Interview with NOT DEER MAGAZINE

Hello my avid dark fiction lovers! I have the wonderful distinction of getting to interview NOT DEER MAGAZINE today. You may have heard their buzz on Twitter as they post short but brilliant sparks of dark stories and poems, accompanied by intriguing imagery and compelling titles from submitters to their online publication. Today, we’re talking to editor-in-chief, Rowan, and co-editors, Taylor, and Thandiwe.
  • Introduce yourselves! Who are the brilliant minds behind NOT DEER MAGAZINE?

Rowan: I’m Rowan, the Editor-in-Chief. I write fiction and poetry, primarily about feral women and the rural gothic. I mostly keep the website updated and correspond with contributors, but my favorite part of running the magazine is reading submissions.

Taylor: I’m Taylor. I’m a co-editor. I like poetry. I’ve had work published in a few places and I especially like flash fiction and micropoetry. I write about the way love can rot. I enjoy reading submissions. I also tend to be the primary person running our Twitter. 

​​Thandiwe: I’m Thandiwe, one of the co-editors. I love fantasy and things that verge on the edge of the surreal. I write fiction and poetry circling the ideas of identity and finding one’s place in the world. I run our Instagram but I really love reading for the magazine and creating cover art. 

  • What does the name “Not Deer” stand for?

Rowan: We’re named after my favorite cryptid, the Appalachian Not Deer. 

Taylor: It stands for deer that aren’t normal deer. When the deer aren’t deer, that’s when you know to run.

Thandiwe: There is something seriously wrong with that deer. Is it even a deer? Things are getting twisted and the fog is creeping in.

  • What was your goal in creating NOT DEER MAGAZINE?

Rowan: I saw the need for a literary magazine that specifically made most of its space for marginalized creators. The goal is to be an environment that presents work from creators who are often overlooked when it comes to horror as a genre.

Taylor: We wanted to create a space where creative horror written by women and under-represented voices are spotlighted. So much of modern horror is dominated by men equating violence against women to good horror writing and we wanted a space void of that. Not Deer was Rowan’s idea and Thandiwe and I jumped on. We were all in the same major and are part of a writing group so it was really easy to coordinate.

Thandiwe: When Rowan brought up her plans for a magazine I was super excited. I loved the idea of a more inclusive publication for horror writing and I really want to give a platform for creators who might otherwise be overlooked for not fitting into an expected mold. 

  • Who does NOT DEER MAGAZINE cater to? Who are your ideal readers?

Rowan: An ideal reader would be someone who appreciates the complexities of good horror. I want the work we publish to be read by people who are open to what the genre is or could become.

Taylor: Our ideal readers are people who want to read good writing. I wouldn’t say we cater to a specific demographic. We only publish pieces that we feel move us, and we hope our readers feel moved as well.

Thandiwe: I don’t know that we cater to anyone specifically. If I like the piece and feel that it fits our theme, that’s a good enough reason for me. I want people to enjoy the environment we’ve cultivated through our publications. If someone encounters our corner of the woods and finds it to their liking, they are welcome to stay, if not, then I wish them well on their travels. 

  • Are you currently accepting submissions?

We are accepting rolling submissions almost always and often have contests. See our submission page for more info. 

  • What are some future goals for the magazine?

Rowan: We nominate for the Pushcart Prize and I think it’d be really cool to have one of our contributors win. We’ve published so much excellent work that deserves to be further recognized.

Taylor: Moving forward, we’d love to put out a print issue. We’d like to do a “best of” issue in print and online. We’d also like to continue to do more contests. If we can ever afford to, we’d love to pay contributors.

Thandiwe: I think the contests will be a fun feature in the future and I look forward to coming up with more themes. I’m excited at the prospect of possible print issues. 

  • What are some other projects that you are working on besides the magazine?

Rowan: I’m working on putting together a hybrid anthology of my short fiction and poetry as well as submitting work to other publications in the small press world. 

Taylor: I’m writing a book of short fiction stories right now. I’m reading a lot. I just graduated with my BFA so now that I’m not reading for class, I have time to read for myself.

Thandiwe: I’m currently working on some small short fiction pieces and poetry. Writing more personal non-fiction might be something I’d like to get into moving forward.

  • Where can people go to find out more information about NOT DEER MAGAZINE?

See our website, our Instagram, or our Twitter for more info. 

  • Is there anything else people should know about the magazine?

We have merch! We are on Redbubble and sell things like stickers, mugs, and tote bags. They’re very cute and the art is done by two of our close friends! 

Well, there you have it! Submit to NOT DEER MAGAZINE today! You can find all of their links below!

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Until next time,

Kat

Backstreet Bloodbath: Part I

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“God, how late do you think they put their kids to bed?” Darlene shouted across the parlor as she swished a mop back and forth.

Jess slapped down a wet dish rag on the counter and didn’t respond. Just a few more minutes until closing time. You got this, girl.

Darlene shrugged and kept filling the silence. “I mean, who gets their kids ice cream at nine-thirty? The little shits should be in bed. Now they’ll be up for another three hours!”

