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

My Top 10 Songs in 2020

Long time followers of the blog know that music is my gateway drug to creativity. In the past, I’ve posted a top ten list of favorite soundtracks for video games that were released during the year. Since I’ve been out of touch with a lot of the soundtracks released this year, I decided that instead, I will just list my ten favorite songs that I discovered this year and why. These songs may not have been released this year. Discovering music is something I love and there is so much of it out there to be found and loved.

How do you find so many kinds of new genres, artists, and songs, you ask? Having a Spotify Premium account gives me access to the Discover Weekly playlist, which brings up a list of thirty or so songs that the algorithms have deemed I might enjoy. I have found SO many of my favorite songs from this. Several of the songs featured on my list this year were also uncovered this way.

Let’s dive in!

10: Heartbeats by The Knife

from ClashMusic.com

So, I feel super dumb about this one because the song was originally released in 2002. I had actually heard the song before as a cover by Jose Gonzalez but never realized it was a cover. The original song came up on my Discover Weekly playlist this year and I immediately recognized the lead singer’s voice as Karin Dreijer, otherwise known as Fever Ray. I’ve been listening to Fever Ray for a while. Dreijer’s voice is so distinctive and pairing it with a synth-pop beat really made me fall in love with this song.

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Social Distancing, COVID-19, and Being a Writer

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Right now, there’s a whole lot of THIS going around. For several writers (who are also introverts), the idea of staying home for two weeks to self-quarantine is a dream come true. The ability to write to your hearts content, avoid the general public, and bask in the warm glow of books all day long? Who doesn’t picture that as being Elysian? But for those of us who also market our own stories, it becomes a Herculean task to do this via social media only. Not only are there algorithms and hashtags to master, ads to purchase and design, and non-stop postings to be done, but there is the simple truth that putting your book in the hands of a physical customer has a beauty to it that can’t be equaled by online sales.

When I’m not writing and attempting to market my own books, I work as a salesperson. I spend day in and day out selling product to customers, convincing them what choice is best for them and how much fun they’ll have with said item. I’ve been doing this job for nearly 13 years. When I have the opportunity to attend a convention or an event where I can push my own wares, I get to reach people on a different level, a more personal level than I would just letting my books go in e-tail platforms.

That’s why I was so hyped to be doing not one but two big events this spring, events I spent a good deal of money on, and in addition to that, spent money on promotional items for said events as well. I was looking forward to getting people excited about my newest book and creating hype.

And then the Corona Virus happened.

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New posts, new book, new everything!

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We’re changing things up a bit here at The *all new* Kat at Night blog. Along with re-branding comes serving new content for the masses. I’ve decided on a few different blog series to incorporate into The Kat at Night that might be some fun for both me and you. I also have a new book coming out in the fall which we’ll talk about a little bit, as well as some upcoming events you can find me at in the spring!

But now, a moment to speak about old series posts here. I will not be continuing Inspiration Through Music, though I would like to incorporate a music-themed blog here on the site. Cooking Adventures will be getting a bit of a make-over in that I will be returning to blogging my adventures versus vlogging them. My video equipment is unfortunately outdated and unable to make a video in a timely fashion. The last Cooking Adventure video I made took me nearly a week to edit because of corrupting video files. Suffice to say, I will try to provide plenty of photos to illustrate the future adventures well.

Now, onto new blog series!

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We Switched Names…Again

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That’s right. Hopefully, this will be the last time.

Getting back into the swing of things here at (now) The Kat at Night, we will be exploring this blog as it transitions into a discussion about writing dark things, particularly my affinity to doing this. We’ll also have the odd discussions here and there about other things dark like films and music, cats, coffee… you know… generally dark things.

The purpose for all of this tom-foolery? Rebranding is hard. I had, at one point, hoped that I might be better at reaching out to the writing community and possibly get others to post guest blogs or be able to connect on a more vast scale with writers of every genre. Those are pretty big goals to achieve on a fledgling blog that gets very few views because of intermittent posts by its only author.

Returning to a more simple, practice of sharing myself with the writing world is more my speed, and definitely more up my alley.

So, here we are with The Kat at Night.

I’ll be posting at night (of course) on subjects relating to dark fiction and my approach to it and soon enough, others approaches to it, too. I had thought maybe I would have the workings for a podcast here but decided against the latter. We’ll start with a blog and move on from there.

Until our next (actually first) post under a new name,

KSilva

2019 in Review (Hello, 2020!)

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A new decade is officially upon us. With it, I’d like to announce some upcoming changes to my business and the blog as well as upcoming releases to get excited about. But first, I’d like to talk a little bit about 2019.

Firstly, 2019 was a year of stepping outside of the box for me. There were a lot of firsts for me (including first tattoo!) and a few lasts. I’ve decided that I don’t want to apologize any more for not getting things up on this blog. I have a lot of intentions. I get excited and my ambition causes me to get carried away with what I’d like to accomplish. I also forget to take care of myself when I do this. That means that I ignore giving myself time to exercise, time to sleep, time to get ready for work on time…

2019 was a year of anxiety for me. I had many beautiful, blessed moments with friends and family this year. I also had several where I realized that I don’t take care of myself nearly as much as I used to. Being able to balance myself means that I can write, and go to work, and occasionally write on the blog, and update my website in a timely fashion. I can play with my cat, pay my bills on time, take my garbage to the dump… all without feeling this terrible weight pressing on me, telling me that I’m doing it all wrong.

Without giving away too many details, I have decided in 2020 to launch new services from my website. I have decided to offer freelance creative writing consultation to writers in the speculative fiction genre. Speculative fiction encompasses everything from fantasy, horror and sci-fi as well as all sub-genres in those main categories. While the details are still being fleshed out, I will be updating my website in the coming weeks with details of what aspects of writing my consultation will include. I’m excited for the opportunity to branch into this part of writing. I’m never more inspired and happy when I feel like I’m helping people with their creative endeavors. This is my answer to giving back to a writing community that has been so helpful to me since entering it.

Along with this news comes upcoming title release news! I’ve just finished writing my novel “The Wild Dark”, a project I’ve been working on since 2013. It’s an apocalyptic thriller with heavy ghost influences and monsters. While this manuscript has a lot of work ahead of it, I’m hoping for a release date in September of 2020. Further details are sure to come.

Last but certainly not least, I want to say that I know I have been very fast and loose with my promises on this blog. I’ve wanted to write so many things this year and haven’t. I wanted to make changes immediately, only to find I lacked energy and follow-through and hadn’t left myself nearly enough time to achieve the goals. I will not be able to continue things like Inspiration Through Music and Cooking Adventures because I don’t have the same energy that I had before when I started those two series. They will always be special and wonderful additions to this blog.

But we must move forward.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting more about what will be happening with The Writer’s Abditory as well as the coming changes to my business. I’ll also be posting more writing-related posts here.

For now, I want to say thank you for riding through the decade with me and here’s to 2020. May you bring happiness, radiance, and color to our lives!

~KSilva

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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30 Day Challenge: Day 6 – The Struggle is Real!

Day 6: Something I Struggle With

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Patience.

I get frustrated, sometimes far too easily when I’m not able to figure things out the first time or even second time around. It’s ridiculous, to expect yourself to be able to master something on the first, second, or even third try. But, something about how my brain is wired still gets upset. And getting upset often makes roadblocks for me. I become convinced that I can’t do it, that I’ve already puzzled everything over, tried all the options to make things work… Of course, I haven’t. Of course, I’m too caught up in my emotions to be able to look at things clearly.

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