Monday, April 30, 2012

So, how does this work?

There are now two months left until the deadline for submissions to “Hills of Fire: Bare-Knuckle Yarns of Appalachia.” I’ve already had a truckload of submissions. To be honest, many have been quite good. Most submitters have followed the guidelines and sent in stories that were appropriate to the tone, setting, and content I’ve been looking for. I’ve received about 50 stories so far, out of that, I’ve short listed less than ten. Not all these submission may make it into the final cut, but they do set a pretty high standard for those who are still working on their stories.

I’m reading and rejecting stories as they come in. If you’ve already sent in your submission and haven’t received a response in more than 20 days, contact me to make sure you story didn’t get lost the spam folder by mistake. I’m trying to write a personal response to all submitters, but to be honest, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to do that as stories are arriving faster and more numerous as the deadline approaches.

After June 30th, I’ll continue to cut down the short list and send out rejections, until the table of contents is finalized. I’m hoping to have the final stories selected before July 20th. After that, I’ll send out the acceptances to the twelve authors whose work was selected.

I hope this gives curious submitters a little insight into the process. Over the coming weeks, I’ve got some announcements concerning the cover art, book trailer, and more.

See y’all there…
Frank Larnerd – Editor

Friday, October 28, 2011

Music of the Hills

Music is a big part of my creative process. Sometimes, a great song can really inspire a rhythm or tone for one of my stories. I’ve collected some tracks that have been an inspiration to me during the devolvement of “Hills of Fire" in hopes that contributing writers may find a little inspiration in them as well.

Just follow this LINK to my Spotify playlist and give them a listen. If you don't have Spotify, it's free and easy to download.

Frank Larnerd – Editor

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Pulp?

For “Hills of Fire,” I wanted action stories, but I didn’t want to do only Appalachian westerns or detective stories. I needed a genre that was big enough for authors to explore different kinds of settings, characters and problems of Appalachia. 

Pulp was the obvious choice to me. Pulp is a giant genre that encompasses action, crime, western, sci-fi, mystery, fantasy and grindhouse. It’s a genre where the heroes are brave and bold, the villains are over the top, and the women can kiss or cut you in the turn of a page. 

Pulp is a giant sandbox full of possibilities. Earlier pulp writers like Poe, Burroughs, Lovecraft and Hammett understood how malleable the genre could be. These early pulp writers didn’t play by the rules. Their stories broke boundaries and conventions, creating worlds and characters that couldn’t fit into traditional literature molds. 

Though pulp is a wide open genre, there are a few identifiable characteristics. All pulp stories have larger than life characters. These characters are usually blue-collar and have a distinct moral code. The world they inhabit is full of danger, constantly provoking them to action. Though the landscape of the stories may change, one theme resonates, “It takes guts to change a rotten world.” 

Seems like a perfect fit. 

Frank Larnerd – Editor

Friday, October 14, 2011

Why Hills of Fire?

When I began doing book signings with Woodland Press, I started to notice a particular kind of customer. They were men, usually 40 to 70. Sometimes, they were veterans; wearing caps with names of battleships. Sometimes, they had long gray ponytails and mud-stained boots. 

They all had calloused hands.

After looking over our table of books, they’d discuss civil war battles, or local lore concerning long dead gunslingers, but they never bought anything. These customers loved to read, they loved Appalachia, but they weren’t into horror stories. 

After a while, I wondered why we didn’t have a book for them; something with characters they could relate to, like the two-fisted Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin movies my Grandfather used to show on his Betamax video player.   
In the winter of 2010, with the encouragement of Brian Hatcher and Michael Knost, I pitched the idea of an “Appalachian pulp anthology” to Keith Davis at Woodland Press. My idea was simple; a book that anyone from western to noir fans could enjoy, where Appalachians are the heroes instead of the usual “inbred cannibal hillbilly” stereotype.   

Keith graciously agreed.

That’s how “Hills of Fire: Bare-Knuckle Yarns of Appalachia” was born.

Over the coming weeks, I hope to continue this blog: giving updates on production, inspiring contributing writers with Appalachian culture, and much more. 

I hope y’all will come along.
Frank Larnerd – Editor 


Next Friday: Why Pulp?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Anthology Guidelines

Title: Hills of Fire: Bare-Knuckle Yarns of Appalachia
Publisher: Woodland Press
Editor: Frank Larnerd
Format: Trade Paperback
Payment: five-cents per word (upon publication) plus contributor copy.
No reprints
Story length: Up to 2500 words
No multiple or simultaneous subs
Deadline: 12:00am Saturday, June 30th, 2012
E-mail submissions to:
.doc attachments only.

I am looking for fictional pulp action stories in an Appalachian setting. Submitted stories should harken back to the square-jawed tales of Robert E. Howard, Dashiell Hammett, and Louis L'Amour. Stories can be set in any time period, but must take place in the Appalachian region.

Stories involving mountain men, moonshine runners, lawmen, heists, wrestling, soldiers, and outlaws are highly encouraged. Addition of regional history and folklore is also advised. Complex characters should be equally mixed with solid plots and high octane excitement. Submissions should avoid popular action clich├ęs and unflattering Appalachian stereotypes.

Although the anthology is mainly targeted for adults, we DO NOT want stories containing language or content unsuitable for children.

Accepted Manuscript Formatting:
Use Times New Roman (12).
Italicize what you want italicized.
Single space after sentence-ending punctuation.
Be sure to include your name, address, and email on your manuscript.