“That’s not for us to worry about,” Jess answered, pushing through the kitchen doors to wash out the dish rag. “Let’s just get this place cleaned up so we can go home.”

The last ten minutes had afforded the girls an uninterrupted span of time to get Daisy’s Sweet Tooth ready for closing. Usually, they saw no customers after nine and were able to close early and skip out ahead of the usual ten o’clock closing time. In fact, over the last couple weeks, Daisy’s had seen fewer and fewer patrons past sunset. Tonight had been an oddity.

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Maine Literary Award Finalist 2019!

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That’s right. My novella, “The Collection” has been named a finalist for the 2019 Maine Literary Awards in Speculative fiction. This nomination will be my second with the Maine Literary Awards and I can’t wait to represent at the official ceremony in June with books in tow.

Beginning last year, I sort of “relaunched” my writing career, changing my website, booking new events, and launching a new book. I’ve been so happy with the results of this. However, I’ve also fallen into the no man’s land of not finding much time to write new material. I have nearly four short stories in the works, three novels, and a series I’d really like to write for Kindle exclusively. I’ve also got a house that’s falling apart, a full time job about to move into summer retail craziness, and family and friends to spend time with. Every writer’s quandary is trying to find time to write and do the other things that are important to them.

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Spring and the OWC

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Spring might finally be here after all. Today, on this fine Thursday, the temperature is supposed to get up into the fifties! Which means the remnants of this week’s snowstorms will probably all melt. Fine by me. I don’t know about all of you but I am DYING for warm weather. I’ve also had this indescribable craving to put my hands into some soil and start gardening. I’m not a green thumb by any means…so this is strange for me.

The beginning of winter is usually when I get excited about spending time cloistered indoors with a hot cup of coffee and that orange dusky light next to my writing space. I like to imagine that I’m going to have all kinds of time to work on various writing projects (including the blog) and in the end, it rarely turns out that way. In fact, there is a point in about mid-February where I become sick and tired of the Maine winter and long for sun and warmer temperatures. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

As a writer, I’m still searching to find my optimal writing conditions or let’s just shorten it to the OWC. Most writers will tell you that they need to carve out any writing time they can, anywhere they can because trying to write while working a full time job, spending time with family and friends, and taking care of a house doesn’t leave much time in between for scheduled writing blocks. The thing is, I believe you do your best writing when you have a space you feel comfortable in, where you can’t be interrupted or side-tracked. Scraps of paper here and there can only get you so far. You still need a block of time to knit it all together, even if those moments are few and far between.

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Two Month Update

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It’s the last day of February. The temperature reads 10 degrees outside. The sun is warming my tissue-covered living room and I am in a hellish world of hold with the IRS, trying to find out why my refund is late. I’m getting over a cold which came on pretty swiftly earlier this week. Meanwhile, the cat is racing around the room like a deranged squirrel, nearly knocking things over. This is not the hygge life (#hyggelife) that I was hoping for when I wrote my first blog post for 2019.

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Writer Thoughts Thursday: The First Draft

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Writing the first draft is a wondrous experience for the most part. You have all these ideas swirling around you that you want to incorporate: characters that seem cool, smart, funny,  and sexy; places that will make your readers long to travel there (or stay as far away from it as possible); a plot so Machiavellian, you wonder if you should be examined by a psychologist… The possibilities are limitless.

You know what’s wrong with a first draft though?

The possibilities are…limitless.

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Writer Thoughts Thursday: Productivity

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This week has been absolutely wonderful. I’ve had a chance almost every day to sit down and either write or edit and I couldn’t be happier about it. It goes without saying; being able to get your feelings and thoughts down on paper is a cathartic experience. When I have days (sometimes weeks) where I don’t have time to write, I start to get very upset and am often sad. This entire ordeal with la maison (yes, I found one!) has kept me on the go for several weeks, driving hither and thither to check on inspections and take education courses and sign documents. It’s all well worth it; I’ve just missed my time to myself.

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Writer Thoughts Thursday: Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block.

It’s this feeling magnified by ten thousand.

As well as some of this…

…this…

…and lots of this…

21 GIFs To Express Your Rage If Iggy Azalea Wins The Best Rap Album Grammy

That’s almost all that needs to be said.

I’m currently experiencing one of my worst bouts with the evil beast known as Writer’s Block. I have tried time and time again to work on this specific project of mine but find that it’s hard for me to put myself into the scene. No matter the music I listen to (or don’t listen to), no matter the mood I’m in, and no matter how much cleaning I do to try and facilitate some ideas, I just can’t seem to get a grip on what I want to write.

So I’ve made it to that pivotal moment where one has to force themselves to do it and deal with the crappiness of its quality just to get going.

Sometimes, I forget it doesn’t have to be perfect.

First, it needs to be finished. There is always an after event for editing where one can rip the guts out of a book and put everything back together the way it’s meant to be.

This isn’t that time. Sometimes, it is impossible to find inspiration to work on something no matter what you do. Only one thing can be done.

So… here goes. Forcing it. Ugh.

~KSilva