Raquel: Welcome to Rite Gud, the only podcast that helps you write good. I’m Raquel Benedict, the most dangerous woman in speculative fiction. In this episode, we’re talking to Jonny Pickering, founder and editor-in-chief of online dark fiction magazine Seize the Press. Jonny, thank you for coming on the show.
Jonny: Yeah. Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Raquel: Yeah, and I’m very excited to talk [00:01:00] about your magazine. It is doing quite well considering it’s so, so new. It’s gotten a lot of attention.
Jonny: I’ve been really surprised by the amount of attention it’s got, actually. It’s not something I ever expected to happen, but it’s been a very pleasant surprise and a, a nice journey to go on, I guess.
Raquel: Yeah, it’s gotten, I, I know it, it’s gotten added to some reading lists or maybe gotten some nominations for something I think.
Jonny: Yeah. Yeah. I can probably go into more detail about that, later on. But yeah, that’s got a lot more attention than I ever expected. People who run very respected presses that I have a lot of respect for have highlighted some of the stories that we’ve ran, given them awards, putting them on short lists.
Yeah, very surprising, but very, very nice.
Raquel: Yeah, so let’s dive in. Why did you start Seize the Press?
Jonny: It was quite a convoluted journey actually to get to what it ended up being. So originally it started out as a non-fiction magazine in my [00:02:00] head. So I actually used to run, a book review blog. Nothing particularly serious or I wasn’t doing any particularly deep literary criticism or anything.
I was just running a, a book blog that I talked about, books I was reading. You get involved in any online community, there was a, a book blogging community that I got involved in, and I found that in certain parts of that community there was a bit of a culture of sort of running PR campaigns for books rather than seriously reviewing them.
Negative reviews are often looked down upon. There was often a lack of a, a willingness to do any serious criticism or analysis in genre fiction. And I guess there, there was a particular incident where I got invited on to do, I dunno if you’re familiar with the concept of a, of a blog tour. But if not, and for the benefit of the listeners, a blog tour is basically when a book is released and, either
it’s the sort of the [00:03:00] marketing people or the, the writer if it’s, a self-published book, they’ll contact a bunch of book reviewers, bloggers, and arrange like a tour for people to review the book. So I’ve got on one of those and I ended up really not liking the book. But one of the sort of stipulations of, part of being part of the tour was that you couldn’t post the review as part of the tour if you didn’t like the book, which I found just insane.
It was basically like the, the market is paying for positive reviews. I, I actually made a, a, a, a blog post after the fact talking about this. Now people were basically paying for positive pr, and it caused a bit of, um, yeah, there was a few days where it caused a bit of upset and in that particular community,
Raquel: Yeah, I can see people freaking out about, “oh, you, you told! You tattled! You blew the whistle.”
Jonny: Yeah, and people particularly weren’t happy that I, I named the book in, in the post. So I said, you know, “I, I was on this blog tour, this is the book.
[00:04:00] I didn’t like it.” and yeah, so I found it very strange that one, there was people paying for bloggers to do unpaid PR for these books. And b, that the reaction to me saying I didn’t like the book was so hostile. So yeah, that, that, that’s basically just a, a, me saying that, the lack of serious, criticism or even a willingness to engage in criticism in, in that kind of genre community was, I found it very bizarre.
Not long after that, I started thinking about potential outlets for, starting some kind of, some kind of online magazine or something to talk about, serious criticism or like just book reviews that were actually frank, honest and open, and were willing to engage in actual criticism of genre books.
Not long after that I was, I was introduced to Blood Knife, but I can’t remember who it was now, but I just posted something out on [00:05:00] Twitter and someone said, “Hey, have you, have you heard of Blood Knife Magazine? They pretty much do all, all this stuff that you are talking about. It already exists.”
And I was like, oh, cool. So I looked into a blood knife and found out, oh, hey, this brilliant new online magazine is doing all the things that I, was wanting to do. So I thought, okay, well there’s not so much need for me to start my own thing when, Blood Knife was already doing such a fantastic job.
But this was also sort of around the same time that I’d started feeling a little bit off about a lot of the short fiction I was reading as well. Um,
Raquel: I can’t imagine why
Jonny: yeah, I mean, I’m sure it’s something a lot of Rite Gud listeners will be familiar with, but there’s,
Raquel: something that we harp on constantly. Yeah.
Jonny: But yeah, so the idea in my head sort of pivoted to running, a magazine of short fiction that would, would hopefully be something of an antidote to that kind of saccharine, shallow short fiction that was dominating in a lot of the, big genre magazines, particularly science fiction [00:06:00] and fantasy horror.
Horror, not so much. But certainly a lot of the short fiction, science fiction and fantasy, short fiction I was reading. I thought, look, there’s gotta be, there’s gotta be pe people out there writing the stuff that isn’t being published. And yeah, if, if I can start somewhere that will give us, give space to that, then, then I’ll feel like I’m doing something positive.
And that, that’s, yeah. That, that, that’s basically how Seize the Press and its current incarnation came about that I started wanting to run short fiction that was, that would be a good, yeah. It’s the magazine that would give space to better fiction.
Raquel: Right, right. I see what you mean. So it started as in your head, started as a nonfiction venue, but it turned out that that niche was already filled. So you decided to build your own platform to run short genre fiction that’s good. And, and not the kind of stuff that’s already running.
Jonny: We still do run some nonfiction as well, obviously, and reviews as [00:07:00] well. So we sort of run in,
Raquel: But, but it is mostly fiction
Jonny: yeah, most, mostly, yeah,
Raquel: Yep. Alright. So how long did it take you to launch Seize the Press? What was the process like from start to finish?
Jonny: probably around four months from me having the idea to it actually becoming a thing that people knew, knew about. And I mean, to be honest, I I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. If I was aware of how much I didn’t know at the time, I probably would never have set out to do it. So there was a lot of the learning process. It was a steep learning curve.
I had a lot of fun with it. It was probably around, like I say, four months from having the idea to it going into, into a real life thing.
Raquel: Mm. All right, so what is the ethos of Seize the Press?
