2007 Snapshot Archive: Mark Deniz

Interviewed by Kathryn Linge

First published at ASiF!

Mark Deniz is a writer who has recently delved into the world of editing and publishing by co-founding Eneit Press with Sharyn Lilley. His live journal is http://markdeniz.livejournal.com/ and Eneit Press can be found athttp://www.eneitpress.com

1. You’re co-editing the horror anthology In Bad Dreams Volume One with Sharyn Lilley, launching in Australia at Conflux 4 in September. Why have you decided to turn your writing career down the editing path? What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt whilst editing the anthology?

I’ve been writing since I was six (30 years now) and I love writing, I really do, I get such a kick out of it. At the same time, however, I wanted to branch out, I wanted a new challenge and editing (and afterwards publishing) felt like the next stage. I felt like it would give me a better idea of the whole industry and let me flex my literary muscles in another area.

What’s the most surprising thing I’ve learnt? Well that would have to be that when editing an anthology you have to reject some really excellent stories. We had one sent in for In Bad Dreams that I loved but that we had to reject due to it not fitting in with the theme of the book. It was a surprise but also disappointing to say “loved your story. Thanks but we won’t be publishing it” I mean, how naff does that sound?

2. You have a growing involvement in the Australian Speculative Fiction scene, with stories expected in several Australian publications (Black Box and Flash Spec Vol. 2) and reviews published on ASif! Some people may be surprised that an Englishman, living in Sweden, is participating to such an extent. Why Australia? Do you have similar involvements elsewhere? (and I guess the UK would be an obvious example)

UK, where’s that? *smiles* It’s not that there was any conscious decision on my part in terms of Australia but I think the Australian writing community has had much of a say in how my career has developed. There seems to be a real community feeling, especially within speculative fiction and due to this I heard about Asif! and have been tipped when publishing houses are looking for stories.

I really love the community in Australia and I am really looking forward to meeting many of those I have had contact with when I travel there in September.

I also write reviews for a website in the US (SF Reader – http://www.sfreader.com) and was recently offered the editor position at a US magazine. I send stories pretty much anywhere that sounds interesting, regardless of country.

3. I understand that In Bad Dreams will be a three volume anthology. Do you think there’s a viable market (both in terms of sufficient quality material and sales) for three volumes? What else are you planning for Eneit Press?

Well the three volumes are different volumes, as the first is a contemporary horror anthology, dealing with everyday horror, whereas the second and third will be looking at other concepts: the second being urban supernatural and the third urban fantasy. We have not sent out our submission guidelines for the second yet but have in fact received lots of interest from authors, and a critically acclaimed author from the US has already agreed to submit to us, and so in terms of quality material, there is no worry.

In terms of sales, I have no idea. We launch the book at Conflux 4 and will be contacting distributors whilst there. We will also be selling the book through Amazon and we have to hope our marketing works, because we know it’s not just about quality in an industry such as this.

Other projects in various stages of development are a Dead Dave novel from English author R. J. Barker (hopefully due for release 2008), a comic book series (with a new artist and several established writers already on board), a flash fiction project involving Swedish college and university students, and a novella collection, featuring dark science fiction pieces.

I am also very interesting in hearing from new talent. If you have a project you’d like Eneit Press to look at: then contact me at mark.deniz@eneitpress.com.

4. Enough about the writing (and editing), what’s the best thing you’ve read this year?

Well I’m hoping you don’t mean what has been released this year as I tend to read quite a lot of stuff from previous years and the only thing that has impressed me from 2007 so far has been In Bad Dreams… *grins*.

In terms of what I’ve read this year, I was so amazed by the quality of Russell Kirkpatrick’s Across the Face of the World. It is fantasy at its very best and really made we want to get back to writing fantasy again (after a year or two break)! It’s grand and epic but with a real human touch and I think its balance of description and character is sublime.

I also got around to reading Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly and could do nothing but think about it for a couple of days afterwards. It is so eloquent, so human and so very, very tragic. It is the ultimate feel-bad novel.

5. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’re given the opportunity to get it on with the fictional character you fancy most. Who’s it gonna be and why?

Do you know, I don’t tend to fancy characters and, in fact, I saw a meme on Live Journal several months ago, asking which ten fictional characters you would go for and I’m still on number three I think!

If I’m pushed I would have to say Selene from the Underworld films, as not only is Kate Beckinsale a gorgeous individual but the whole concept of her warrior vampire is a bit sexy, to say the least!

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