DKA Magazine – Interview with Mirtika

I’m still contributing to the CSFF blog tour featuring DKA Magazine (Dragons, Knights, and Angels). I’ve interviewed Mirtika Schultz, assistant editor of DKA, f*i*fer, and blog buddy about the nuts and bolts of DKA. Look for how you can submit a story for moolah and the latest space missionary saga!

1. How did you come to be involved with DKA?

I won The Sword Review’s fiction contest in 2005, and that got me involved with the TSR site. DKA and TSR are sister publications, both thriving under the banner of Double-Edged Publishing. I had an active blog over at TSR for a while, and I posted in the forum. From my presence there, I was asked to be an editor. I said, “Sure.” I hang out much less at TSR, even though I won their recent poetry contest. I spend most of my time and energy at DKA.

2. What is its purpose?

Our purpose is to provide a place for the publishing of Christian science fiction and fantasy short fiction and poetry. We want to offer the CSF community the best we can of the material that’s submitted to us. We always hope to get better and better quality creative work to publish.

We also seek to nurture new talent. We offer critique and the chance for some writers to revise and improve. We sometimes publish student work that shows promise. The next generation of CSF writers needs to be encouraged.

I refer anyone who is curious about our “vision” to read the Vision Statement written by Johne Cook and available at dkamagazine.com. Just click on “vision” in the sidebar.

3. If I want to submit, do I have to have a dragon, knight, or angel in the story?

No. In fact, we tend to be glutted on stories with those elements. We crave good science fiction. However, we always will publish good stories with those three titular elements. One of the best of our recent offerings is a pure angel story with a special plot twist called “Damage” by Jane LeBak. Coming up in December (maybe January, I forget) will be a more experimental, odd tale with a space missionary that features a human and a quantum computer.

As long as the story fits our Vision Statement and is not patently offensive to Christians or disrespectful of Christian doctrine, we’re happy to look at it. We welcome submissions across the wide spectrum of fantasy and science fiction classifications.

What don’t we want? We don’t want stories that merely exist to preach. Give us good prose, good characterization, conflict, resolution–the usual craft elements. And don’t use the elements in tired, trite ways. A knight off to kill a dragon, and not much more going on but angst and fiery breathing, well, that’s a story that will bore us and earn a decline.

The level of religious “preaching” that we tolerate correlates precisely to the level of craft involved. Write a compelling story, and we are less likely to gag at sermonizing.

4. How many submissions does the site typically get in a week/month (whatever time frame you choose)?

I don’t know. Honestly, Selena Thomason is the managing editor and the Keeper of the Numbers. Nothing is “usual.” Some months we’re swamped and can barely keep up. Last month was like that. Some months are dry and we start putting the word out that we need subs.

If you have something good that fits our Vision Statment, then I urge you to send it to us. This is one of our slower weeks, possibly due to so many CSF-ers gearing up for NaNoWriMo and the holidays.

Check back tomorrow for more questions with Mirtika. Be sure to check out the site and some of the others from the CSFF blog tour, listed below. And Mirtika has a special offer for any who comment at her blog Mirathon, and I will extend the same offer: Those who leave a comment saying “enter me in the review drawing” will win a chance to receive a free critique from Mir. She isn’t just a pretty face, but she has judged a lot of writing competitions and has a keen eye for what makes a good story. She will critique a poem or the first five pages of a story. So leave your comments if that interests you!

Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Kameron M. Franklin
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Joleen Howell
Karen and at Karen¹s myspace
Oliver King
Tina Kulesa
Kevin Lucia
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Cheryl Russel
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Frank Creed
Christina Deanne
Lost Genre Guild
John Otte

DKA Magazine – Interview with Mirtika

I’m still contributing to the CSFF blog tour featuring DKA Magazine (Dragons, Knights, and Angels). I’ve interviewed Mirtika Schultz, assistant editor of DKA, f*i*fer, and blog buddy about the nuts and bolts of DKA. Look for how you can submit a story for moolah and the latest space missionary saga!