Jonny: So we’re an anti-capitalist magazine. I’m a socialist, have been since I was old enough to be politically aware. So a [00:08:00] lot of the, I guess a lot of the stories, I kind of have a, an anti-capitalist tint to them, but, not in a didactic way. It’s one of the things that I really didn’t want to, to have, to be publishing.
We do sometimes get people submitting stories that are something along the lines of ‘ bad capitalist man does bad thing to worker, worker rises up and, and overcomes’ and it’s, it’s not the kind of thing I’m, I’m really interested in to be honest. Um,
Jonny: there’s a lot of sort of, I find it the sort of dominant liberal sff establishment stories.
There’s a lot of kind of like liberal didacticism and I think a lot of, a lot of people when we started an anti capitalist magazine, took that to mean, oh, so you want left wing didacticism? I’m like, no,
Jonny: Um, so,
Raquel: It can be kind of fun and escapist, but it gets really fucking boring
Jonny: Exactly. I think fundamentally
Raquel: feel a little bit like you’re watching a kid’s show or reading a kid’s book
Jonny: yeah, that’s it.
Raquel: the, [00:09:00] the good worker defeated the terrible man with a, with a stove pipe hat on.
Jonny: yeah, that’s exactly it. Fundamentally, you want a good story first and foremost. I, I don’t really want someone dumping their political beliefs into a, into a story and passing it off as basically a manifesto passed off as a, a fiction story. It’s, that’s not what we’re looking for. In the current issue, there’s a story called, a fantastic story called “You Forever,” by Maxine Sofia Wolf.
Which is actually told from the perspective of a shitty law enforcement bureaucrat, who kind of abuses his position to stalk his ex-girlfriend. Um,
Jonny: I mean, it’s a brilliant story, but it’s it’s told from the perspective of an awful awful narrator, someone that like, if you as a left wing person, in law enforcement and not our friends.
So it’s told from the perspective of someone we would kind of consider not, not a good guy, but we kind of trust our readers to understand. That’s never [00:10:00] explicitly said, but we kind of trust our readers to understand that this story’s told from the point of view of the bad guy.
Other than that we have an ethos of publishing the uncomfortable stories. And I don’t mean that in the sense of something that’s necessarily going to make you recoil or go, “um,” I mean it can be that of course, but more along the lines of something that might actually make you, question something you already believe or maybe a story that’s been told from the perspective of a character who you would relate to or would be rooting for in most circumstances.
But maybe they do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or you don’t agree with that they’re not perfect people essentially. I think, so Susan Palumbo, forgive me if I’m pronouncing that incorrectly, but, she’s a fantastic short story [00:11:00] writer who, I think she put it really well, which she said something along the lines of, she likes fiction that doesn’t coddle the reader while exploring the human condition.
Jonny: And that’s something that we look for in our stories. Because I, I think fundamentally art that just reinforces something that you, or already think, or already feel or believe just isn’t as interesting as something that perhaps makes you uncomfortable with certain aspects of yourself or your place in society or, or how you behave.
Even, even your own individual behavior and situations. Because people are people at the end of the day. I think there’s a, there’s a certain move towards, especially among, characters and stories of marginalized backgrounds, and marginalized, right? The marginalized writers who write them, there’s
an expectation almost that they are sort of paragons of moral [00:12:00] virtue a lot of the time. And I don’t know, it’s just, it doesn’t, it rings really hollow to me cuz people are people, at the end of the day, they, we all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. And even when we’re found in, even when we experience really shitty situations, we can behave in ways that aren’t ideal.
Perhaps they make the people around us feel bad. And that’s just, it’s just how we, it’s just part of being alive and existing in the world.
Raquel: and I kind of think it shows an immaturity in art when you want that. When we’ve made fun of cis het white men for a very long time, for writing these sort of hero fantasy, fantasy narratives about a big self-insert hero man defeating monsters and saving girls. And I think now we’ve had this explosion of that, but diverse and like, yeah, it can be gratifying if you’re in that demographic seeing, “ah, someone like me [00:13:00] gets to be the generic self-insert boring hero,” but then it’s like, okay, I’ve seen enough of that.
It’s time to grow the fuck up.
Jonny: Yeah. And I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s definitely room for those kinds of stories. It’s just, yeah, I think there’s, there’s just something more interesting to me about exploring stories that aren’t that,
Raquel: Yeah, I, I figure I, I get one of those and then that’s enough. I’m done.
Raquel: ” Okay. That’s nice. What else you got?” All right, so I noticed this magazine focuses on downbeat stories. Why do you specifically choose to focus on downbeat stories? Like in your submissions portal, you say, we want stories where everything isn’t wrapped up neatly at the end, and you specifically ask for bleak sci-fi.
Raquel: You use the word bleak specifically.
Jonny: Let me just preface this by saying that again there’s, there’s rooms for all, all types of [00:14:00] stories. Cuz I think there’s a perception among people who don’t agree with what I’m about to say, that I somehow, or people who of of you know of that persuasion, think that lighthearted stories or stories with happy endings are inherently bad.
And that’s obviously ludicrous. We don’t think that, that’s not not true. But haven’t said that my perception of contemporary genre fiction, particularly in short fantasy and science fiction, is that there’s this kind of general tendency to boost a sort of triumphalistic feel good mode of story. And again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. But I do find that a lot of the stuff that falls into that category, and especially the stuff that gets a lot of attention and the big sci-fi and fantasy awards. A lot of it is, again, in my opinion, often very shallow.
And it fails even to explore its own themes very, very well. There’s a [00:15:00] sort of the exploration of, of the themes. It’s often relegated to an afterthought, in service of a kind of, debilitating catharsis. Like catharsis, not in a good way. Something that just kind of demobilizes people and makes them feel good, as opposed to actually doing anything about the things, the injustices they’re reading about. But also I think there’s this focus on representation in fiction and how important it is to see people overcoming the characteristics that marginalize them in the real world. Whether that be class, sexuality, gender, physical disability, mental illness, any, anything like that. And, and again, what you like, like you just said.
