Sunday, December 29, 2013

Aspiring author of a diverse Fantasy, Sci-Fi or otherworldy story?-Las Twinjas sit down with publishing company, Dragonfairy Press....pssst:It's the last day of our giveaway!

Since the launch of our blog, my sister and I have been on the look out for publishing presses that represent a diverse group if authors and stories. After discovering two amazing authors(who happen to be sisters!Cool, Right?) represented by DragonFairy Press, the press became on our radar. We think it's important to support companies that represent diversity in fiction and they're definitely a press you should keep your eye on if you're an aspiring writer who incorporates more than the "default" in fiction. 

1. What can you guys tell us about your amazing publishing press, "Dragonfairy Press?"

We publish all kinds of speculative fiction, some featuring characters of color and some featuring other characters. Because we are minority-owned, we tend to attract authors who write characters of color, and we’re thrilled to find great stories with those characters.

2. What genres and types of stories do you prefer @ Dragonfairy? What do you look for in authors and in submissions?

We take all kinds of speculative fiction, from middle grade up to adult. By “speculative,” we mean just about any subgenre of fantasy, science fiction, or dystopia. If it falls outside the bounds of what we know to be true in our world, we’ll consider it.

The primary things we look for in an author and a manuscript are a strong writing style, a clear plot that is presented early in the story, and a primary character voice that jumps off the page.

3. Is it challenging being a small press that represents authors of color and/or novels featuring protagonists of color?

Up to this point, we’ve found that other companies are excited to work with us. Our biggest challenge has probably been getting on the radars of authors who might be interested in submitting. So thank you for asking us to do this interview. We appreciate the opportunity to talk more about what we do.

4. What's more likely to catch your attentions @ Dragonfairy Press? A story where the style/prose needs a bit more work but has great potential? Or a story that has strong style of writing, but would require many changes to make the story marketable?

In general, of course we want a story that has strong writing and a strong story, although editorial changes will likely be made regardless.

If I had to pick one or the other, I’d probably lean toward a strong writing style. I’m speaking only for myself, by the way. I can’t speak for our other editors with respect to which they’d prefer. But for me, I’m going to make editorial notes on the story, and a strong writer can take those notes and revise the story beautifully. In contrast, while I can make suggestions about writing style, this is something that develops in a writer over time and is more difficult for me to change in my editing.

5. What makes a query letter stand out to you?

Please, please, please just follow the submissions instructions!

We’re not looking for fancy query letters that stand out based on being non-traditional in some way. Just give us what we ask for. Introduce us to your story, and tell us about your writing credits (if any) and what you plan to do with your writing in the future. Then include the excerpt we ask for in our submissions instructions. The reason we ask for certain things to be included in queries is because those are the things that catch our attention.

6. @ Twinja Book Reviews, we talk a lot about diversity. What are some ways, we as readers, can help encourage diversity in books so that books featuring more diverse characters can become more visible, and mainstream?

Please keep doing exactly what you’re doing. In my opinion, the best way to get more books with more diversity on the market is to prove to publishers that you care about them. That means buying them, recommending them, reviewing them, or all of the above.

7. I’m sure our aspiring authors want to know, what is your submission process like?

We take both agented and unagented submissions.

For unagented submission, all our acquiring editors have access to the submissions inbox, although not all may be accepting submissions at a given time. We ask for the entire manuscript to be attached to the original submission. This is because, if we love a submission, we want to keep reading instead of following up to ask the author for more of the manuscript.

If one of our editors is interested in a particular submission, that editor can contact the author and ask questions about writing plans, potential changes to the manuscript, etc. If the editor finishes reading the manuscript and wants to acquire it, the company owners discuss initial editorial notes and marketability, and then they determine whether to make the author an offer.

8. What are some themes you're dying to see from future authors that you've haven’t seen at all, or enough of already?

Again, I’m speaking for myself and not for other acquiring editors. Personally, I’d like to see more young adult speculative work and more science fiction. We have a good deal of speculative romance in our catalog already, so I’m particularly interested in manuscripts where romance is not the primary plot (although a little romance never hurt anyone). That being said, we’re always happy to add excellent speculative romance to our catalog, and we certainly wouldn’t turn that down either.

9. What can we expect to see in the future from Dragonfairy Press and all of its authors?

You can definitely expect to see a lot more from us. In fact, coming next month is Wildfire Gospel, the third book in the Habitat series by Kenya Wright. The Habitat series features an African-American pyromancer. I suggest you start with book one, Fire Baptized.

10. How can anyone interested in submitting a query or interested in finding out more about the diverse authors you represent @ Dragonfairy Press?

You can find us in various places on the web. Please feel free to visit us as often as you like.

There's only a day left in our awesome giveaway, It's been a blast featuring all of these great people!Don't forget to enter in it's end!!!!

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