After having so much fun doing Salacious
Tales, which published in 2013, and deciding to do a sequel, I began
thinking about the non-erotic aspects of that anthology. ST had sex as
vital parts to all the stories, but many of the stories had romance as
part of their stories. Having a story of my own that qualifies as
speculative romance, and over the years finding very few potential markets
for it, I've decided to do Otherworld Hearts.
Like Salacious Tales, illustrator
Aleksandar Žiljak will do the cover art and interior illustrations for the
What I Want
I want science fiction,
fantasy, and supernatural horror of all stripes. With it, I want romantic
elements. Whatever else the story is about, a romantic relationship should
be key to the story.
I don't want the kind of
formulaic, cardboard romantic junk you read in cheap romance paperbacks. The story must be about more than
people being in love. Like any
stories I publish, these must be STORIES, not slices of life, with plots,
and with characters who grow and change before they participate in the resolution
of the plot.
But these stories should be
romantic, with a romance between two people (or more) that is vital to the
story. Perhaps the captain of the starship has a vital mission to
complete, but he's fallen in love with his first officer and must juggle
the two. Whatever you do, the romance must matter. Sex is okay, but make
it off-screen or at the very least not described in detail. (If erotica is
your thing, consider a story for
Salacious Tales 2.)
Remember, the romance must be
vital—not "She finds her true love while something else is going on" vital, but vital as a
romantic element. The romance should be important to the plot, and ideally be integral.
Make the romantic element
hopelessly intertwined with the plot. The stories can also be pure romance
stories, so long as they take place due to the spec-fic element.
What I Don't Want
I don't want stories in
which the romance is a subplot, an aftereffect, or just there to spruce up
Make it original, make it
romantic, and make it a romance that anyone can read. If you write a
Harlequin Romance set on a spaceship, it probably won't fly.
I don't want weak writing.
I don't want over-the-top
boy-rescues-girl stories with no more depth than that.
I don't want weak heroines
whose only role is to swoon at the hero.
I don't want stories that
only appeal to women. Men say they don't like romances, but I think most
of them do—when they're not Harlequin Romance-style. With any good spec-fic
setting, a strong plot, and deep characters, romance is a natural fit and
can appeal to anyone.
In general, I'm looking for
stories from 3,000 to 9,000 words; however, I am unlikely to accept long
stories unless they're very, very good. Long stories mean multiple shorter
stories won't make the cut.
As always, until filled. I
am very picky and slow to fill, which you'd know if you read my
Observing everything under
my five requirements, submit to