Well, that is important. I also think it’s important to give space to writers and readers who want to explore what it’s like to not be overcoming those things. Maybe to be living with mental illness and be working a dog shit job that makes you feel even worse because you have to buy food and you have to pay the rent and you’re feeling shitty about it and you’re not overcoming everything because that’s not always [00:16:00] possible. People don’t always get the happy ending in real life. And sometimes we want to explore art that recognizes that and makes us feel like we’re not alone in that struggle and that we’re not failures because we didn’t, bootstrap or girl boss our way out of the sad and depressing situations we find ourselves in at various times in our lives. Yeah. So that, that’s basically the, the reason why I wanted to specifically talk about bleak science fiction stuff that explores the human condition in ways that, I don’t know, allow people to see themselves and in a way that they might be able to recognize if they’re not having the best of times.
Raquel: Mm-hmm. Okay. Now let’s talk about the process. How do you put together an issue of Seize the Press, like start to finish, you know, how do you fund it? How, who’s doing the arts? How are you handling web hosting? How are you handling slush reading, [00:17:00] editing, so on and so forth.
Jonny: When it comes to web hosting and all that kind of technical jargon that I, I know nothing about that. One, one of my good friends thankfully agreed to handle that side for me cause it’s not something I’m very good at. So yeah, that all goes on in the background for me, thankfully. But when it comes to funding, Patreon is our, I guess it’s our only source of funding at the minute.
We have a small number of subscribers. I think we’re up to around 80 subscribers at the moment who, pay pass on Patreon each month. And that goes towards, that goes towards paying the, the writers, the artists, the designers. So yeah, Patreon’s our main source of funding at the moment. When it comes to art
Raquel: how does the Patreon structure work exactly? I mean, are you paying for access? Are you paying for archives?
Jonny: the, When, when a new issue is released, subscribers basically get full access to that full issue immediately, and they get an an ebook copy to read. Whereas non-subscribers will typically get, the [00:18:00] issue released over a staggered period. And it’s only available to read online.
That was one of the things that I did want to make sure we did. I wanted to make sure that, it was freely available to people who couldn’t afford to subscribe. But one thing I have found with the, I dunno, the models of a lot of fiction magazines at the minute, is that, they give away everything for free immediately, it’s very difficult to draw in any money to pay your creators that way cuz people just think, “well, you know, everything’s immediately free.
Why? Unless I have some very personal or deep, deeply held connection to the, the people who run it, oh, I really, really like thing, really like, uh, what they’re putting out, then there’s no, there’s no sort of incentive to actually, fund the thing.” And it’s really difficult actually, especially now to get people to pay for short fiction cuz there’s so much of it available online for free that
Jonny: people are spoiled for choice.
Unless they really, really [00:19:00] want to read something specific, there’s no reason for them to, to pay for it cuz they can just go somewhere else and read something else. But thankfully there does seem to have been a good number of people who, have been willing to, become subscribers and, and support us, which is nice, because it’s, it was talking about our ethos.
It’s very important to me that we pay our creators and we don’t pay them enough as, as much as I would like to at the minute. And that will, any additional money that any that comes into our patron in the future will always go towards paying our creators. It’s, yeah, it’s, it’s something I feel very strongly about that people deserve to be paid for their creative work.
Slush reading. We have a small, team of slush readers who read stuff as it comes in. It started out differently. We had a larger team to begin with, of, it was sort of more, a more ad hoc basis. People could just sort of, dip in and read whatever they wanted whenever they wanted.
And we had a bigger team to accommodate that. And that was right at the beginning when we didn’t have as many [00:20:00] submissions coming in. Now though, it’s got to the point where we, we’ve got more submissions coming in then I can
Raquel: About how many roughly submissions are you getting a month?
Jonny: Ooh. Probably about four, between four and 500. So I, I basically used to still, even when we had the large slush team, because it was ad hoc and people would just dip in as in when they were able, I was still the one reading
Raquel: I was on that.
Jonny: Yeah, you, yeah, you were. Yeah. It just gotta the point now where I’m just physically unable to read all the submissions that are coming in. So yeah, we’ve got a smaller team now. But who have are committed to reading a certain number of, of slush, stories coming in each month.
It’s easier to manage what’s coming in. When it comes to editing, I, I edit all the fiction. Typically the what comes in, for the most part, I’d say 80 to 90% of the stories are pretty much in public publishable condition when they come in.
The ones that I decided to publish that is, with just some sort of [00:21:00] minor changes and things here and there. That’s not too difficult. Occasionally there will be a story that comes in that I see a lot of potential in, but just isn’t quite there. In those cases I’ll, I’ll work quite closely with the, the author to get it to where it needs to be, to be a Seize the Press story.
I do all the fiction editing. Karlo Yeager Rodriguez is our non-fiction editor. He does all the non-fiction side. When it comes to the art, I don’t think I mentioned the art. Basically we, I, I, I tend to just look around on, various websites where artists are po posting their work.
I’ve been following artists on Twitter whose work I like, and I’ll just get in touch with them and say, Hey, I’ve seen this piece of yours. Would you be interested in li in, in licensing it to us to use on our cover? And you’ll pay them a certain amount for the, just for the, just to use it on the cover.
And usually they’re very happy to do it. It’s work they’ve already created. They get to keep all the rights. We’re just saying, Hey, we’ll use that now. We’ll cover, we’ll give you some money and like, yeah, sure. Sounds good.[00:22:00] And JR Bolt, who’s also been on uh Rite Gud before
Raquel: JR Bolt.
He does our, the design. So basically we will have the artwork and you’ll see all the overlays and the design work and fonts and everything. He does all of that, and he does a fantastic job.
Raquel: So what do you think draws people to Seize the Press?
Jonny: One thing that I do hear a lot is people say, we have a very specific vibe. It’s not something I initially set out to have a specific vibe initially, but I think over time we’ve established a particular kind of story a kind of writing that we tend to, to put out there.
Often it’s a bit off kilter. The writing style is, is not something you’d typically likely to see elsewhere. That’s one thing that people, one major thing that I’ve has been, get pointed out to me a lot, I think the cover art and design work as well that I’ve just mentioned, the, people have said that the, we have a very specific kind of vibe for the cover art as well that I think attracts people, to maybe check things out further.
