We are very small and we have four published books but plan to get three to four
more published in 2020. We hold release parties at cons and even had a marvelous
book release reception in at the Memorial Cemetery in Edgewater Park/Beverly NJ for
Author or publisher, just be there for your work and always look for ways to promote
What is the submission and editing process for Jersey Ink Press?
Being small, we are putting out anthology calls for our anthologies when we can. I am
introducing new guidelines for Whodunit this week and we are planning for a late
summer call for a new horror anthology Trees. If you are interested in looking for our
submission calls subscribe to our newsletter, check out our Facebook page and our
What advice do you have for writers who writer flash and shorter fiction?
Write! Write what you enjoy, but keep studying your art. The short story is an art form
just like poetry and novels. Perfect what you create and then keep up with the ever
changing marketplace. Never stop working on your writing and enjoy yourself.
Thank you for being part of HOW!