1. How did you come to be involved with DKA?

I won The Sword Review’s fiction contest in 2005, and that got me involved with the TSR site. DKA and TSR are sister publications, both thriving under the banner of Double-Edged Publishing. I had an active blog over at TSR for a while, and I posted in the forum. From my presence there, I was asked to be an editor. I said, “Sure.” I hang out much less at TSR, even though I won their recent poetry contest. I spend most of my time and energy at DKA.

2. What is its purpose?

Our purpose is to provide a place for the publishing of Christian science fiction and fantasy short fiction and poetry. We want to offer the CSF community the best we can of the material that’s submitted to us. We always hope to get better and better quality creative work to publish.

We also seek to nurture new talent. We offer critique and the chance for some writers to revise and improve. We sometimes publish student work that shows promise. The next generation of CSF writers needs to be encouraged.

I refer anyone who is curious about our “vision” to read the Vision Statement written by Johne Cook and available at dkamagazine.com. Just click on “vision” in the sidebar.

3. If I want to submit, do I have to have a dragon, knight, or angel in the story?

No. In fact, we tend to be glutted on stories with those elements. We crave good science fiction. However, we always will publish good stories with those three titular elements. One of the best of our recent offerings is a pure angel story with a special plot twist called “Damage” by Jane LeBak. Coming up in December (maybe January, I forget) will be a more experimental, odd tale with a space missionary that features a human and a quantum computer.

As long as the story fits our Vision Statement and is not patently offensive to Christians or disrespectful of Christian doctrine, we’re happy to look at it. We welcome submissions across the wide spectrum of fantasy and science fiction classifications.

What don’t we want? We don’t want stories that merely exist to preach. Give us good prose, good characterization, conflict, resolution–the usual craft elements. And don’t use the elements in tired, trite ways. A knight off to kill a dragon, and not much more going on but angst and fiery breathing, well, that’s a story that will bore us and earn a decline.

The level of religious “preaching” that we tolerate correlates precisely to the level of craft involved. Write a compelling story, and we are less likely to gag at sermonizing.

4. How many submissions does the site typically get in a week/month (whatever time frame you choose)?

I don’t know. Honestly, Selena Thomason is the managing editor and the Keeper of the Numbers. Nothing is “usual.” Some months we’re swamped and can barely keep up. Last month was like that. Some months are dry and we start putting the word out that we need subs.

If you have something good that fits our Vision Statment, then I urge you to send it to us. This is one of our slower weeks, possibly due to so many CSF-ers gearing up for NaNoWriMo and the holidays.

Check back tomorrow for more questions with Mirtika. Be sure to check out the site and some of the others from the CSFF blog tour, listed below. And Mirtika has a special offer for any who comment at her blog Mirathon, and I will extend the same offer: Those who leave a comment saying “enter me in the review drawing” will win a chance to receive a free critique from Mir. She isn’t just a pretty face, but she has judged a lot of writing competitions and has a keen eye for what makes a good story. She will critique a poem or the first five pages of a story. So leave your comments if that interests you!

Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Kameron M. Franklin
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Joleen Howell
Karen and at Karen¹s myspace
Oliver King
Tina Kulesa
Kevin Lucia
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Cheryl Russel
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Frank Creed
Christina Deanne
Lost Genre Guild
John Otte

Blog Tour – Dragons, Knights, and Angels

I’ve been a supporter of a couple of blog tours. Today is the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy (CSFF) blog tour, brainchild of Becky Miller, highlighting the world of Christian speculative fiction to bring it more exposure. Ultimately, our purpose in discussing CSFF is to show there is a demand for it in the market, and enable that growth to happen.

One site that is working toward that goal is Dragons, Knights, and Angels. It is an online e-zine that highlights Christian spec fiction. I first heard about of it from a writer friend who happens to be a neo-pagan type, so it has become known to a degree outside of Christian circles. I am more familiar with it now due to blog buddies Mir and Chris Mikesell; Mir because she is an editor for the site, and Mikesell because one of his stories won their last fiction contest.