Raquel: what kind of vibe?
Jonny: uh,[00:23:00] Again, unsettling. Maybe a bit weird. Um,
Jonny: cuz I dunno, I see a lot of magazines out there putting out cover art that’s fine. Like it does its job, it’s functional I guess, but I dunno, you’d never see it and think about it again. Whereas when I’m looking for artwork for the covers, I, I like to find something that’ll, I dunno, that’ll, that stands on its own as artwork as well.
It’s not just cover art for a magazine. It’s a, it’s interesting and thought-provoking in and of itself.
I think it’s particularly important sort of when you’re relying on social media as well to publicize things. If people are just scrolling through the feeds and they tend to just look at something for half a second and keep scrolling if you wanna have something that’s gonna attract someone’s to attention and keep them and get them interested.
And I think, I think that our cover art does that as well. And, and I think as well once, I think once they [00:24:00] have been being drawn in by that artwork, once they start reading the stories as well, I think that that has kept people hooked as well. That again, that unsettling weird off kill the vibe of the, a lot of the stories that we put out there.
Raquel: Does Seize the Press make any kind of money? How’s it going financially? Because short fiction, especially short genre fiction, famously is a place where you’re not gonna, you’re, you’re not gonna make the big bucks.
Jonny: No, no.
Raquel: do you monetize this? How, what’s the financial system or the financial situation look like?
Jonny: Well, we don’t make any money. No. All the money that we comes in from our Patreon goes towards paying our, um, writers and creators and artists. And I don’t ever envisage it being a moneymaking venture. It’s not the reason I set out to, to do it. And any money that comes in, in future, we’ll go towards increasing, payment rates for our riders.
At the minute we pay three pence, G B P per word, which I think equates to [00:25:00] around four, 4 cents US,
um, which is better than a lot of places pay to be honest. But it’s still nowhere near what
Raquel: Yeah. It’s not a pro rate by the S F W A standards
Jonny: Um, I mean, we, we actually did start out paying pro rates. So when we first started, I had basically set some money aside that I’d saved.
And I kind of naively thought that by the time that money ran out, that that we’d have built up a enough of a, a following and subscription subscriber base that, you know, we
Raquel: The, the money will just be rolling in for short internet, dark
Jonny: yeah. And this, this is what I, this.
Raquel: publication. You’re just gonna fucking throw a bunch of dollar bills on the bed and roll around in them. Like in Danger: Diabolik
Jonny: Yeah, it didn’t work out that way. Like I said, I was very naive when I first started out. I didn’t know what I was doing. So when,
Raquel: I, I get the sense for most people who start a magazine, that’s how it goes. I’m like, this is gonna be easy. And then you go like, oh, fuck
It’s still, as I say, it’s been a [00:26:00] lot more successful than I’ve ever kind of thought it would
Raquel: Yeah. It is doing really well.
Jonny: but the mon money wise, it’s still quite difficult to, to, to,
Raquel: That, is, that is, that is publishing just in general, that is publishing.
Jonny: But, we do have a lot of, um, our subscriber base building. Hopefully we’ll be able to raise our, payment rates with any additional money that comes in. None of that money will ever go to, to us. They’ll always go to our writers and artists.
Raquel: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Now how do you spread the word about Seize the Press? How did you build a readership? Because as any creative, any artist knows, as any writer knows, it’s hard to get eyeballs on your work, especially when it’s fiction. It’s, you can put out absolutely brilliant stuff, but that is no guarantee that people are gonna come and look at it.
So how did you build this audience?
Jonny: Honestly, I think it’s just a combination of look and just making something that [00:27:00] stands out and is actually different and has kind of filled a, a, a void that people are
Raquel: but even then, how did you promote it?
Raquel: people to see it? Because you even, even if you have something that looks great and is great, that’s still absolutely no guarantee.
Jonny: No, um, I mean, me mainly it was just through social media and specifically just, uh, Twitter and, um, I
Raquel: Did you have a social media strategy?
Jonny: nope, I mean, this is the thing. I, I am not a, I’m not a marketing guy. Like I’ve never, I’ve no experience in marketing. My day job is, I work, in the National Health Service in the uk. So I work in healthcare.
I’m not a marketing guy. I’m no experience in anything like that. So again, it all comes back to not really, not really knowing how much I didn’t know. Basically we would, I guess it was just me at the time. So I’ve post, on Twitter, I would talk to people, [00:28:00] um,
Raquel: Like who, what kind of people,
Jonny: uh, Kurt Schiller
Raquel: again, posting is not enough to get
Jonny: No, no,
Raquel: you know, not at all. It’s not enough.
Jonny: not. No. But, uh, Kurt Schiller specifically, the editor of Blood Knife, I spoke earlier about how someone pointed me in the direction of Blood Knife very early on. And I messaged Kurt and he was incredibly helpful in those early stages.
Honestly to the point where I don’t think Seize the Press would even exist
Jonny: Kurt. All that help he gave me early on, without help about how to set things up and, But specifically setting up the website as well, because I think the website, we didn’t, again, you say a posting isn’t enough to get attention and it’s not, but I think just having a, having something compelling to, that fills a kind of niche of people are looking for something specific that isn’t being provided. And it kind of just spread through word of mouth, I guess. And, and I realize there’s a, a very, very big element of [00:29:00] survivorship bias here. Mean I know, I know only a year and a half old, like touch wood would keep going. But there is a, there is a very big element of survivorship bias in that somehow I didn’t have any experience and it worked out.
The only thing that I would say with regards to people who are wanting to get eyes on their work, is that if you’re submitting to magazines, submit to places that are going to put in the work to actually get your, your eyes, eyes on your work. And who do stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Because, and I say this even about magazines that I read and enjoy, a lot of them are quite semi, like ev even the ones that publish good stories, there’s, there’s nothing that makes ’em stand out from the next one. So if a magazine has got a particular vibe as people say we do, or, people read it for a particular reason and it’s fill in that kind of niche that people are [00:30:00] looking for, I think people are more likely to look at stuff like that that fills that kind of niche. As opposed to something that’s just putting out, uh, magazines like, generic cover art and isn’t really, doesn’t differentiate itself from, from anything else. And, and again, there’s writers don’t necessarily have any control over who decides to accept their work.
