By all means draw inspiration from them, but I'm not looking for Lovecraft/Mythos
fiction, or rehashes of Greek mythology, etc. unless these are outstanding,
different, and memorable! I want something new and exciting! New psychological terrors, new fears, new creatures and new stories of the supernatural. If you need more ideas, take a look at Brian Lumley's work, or H.G. Wells, or Cornish myths, Indigenous or Japanese legends, etc.
Clive Barker's story from the Books of Blood "The
Madonna" will be one of our archetypes, so if you don't know that story,
please familiarise yourself with it... I'd also urge you to look at some of Brian Lumley's
work, e.g. Haggopian for some fresh ideas.
But don't forget I've read all these stories, so no
pastiches or cheap imitations, please :)
themed anthologies on Amazon. (You may have to look for them in
your stores, or ask for them!)
Word Count, etc.
Word count is expected to be 5,000 - 8,000 and I am flexible to a degree, on the basis that if the story fits you should wear it. Having said that, although it's a flat-rate payment, I don't think a writer should limit themselves based on the payment rate. I anticipate a huge wave of top-notch submissions again (pardon the pun,) so I'm after memorable stories, a sense of dread, and some level of believability would be more important than a lengthy treatise or a quick shudder. Yes, sea monsters and underwater encounters can be believable if written well, which Brian Lumley demonstrates well in his work, as does Ramsey Campbell in stories like 'The Inhabitant of the Lake,' and Lovecraft's 'Dagon' also leaps to mind... If these are your archetypes, and you immerse yourself in these, then you might just be a swimmer!