When I first got into writing, I didn’t think much about sci-fi and fantasy as genres. My initial writing ideas didn’t fit into those “niches”. However, I decided to do the first CSFF blog tour just to get my little new blog a little exposure. But in doing so, I found that I always have enjoyed sci-fi and fantasy, it’s just that I haven’t really thought about it.

I’ll bet that a lot of people out there think they don’t like the sci-fi or fantasy, but if I mention movies like Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, or Star Wars, those same people would say they enjoyed them. So don’t overlook sci-fi and fantasy as reading choices, because you may be surprised. And a good, FREE place to start reading some quality short stories to get into CSFF is at DKA.

Tomorrow I have a little interview with Mirtika, assistant editor of DKA to talk more about it. And the links below are my fellow tour-mates who will have their own unique spin on DKA, so check out a few of them as well, OK?

Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Kameron M. Franklin
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Joleen Howell
Karen and at Karen¹s myspace
Oliver King
Tina Kulesa
Kevin Lucia
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Cheryl Russel
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Frank Creed
Christina Deanne
Lost Genre Guild
John Otte

Blog Tour – Dragons, Knights, and Angels

I’ve been a supporter of a couple of blog tours. Today is the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy (CSFF) blog tour, brainchild of Becky Miller, highlighting the world of Christian speculative fiction to bring it more exposure. Ultimately, our purpose in discussing CSFF is to show there is a demand for it in the market, and enable that growth to happen.

One site that is working toward that goal is Dragons, Knights, and Angels. It is an online e-zine that highlights Christian spec fiction. I first heard about of it from a writer friend who happens to be a neo-pagan type, so it has become known to a degree outside of Christian circles. I am more familiar with it now due to blog buddies Mir and Chris Mikesell; Mir because she is an editor for the site, and Mikesell because one of his stories won their last fiction contest.

When I first got into writing, I didn’t think much about sci-fi and fantasy as genres. My initial writing ideas didn’t fit into those “niches”. However, I decided to do the first CSFF blog tour just to get my little new blog a little exposure. But in doing so, I found that I always have enjoyed sci-fi and fantasy, it’s just that I haven’t really thought about it.

I’ll bet that a lot of people out there think they don’t like the sci-fi or fantasy, but if I mention movies like Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, or Star Wars, those same people would say they enjoyed them. So don’t overlook sci-fi and fantasy as reading choices, because you may be surprised. And a good, FREE place to start reading some quality short stories to get into CSFF is at DKA.

Tomorrow I have a little interview with Mirtika, assistant editor of DKA to talk more about it. And the links below are my fellow tour-mates who will have their own unique spin on DKA, so check out a few of them as well, OK?

Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Kameron M. Franklin
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Joleen Howell
Karen and at Karen¹s myspace
Oliver King
Tina Kulesa
Kevin Lucia
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Cheryl Russel
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Frank Creed
Christina Deanne
Lost Genre Guild
John Otte

Amusement

I’ve been reading Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald. Today I was struck when he was talking about working on the part of our private world involving our minds, wisdom, and knowledge. He talked about our amusement, and in doing so he broke down the word:

A-Muse-Ment

Whoa.

Did you catch that? Once the word was broken down, I was stunned. “A” as a prefix means “not”. As an aspiring writer, the muse is very important. “Muse” deals with thinking. So “amusement” refers to a state of lack of thinking.

How often is that true? When we are seeking amusement, it is really involves a lack of engaging our mental capacities. I remember coming home from college and flipping on the afternoon cartoons like Animaniacs. Since I was working in the toy department at Wal-Mart, I joked that I was doing research to see what kind of toys kids were buying. But I really wanted something that helped my mind shut off for a little while between being engaged at school and then engaged at work.

Think about what we do, and if it is really profitable for our mental life. I know we can’t be “on” all the time, but how often do we “shut off” for our amusement?