And I guess this is more of a problem with the publishing side of things than the writing, writing side of things. I think a lot of magazines have a lot of work to do when it comes to, I don’t wanna say marketing themselves. I don’t like that term. I cause I, cuz as I say, I don’t really have that background.
And marketing to me has a
Raquel: fine. Just, you know, this is a business. Yeah, you’re doing a creative thing, but you are selling a product. You are marketing a product. It’s kind of, you might as well own up to it, you know?
Raquel: It doesn’t make sense to me to be embarrassed about that. This is just the reality of the industry we work in.
Jonny: Yeah, [00:31:00] well just, just, just, I guess in that case, magazines just being better at talking about themselves, marketing themselves, differentiating themselves from what other, whatever other generic sci-fi horror magazine as vying people’s attention. And I think that’s something we have been successful at.
People do think that we, that we’re different and we put out something that you’re not necessarily gonna find elsewhere. And I think that that’s a big part of what gets eyes on, Seize the Press stories.
Raquel: All right. How has Seize the Press changed over the course of, its so far very brief existence.
Jonny: Yeah, well, as I said, about only a 18 months old. Yeah, we’ve been around for a year and a half and I think over that time we’ve, we’ve really kind of nailed down that vibe that we’ve been talking about. I think early on, I dunno, maybe, maybe there might be some stories, some earlier issues that I perhaps wouldn’t [00:32:00] decide to put in the current iteration of the back magazine.
Not because I didn’t, don’t think they’re good stories, but because over the course of our existence, I think we’ve nailed down something very specific that we look for. And I guess another thing is we’ve moved up, we’ve moved offline, which was a big thing. We do still have our website and our stories do go up online for non-subscribers.
But we do also produce an ebook copy of the magazine now, which goes out to our subscribers, as soon as the new issue comes out. That was a, a big thing that I’d always wanted to do. The next thing is I’d hopefully want to produce physical copies at some point, but that has its own problems and issues.
We’ve expanded as well. So it used to just be me. It was literally just me when we first started out. We’ve since doubled our staff, I guess you can call us. So we’ve, we’ve, took on Karlo Yeager Rodriguez as our nonfiction editor. Karlo was in the first issue of the magazine. He submitted a story called [00:33:00] Vanishing, which was received very, very well.
It was a story that had been, knocked back from a lot of other magazines. Um,
Raquel: Could you talk a little bit about Vanishing? What is it about, what drew you to it and why do you think it found a home in Seize the Press and not anywhere else?
Jonny: uh, so Vanishing is, um,
Raquel: Stop it. Sorry, cat. Stop attacking the bed. That’s, that’s not a scratching post. You have a scratching post.
Bad girl. Okay. Thank you.
Jonny: I was hoping the cats might make an appearance.
Raquel: Yeah, Henny’s being a bad girl.
Jonny: Vanishing was, it’s a story. It’s a, a story about the specifically the, uh, Latinx experience in America with, the situation on the, on the borders, I may say when Trump was president, but the whole point of the story is that the child separation, um, and all those horrors that were going on under Trump also carried on under the, once Joe Biden [00:34:00] was, elected.
And that’s kind of the whole idea of the story. It doesn’t specifically say any of this. If Karlo sent me a story saying, “Hey, Trump bad, Biden also just as bad, and this is what’s going on at the border,” I think, “okay, whatever.” But like none of that’s explicitly stated. It’s, it’s, it’s a sort of story that digs into that experience in a very nuanced way without
without being, without being didactic in that way that I didn’t want to see. It’s a very powerful story and I think, I mean, I’m, I’m, I’m guessing here, but I think the reason it had potentially been knocked back from a lot of other places is because,
I guess people, some people might get angry at, at me for this, but, I think once Trump went and Biden was elected and the Democrats were back in power in America, and I, I’m from, I’m, I’m from the UK as you can probably tell, but, we get a lot of, US politics and culture kind of by osmosis.
But I think from my, what I, from what I could tell was that once the Democrats were back in power, no one really wanted to think about this anymore. They thought everything’s that the bad man’s gone. We can [00:35:00] fix everything. Our guy’s in power. And we don’t want to be reminded or told that
everything bad that was going on before is still going on. There’s that whole element of “we can go back to brunch now.” yeah, and I think my, my perspective is that I think it probably made a lot of people uncomfortable. They didn’t wanna think about it. But that’s exactly the reason why it was the kind of thing we were looking to publish.
And as I say, that was in our first issue. So I think it kind of set a tone for the kind of thing that we wanted to, to do going forward. Yeah. And, and again, then we, we published a nonfiction piece from Karlo in the next issue as well. He, wrote a piece about, the Netflix adaptation of Cowboy Bebop and how it kind of defanged the original story. Not long after that, I think it was two or a couple of issues later, I’d asked if he’d be interested in coming on as our nonfiction editor and he and he agreed.
Uh, yeah. So now Karlo’s part of the Seize the Press team and yeah.[00:36:00]
Raquel: Okay. Where does Seize the Press fit in among the rest of the short sci-fi fantasy magazine ecosystem? You’ve talked a lot about how it fulfills this certain niche. Like can you tell me in more specificity what that niche is and, and sort of how it’s getting along
if it is getting along, or if it’s not getting along with the other sff mags. Like, are, are you fulfilling a, a necessary role in the ecosystem, or are you an invasive species, you know?
Jonny: Uh, well, I wouldn’t describe our ourselves that way. Maybe some others would. I don’t know. I dunno, I guess in a lot of ways we don’t really fit in among a lot of the more established magazines. Um,
I mean, a big part of the reason why I wanted to start publishing the kind of fiction we do is because they don’t get the space that they deserve in a lot of the bigger, more mainstream short fiction magazines.
[00:37:00] Yeah, we don’t really fit in among a lot of the, the bigger magazines. But I mean, I guess at the same time, there is a, there does seem to have been a resurgence lately in the kind of publications that are putting out the weirder, non-mainstream stuff. I think there’s, so there’s Tower Magazine, which has recently come out, Mouthfeel, which is, getting ready to publish its first issue.
