Welcome to Skyla Dawn, represented by Marie Dees.
Would you like to share a little history concerning Mundania?
Mundania Press LLC was founded in August 2002 by Daniel Reitz Sr and Bob Sanders. Originally their purpose was to bring back into print Piers Anthony's novel Pornucopia, however they soon opened to new authors as well. Mundania Press LLC now has four imprints (Mundania, Phaze Books, Awe-Struck, and Hard Shell Word Factory) and many books in a variety of genres.
What are the most common reasons a sci-fi novel, or any novel for that matter, is rejected?
Not following the guidelines. If one of the major guidelines aren't followed, it's an auto-reject. Beyond that, one of the most common comments from our slush readers is that a book reads "like a first novel." That usually means the writing isn't polished (style, grammar, and even spelling errors), the opening is slow and full of unnecessary backstory, and the characters are one dimensional. Most writers make the same mistakes with their first novels, and it always shows.
What are the biggest mistakes new authors make?
Besides the mistakes mentioned above, most new writers submitting the first time need to research the publisher they're sending their book to. It's important to read some of the publisher's books, read the publisher's blog, follow them on Twitter, and get a sense of what they're looking for and what type of book would be a good fit.
What do you look for in a submission? In a sci-fi romance submission?
In all submissions, I look for a compelling story and flawed characters I can identify (or at least sympathize) with. A touch of humor helps too.
For any romantic subgenre, I'm fairly picky—I like to see two individual, believable characters build a relationship throughout the novel and really earn their happy ending. Too often I see romances without a strong enough conflict to sustain the book. I also see far too many romances that rely heavily on antiquated gender stereotypes, and like many of our readers, I don't find sexism or misogyny romantic.
What grabs your attention, makes you sit up and want to read more?
A strong voice. Even if the writing is a little rough around the edges, if the voice is strong and pulls me into the story from the first sentence, I'll keep reading.
How far do you read into a submission before you know if the novel is right for you?
It varies. In some instances, I know within a paragraph if it might be right for us or not. All submissions that have followed the guidelines go to slush readers, who read the first ten to twenty pages. Those that pass that round go for a full read.
There's a breakdown of our submissions process right here: mundaniapress.blogspot.com/2009/05/submissions-process.html
Tell me about a few of your favorite Mundania science fiction romances.
At Mundania, there's Sarah Winn's Passionate Warriors. www.mundania.com/book.php?title=Passionate%20Warriors Last year at our imprint Awe-Struck, we released Susanne Marie Knight's ForEvver www.awe-struck.net/books/forevver.html, and later this year we'll release Frances Pauli's Dimensional Shift. Our erotica imprint, Phaze, also has a selection of steamy sci-fi romances.
Why not? The ebook market grows every year and it's good for everyone. Fewer trees killed, lower prices for customers, and higher royalties for authors.
What is Mundania looking for now? What kinds of submissions would you like to see pop up in your e-queries? Anything you’re dying to see more of? Steampunk? Futuristic? Space Opera? Any dream novels?
All of our imprints except for Phaze are currently closed to submissions.
Mundania will be reopening next month. We're actively looking for urban fantasy, paranormal romance, steampunk, and horror. I personally have a soft spot for zombies, so if anyone has some good zombie horror ready for submission, send it my way. In terms of romantic content in books, I'm also interested in adding more same sex romance to our catalogs as well as interracial romance.
Thank you, Mundania, and Marie Dees for your time, thoughts on sci-fi romance, and for letting us get to know you.
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