CatsCurious Press

Oh Noes! Sorry this meant to go up yesterday.



I givez u short interview with my BFF Sonya, Publisher of CatsCurious Press.
Her most recent release is Bound in Skin

A collection of seven short stories. Bound in Skin takes you back to the days of 1960s gothics: mysterious men, dark mansions, terrifying secrets, and passionate romance.





1) What made you decide to become an independent publisher?


The idea had been percolating in the back of my brain for a few years, and then one day my husband finished his first book. I had encouraged him, you see, and told him that I would send it out and find it a home. Little did I realize at the time I made the promise, that non-fiction children's books are a tough sell. So then there was a flash of brilliance and the percolating-idea reared it's mischevious head. I piped up "I'll publish it!" The project gave me a starting point and a direction. After all, I had to have *someone* to experiment on while I learned the ropes!


2) What type of books does CatsCurious publish?

Thus far, CatsCurious Press is a little eclectic in its catalog. We have one children's book (with another on the way), one cookbook, and a couple of looming YA projects (one is the Faery Taile project that opens to submissions in January 2008, and the other has not been officially announced yet). Our imprint, CatScratch Books, is where I plan to publish edgier, spicier, and yes -- even naughtier fiction. Currently we are releasing 'Bound In Skin', a collection of Gothic Romances on December 15, 2007, and I have (more!) unrevealed plans for later next year.


3) What was the biggest challenge for you as a publisher? What was the biggest surprise?

Ah! The biggest challenge so far has been marketing. During the day, I am an IT Professional of many years (16! count em!) and so working my way into putting a book together, physically, was not that large of a leap. However, the ideas and the sheer force of will that go into selling the books once they are printed? That's where I have the hardest time. I am still shy, and don't like to feel as if I am schmoozing someone to get them to buy something by CatsCurious Press or CatScratch Books, but I am learning. In this business, if you can't talk to people, if you can't sell your wares, you're never going to make it past the hobby stage. I think that is true for writers, too.


4) I know that you receive a lot of submissions. What makes a submission stand out from the rest? Is there anything that would make you give a submission an automatic pass?


Let's see -- I can tell you for certain what lands a submission in the circular file: not following the guidelines! I have gotten submissions with purple script font, with single-spaced Times New Roman and embedded italics. I have gotten screenplays and submissions that are easily two to three times longer than what I have asked for... and several that weren't close to long enough to begin with.

It sounds harsh, but the easiest way to sort the seed from the chaff is to see who can follow simple directions -- and who cannot. When I started out as a writer I thought guidelines were too strict or that I could get an editor to change their mind if they only knew how good my story was. Now that I have spent some time on the other side of the fence, I can tell you -- that editor isn't even going to read your stuff if you can't follow her directions! Another way to look at it? You are asking that editor to spend her hard-earned money on your story. Your Baby. But remember that this project she is putting out is also *her* baby, and if you can't help make her job a little easier by supplying her with the minimum that she asks for, how on Earth can you expect her to hand you a wad of dough for a job unprofessionally done? Especially when there are so many hungry authors out there who *will* follow the guidelines!

As for an automatic pass? Not really. When I was slushing for the anthology there was a particular story that I loved with mad love. The problem was, it really wasn't what I was looking for. I held onto it until the bitter end (but sending an occasional update to the author, so he didn't think he was forgotten) but finally decided that if I expected my authors to stay true to what I wanted, then I probably should do that too... So, as much as I loved it, I rejected the story. I hated letting that one go, but I knew that I was trying to achieve a particular mood with 'Bound In Skin' and that his story just wouldn't fit. Not only that -- the women who will be reading 'Bound In Skin' are not necessarily the sames ones who would enjoy his story, and in the end, it's them -- the readers -- that I want to please.


5) Can you give a sneak peek at what we can expect from CatsCurious in the near future?


Goodness! Next year is already shaping up to be crazy! We have a re-release of "Three Things About Animals... and Only One of Them's True!" followed a little later in the year by "Three Things About Bugs... and Only One of Them's True!". In addition to that, I will be working with Jim C. Hines, author of 'Goblin Quest', 'Goblin Hero', and 'Goblin War' on the Faery Taile Project. You can find guidelines here! If you enjoy snarky, faery taile retellings and would like to share a cover with Jim C. Hines, then send me a story or two! (I do accept multiple submissions!)

Also, there may yet be another book from CatScratch Books at the end of 2008, but those details have not been hammered out yet, and a *really* great project coming up from CatsCurious Press in 2009, but the word is not 'official' official, so I'll save those juicy details for later.

Thanks, Ilona!

Isn't she awesome? Okay now I have a question for you. How many of you would be interested in seeing something like Bound in Skin in e-book format?

Comments

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