These are magazines that are publishing, stuff that you would never, would, would never see the time of day in some of the bigger, establishment magazines.
Raquel: Why not?
Jonny: I guess because, because they make people uncomfortable. People don’t like discomfort. Um,
yeah, you see, you see a lot of the, the, the stories that are being nominated, well, at least winning awards anywhere. The, the, the ones voted for by readers. Readers in these ecosystems, or at least the ones that are active in them anyway. And the paying members of the organizations, they don’t like discomfort.
[00:38:00] They don’t like being made to feel things, I guess. They don’t want question anything. They don’t want to, they don’t want to feel uncomfortable. There’s a, a niche of people who, who do want that. And maybe it is a minority. It probably is a minority. But it was a minority that I don’t think was being served in the way they deserved.
So in that, in that way, I, I guess we don’t really fit in very well amongst some of the bigger, more establishment magazines. I mean, there are still good ones, don’t get me wrong. There’s, there’s The Dark, there’s Apex publishes a lot of good stuff. Clarkesworld, which is a science fiction magazine, isn’t necessarily publishing in the kind uncomfortable things in the same way necessarily, but they do publish still good stories.
So yeah, there is definitely good stuff out there. I’m definitely not saying that we’re in a desert here and there’s nothing good out there that before we came along, it’s absolutely not the case. But I do think that
Raquel: No, you should say it. Don’t be so timid. Seize the Press is a very bold magazine. You should [00:39:00] not be afraid to be bold.
Jonny: Well, thank you.
Raquel: Be like, “yeah, there were other magazines before us, but they sucked ass. And here we are.”
Jonny: Yeah. Well, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m,
Raquel: Clarkesworld run a story called “Eating Bees from the Ass of God?” No, it wouldn’t.
Jonny: no, I don’t think so.
Raquel: No, I don’t think so.
More’s the shame.
Jonny: And again, that was in our first issue. I think that that was in the
Raquel: Yeah. That is a, that is a strong, that is a, that is a bold choice
Jonny: so there was
Raquel: that in your first
Jonny: There was that story and Vanishing and a few, obviously the fuels that we ran. I think it was a, yeah, it was a bold statement to make right out of the guide.
Raquel: Just, “hi there. Here we are. Fuckers. What up?”
Raquel: Are you willing to talk about why you opted not to give Tor reviews advanced copies of each issue?
Jonny: Yeah, I mean, I’ll talk about it. I’m not sure how spicy we’ll get. We’ll see you and maybe, maybe
Raquel: spicy. We love spice.
Jonny: we’ll see. Let’s see, let’s see how this goes. Okay, so I guess for, I’ll explain the situation first of all. So I was contacted by the person who [00:40:00] runs the short fiction roundup for Tor.com, um, which is the sort of magazine, online magazine that the imprint tour runs online.
Raquel: Yeah, it now Tor.com is different from Tor Dot Com, right?
Jonny: Yeah. So it’s, it’s, it’s very confusing. So basically you’ve got Tor dot
Raquel: really, really good. It’s, it’s, it’s like a standup comedy routine from like
Jonny: yeah, it’s really strange. You’ve got, you’ve got Tor who publish books, you’ve got Tor Dot Com who are also published books, but are different in some way, and then you’ve also
Raquel: Tor the book publisher’s website is Tor.com, is Tor Dot Com’s website? Url? Is it like tor.com.com?
Jonny: it’s, it’s surreal. It’s a very strange situation. I dunno how they differentiate themselves, but, but basically the,
Jonny: in this, in this, in this instance, the Tor.com that we’re talking about is the online magazine that they run. And as part of that, they run a monthly short fiction roundup, of [00:41:00] what the, the reader has been enjoying in reading that month.
I was contacted by the person who runs that and they asked
Raquel: Sorry, I just looked it up. I had to interject. But the sci-fi fantasy publisher is tor.com is the website and that’s Tor, but there, there are other, or there, maybe I’m getting this backwards. Maybe this is the book publisher. I don’t fucking know, but there’s, Tor Dot Com is the company name and it’s url is publishing.tor.com. Which makes very good sense and no one could reasonably con be confused by the two of these things. It’s v it it, it’s very good. It’s very good to
Jonny: You know, all I’ll say is it’s a good job that they’re a multinational corporation because otherwise I think people would just, wouldn’t give them the time of day. It’s too confusing, but they have that clout behind them. So yeah, I was contacted by the person who runs their monthly fix short fiction roundup, and they asked if we would want to give them advanced copies of each new issue to read and [00:42:00] potentially feature in their monthly short fiction roundup.
Raquel: Which is a very good way to get eyeballs on your
Jonny: Yeah, it is. And a debate. So I debated a lot about whether I wanted to be included in this because as you say, it’s, I think Tor Tor.Com has something like 1.5 million people visiting the website each month. And of course not all of those people are visiting the specific short fiction roundup, but all the same.
It’s, it’s gonna have a, a wide reach. So it’s a, it would be a very good way to get other people to be aware of Seize the Press and, potentially get more eyeballs on our stories. And so for that reason, I debated about whether, because as an editor, I, I, I have a kind of obligation to the writers who submit to us and who we publish that to get
people reading their stories. It’s the whole point of [00:43:00] submitting the stories. You wanna get paid for your work and you want people to read your work. But when it comes to Tor one of the reasons we, when it comes back to the reasons we set up Seize the Press, Tor is kind of part of that ecosystem, like a big part of that ecosystem, of this kind of shallow fandom centric publishing ecosystem.
So a lot of this stuff that you see on tor.com, on the online magazine, it’s all like listicles, shallow reviews that think they’re doing, like a read along of some Brandon Sanderson series at the minute where they just talk about what part of the book they’re up to at the minute and kind of get to get excited about what’s going on in whatever Brandon Sanderson book they’re reading.
That whole ecosystem is like the antithesis of what I want STP to be part of. It’s part of the founding ethos that we didn’t really want to be part of, that we wanted to build something separate.