Interesting…

Amusement

I’ve been reading Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald. Today I was struck when he was talking about working on the part of our private world involving our minds, wisdom, and knowledge. He talked about our amusement, and in doing so he broke down the word:

A-Muse-Ment

Whoa.

Did you catch that? Once the word was broken down, I was stunned. “A” as a prefix means “not”. As an aspiring writer, the muse is very important. “Muse” deals with thinking. So “amusement” refers to a state of lack of thinking.

How often is that true? When we are seeking amusement, it is really involves a lack of engaging our mental capacities. I remember coming home from college and flipping on the afternoon cartoons like Animaniacs. Since I was working in the toy department at Wal-Mart, I joked that I was doing research to see what kind of toys kids were buying. But I really wanted something that helped my mind shut off for a little while between being engaged at school and then engaged at work.

Think about what we do, and if it is really profitable for our mental life. I know we can’t be “on” all the time, but how often do we “shut off” for our amusement?

Interesting…

Blog Tour – The Election

I’d like to introduce you to Jerome Teel. He is a self-described political junkie, a lawyer in Tennessee, and now a first-time novelist. This week’s blog tour highlights the release of his new novel, The Election.

His tale is ambitious: It involves a Southern attorney defending a murder suspect, a mysterious romance, and a presidential election between Vice President Ed Burke and Republican Senator Mac Foster.

He shows some real promise. The book keeps the pace moving, and there was rarely a time where I wasn’t reluctant to put it down. He keeps up the setting well while keeping the action on high gear.

There are a couple of issues that kept me from fully enjoying the book. The characters tend to be stock: The tall, handsome attorney, the bad guy with a goatee manipulating the action behind the scenes. Except for the main character, Jake Reed, the characters all serve the plot and have no growth at all.

The overall plot structure could be taken from what I felt was a standard Christian end-times scenario: A secretive group of businessmen fund the corrupt VP in his presidential bid over the noble Republican opponent so they can take over the world, Illuminati-style. I appreciate that the Republican good guy is very pro-life, but the character is perfect. On the other hand, the VP’s wife is Hillary Clinton thinly veiled. I happen to share the author’s convictions, but they are dealt with on a very simplistic, surface level. Had depth been added to these ideas, this could have really spoken into contemporary society and politics.

Overall, I do feel it is a solid first effort. If I could write a book that kept readers hooked like The Election, that would be a wonderful start. There is room to grow, so I will keep an eye out for Jerome Teel in the future. If you like political/legal thrillers, he will be an option.

Blog Tour – The Election

I’d like to introduce you to Jerome Teel. He is a self-described political junkie, a lawyer in Tennessee, and now a first-time novelist. This week’s blog tour highlights the release of his new novel, The Election.

His tale is ambitious: It involves a Southern attorney defending a murder suspect, a mysterious romance, and a presidential election between Vice President Ed Burke and Republican Senator Mac Foster.

He shows some real promise. The book keeps the pace moving, and there was rarely a time where I wasn’t reluctant to put it down. He keeps up the setting well while keeping the action on high gear.

There are a couple of issues that kept me from fully enjoying the book. The characters tend to be stock: The tall, handsome attorney, the bad guy with a goatee manipulating the action behind the scenes. Except for the main character, Jake Reed, the characters all serve the plot and have no growth at all.

The overall plot structure could be taken from what I felt was a standard Christian end-times scenario: A secretive group of businessmen fund the corrupt VP in his presidential bid over the noble Republican opponent so they can take over the world, Illuminati-style. I appreciate that the Republican good guy is very pro-life, but the character is perfect. On the other hand, the VP’s wife is Hillary Clinton thinly veiled. I happen to share the author’s convictions, but they are dealt with on a very simplistic, surface level. Had depth been added to these ideas, this could have really spoken into contemporary society and politics.

Overall, I do feel it is a solid first effort. If I could write a book that kept readers hooked like The Election, that would be a wonderful start. There is room to grow, so I will keep an eye out for Jerome Teel in the future. If you like political/legal thrillers, he will be an option.