Raquel: Yeah. And, and something I [00:44:00] wanna point out too about Tor is that it’s a little weird, but within sci-fi fantasy, people kind of talk about it like it’s this scrappy little publisher and it’s not, it’s very much a corporate publisher.
Jonny: Tor is an imprint of Macmillan, I think, which is one of the big four publishers. So, so yeah, like they have this, I don’t know how they’ve managed it or cultivated this, this idea, but yeah, they have this kind of scrappy underdog image, uh, But really? Yeah, no, they’re a,
Raquel: underdogs, not even
Jonny: multinational corporation, one of the Big four publishers.
And, and again, I, I wanna say it’s not like a, we’re not boycotting to for that reason. We’ve even got, uh,
Raquel: throw a brick through their window. Go full Antifa,
Jonny: there’s, so we’ve even got, like, we’ve even got a review of a Tor book
Raquel: Seize the press. Literally get in there and seize their press and like take
Jonny: well, that was the, uh, yeah, that’s the play on words that the title, the name of the magazine has plays on. Yeah, we’ve even got a. A, a review of a Tor book and the upcoming issue. [00:45:00] Zach Gillan has reviewed, uh, the Archive on Dying, which is a new Tor release, and it gets a very positive review.
I’ve read some Tor books in the past that I’ve liked. I think they’ve published the Baru Cormorant books. They’ve published Todd a Thompson. And even despite the horrific artwork, they put alongside it, they even republished, the Black Company books. Um,
Raquel: The terrible
Jonny: oh, it’s so bad. It’s so bad.
Raquel: so offensive.
Jonny: Like clip art.
Clip art covers.
Raquel: Really, really bad. I think that, is that the one that used War Hammer 40 K figurines in front of a fog
Jonny: Yeah. Yeah. It’s so bad. Which is the, the books are so good as well, man. It’s so, it’s so upsetting because they’re some of the best books I’ve ever read. They’re just fantastic. Just to disrespect them with cover art like that. It’s very sad, but yeah. But yeah, it’s not, it’s not a boycott of Tor because, you know, big bad publishing.
It’s specifically because Tor.com is part of that kind of really shallow, [00:46:00] um, publishing ecosystem that we set Seize the Press up to kind of be against, I guess.
Jonny: So it, it, it felt a little bit hypocritical to be, to be saying, “Yeah. Well, we set up our, our magazine specifically because we don’t like the kind of stuff that
that publications like you are doing. But hey, yeah, please, uh, go ahead and include our, our stories in your monthly roundup.” And to be honest, I, I looked at the roundup itself. I had a look at a few of them to see whether it would be worth, as part of the weighing up the pros and cons. I had a look.
And even aside from just getting eyes on them, the roundups themselves were really not good. When you read a review of a book, you expect to have some exploration of the themes or like how it made you feel,
- It was basically just a short summary of what the person read and maybe like, “Hey, this story could be about this.
But this is like the plot. This, this, [00:47:00] this is the plot of the story.” That’s basically all it was. It
Raquel: like a kid’s book report
Jonny: Yeah. It’s just shallow, not nothingness. It’s, there’s just nothing to it. And I didn’t really wanna be part of it. And I, I did feel bad in some ways because, like I said, I do feel like as the editor of the magazine, I have an obligation to our writers to get people reading their work.
But at the same time, I think, or a magazine that has kind of that strong ethos that we mentioned earlier. And I, I, I don’t want to, I, I don’t wanna undermine that. I think like it’s what, it’s one of the reasons people like what we do. And I think to undermine that would just be, yeah, it would undermine everything we do, I think.
Raquel: Do you think though, at a, at, at the very least, the fact that Tor is paying attention to you, that’s probably a really positive sign, right?
Jonny: Oh, definitely. I mean, in some ways it kind of felt pretty good to be like, ” yeah, thanks, but no thanks.” What I entrusted from like, one of the, one of the big publishing, one of the big publishing guys. But yeah, it’s [00:48:00] definitely a, it’s definitely a positive sign that they’re paying attention to us or, or they want to pay attention to us at least.
Yeah, it’s not, I, I never expected when I started the magazine to have Tor asking for advanced copies of the magazine to review.
Raquel: What have been some of the bigger bumps along the way?
Jonny: Oh, there’ve been a bunch. But I, it’s stuff that I hope hasn’t been too visible to the people reading the magazine. Mostly it’s been me desperately trying to learn everything I hadn’t realized I needed to know beforehand and kind of scrambling to get issues out on time while I’m working a full-time job.
So it’s really hard man to, to do, to do everything I want, want to do with Seize the Press requires a, it requires a lot more time than I currently have.
Raquel: Oh yeah.[00:49:00]
Jonny: and it can be very stressful and frustrating. I guess knowing that it could be so much more if I just had that time and all and, and money.
Cause I think. think I, I’d probably, cause I’d like to improve the website, I’d start like to make physical copies of the magazine. We’ve had like a few requests for like merch, like t-shirts and stuff. First off, that’s a bunch of other stuff I’d need, need to learn how to do.
Like I say, it requires money and time that we don’t really have at the minute. So I, I guess the biggest bumps are just that. Definitely at the start, like I didn’t know what I was doing. I hope that stuff and, and I think, I think it is stuff that didn’t necessarily translate and or come across to the
people like the end product and people actually reading, reading the thing. It’s all stuff that I’ve been doing in the background, floundering around, trying to get things out on time and yeah, get, get all the edits done. But I, yeah, I, I guess that’s just like the normal, normal stuff for running a magazine, but it’s stuff that I had to learn on the fly because I was, I was naive enough to, to not know what I didn’t know.
Jonny: I think that, I [00:50:00] think now, I think we’ve, I think we’ve weathered the storm to the point where I’m at least notionally competent. I hope.
Raquel: That’s good. All right. Now tell me about some of the, your proudest achievements with Seize the Press. Like some stories that you’ve been proudest to say “I put this out,” or, or maybe responses to it that you’ve been incredibly proud of receiving.
Jonny: Probably the proudest achievement is probably having so many stories make the short list for, Tenebrous Press’s Brave New Weird Award. I think, I mean, let me just give a shout out to Tenebrous Press. They’re fucking brilliant. Um,
Raquel: They do a lot of
Jonny: yeah, that’s so good. Matt Blairstone, um, and Alex Woodrow who, the people who run it, they’re just some of the most dedicated, hardworking people like that I know.
They’re just fantastic. They’ve put out a lot of fantastic, really weird, strange horror novellas. They’ve put a lot of novellas out. Just, [00:51:00] just really good stuff that, know, I, I, I doubt many other. Presses would’ve took a chance on. They ran a Best of New Weird Horror horror award, uh, last year.
Was it? Was it this year? I don’t know what time was time. And we had four stories, four Seize the Press stories shortlisted for, for that award. It was the most amount of stories that any single publication had shortlisted for that. So we had “What it’s Like” by Riley Tao, which was this, um, incredible kind of stream of consciousness, kind of scream of rage by a trans writer about their experience of being trans.
These stories will be available on our website if people wanna go and read them, by the way. So “What it’s Like” by Riley Tau was nominated, “Those Who Forget and Those Who Perish” by KW Colyard, which was this kind of, I guess it was a kind of secondary world, dark fantasy, body horror story.
I dunno, I don’t really know how [00:52:00] to categorize a lot of these things cuz they defy categorization a lot of the time. But it was kind of a story about a, like a horse kingdom where, women were kind of, stitched up sort of Dr. Moreau style to horses. It was kind of a story about living as a woman in, that kind of patriarchal society that took women’s bodies for granted, and used them how they saw fit.
The other one that was nominated was What the Ghouleh Said on Thursday of the Dead by Sonia Sulaiman, which was a, which she describes as a Palestinian Gothic, which was about settler colonialism in Palestine. And again, a subject that I don’t think a lot of presses would feel comfortable, highlighting.
But, um, it’s, it’s something that’s always been, very important to me. The whole Palestine solidarity movement is what got me in the left-wing politics originally, to be honest. Um, so it’s something that’s al always been important to me, so I was very happy that [00:53:00] that got a lot of attention and, Low Tide Jenny by Bitter Karella.
Raquel: Oh, that one’s great.
Jonny: it’s fantastic. That was so that, that not only you made the short list that was actually included, that actually won one of the awards and was included in the Brave New Weird anthology. Yeah, it’s a really strange story. Bitter Karella is great. They write a lot of fantastic stuff, but this one’s, it’s kind of a take on, on the Chambers story, it includes a kind of, uh, element of Carcosa from The King in Yellow.
There’s been a lot of sort of riffing on, on that kind of idea, but. I think Karella did a fantastic job, in their own way and yeah, that was, that actually won one of the awards. Yeah, fantastic story. Some of the others, like I think you mentioned, uh, Eating Bees From The Ass of God by Joe Koch.
That one was, that one still gets a lot of attention today.
Jonny: In no small part perhaps because of the provocative title. But once you start reading the story, it’s this, [00:54:00] oh I dunno, it’s, it’s this really kind of gross but beautifully poetic in a lot of ways
cosmic horror story. Actually one story that I think it does get talked about but deserve to be talked about a lot more is a Reno World City by Naim Kabir, which is the only sort of cyberpunk story that we’ve, that we’ve run. And it’s a great story because it’s a cyberpunk story that actually nails that kind of alienation and kind of ennui that some of the early cyberpunk really nailed down, but kind of became less and less important as the genre became just a bit more about, I dunno, empty aesthetics.
Just the sad story of cyberpunk unfortunately. But when cyberpunk’s done brilliantly, it’s, it’s when, when it’s done
Raquel: it’s great. But yeah, there’s a lot of people who kind of go, “look, it’s got, it’s got robots and swears,” and that’s kind of [00:55:00] all it is.
Jonny: neon and robot arms. That’s,
Raquel: Yeah. It’s cyborgs who say “fuck” a lot. That’s what cyberpunk is like. Yeah. Okay.
Jonny: Yeah. But this, this story really kind of nailed that specific kind of, really harkened back to that early cyberpunk that really, I mean, I, I I say like sort of anti capitalist critique, but I, William Gibson turned, became a kind of weird liberal in his, in his later days. I think he, he has
Raquel: A lot of these guys
Jonny: yeah, he has some.
Raquel: a lot of people kind of, well, you’re, you’re comfortable and middle aged and, and then your politics sort of become whatever makes you feel okay about being comfortable and middle aged.
Jonny: But certainly, yeah, Reno Walled City remind me a lot of like of, of the, of Neuromancer, which is one of my favorite books. You really nailed that, that that early cyber punk vibe.
Raquel: Okay. Uh, so why don’t we turn to the future. Do you have any big plans for where Seize the Press might go? Where would you like to see it go?
Jonny: One thing I’ve always really wanted to [00:56:00] do is be able to produce print issues of the magazine, but my God, it is that
Raquel: would be a
Jonny: Yeah, it’s so expensive. Um,
Raquel: shipping is like, oh my God. It’s a fucking nightmare.
Jonny: and I mean, again, it’s something that I would have to learn to do because I’ve never really, I’ve never put a physical copy of a magazine together myself.
I think if I was going to do it, I’d probably keep it quiet for a little while first and maybe produce a prototype copy or something and see, see if it’s something I’m actually capable of doing first. Um, but certainly print issues are something I’d love. I’d really love to see print issues. It’s something people are always asking for and I’m just like, oh, I’m really sorry.
We, we have very limited money.
Raquel: Yeah. It, it costs money, especially to make something that looks really nice if you’re gonna print in color with illustrations, if
Jonny: And that’s the thing.
Raquel: really slick.
Jonny: Yeah. If we were gonna do it, I’d want to do it properly. I’d want, I’d want it to look good. I’d want it to be good quality print and want there to be artwork in there, which would also mean [00:57:00] like paying artists for, cause I’d probably want like an a a for each story an accompanying art, uh, piece of art.
I mean, I know that’s not strictly necessary, but it’s just something I would like to do if we were gonna do, do a print issue. I’d like to do it properly and do it well. And I know it’s something that Dark Matter Magazine were doing, and they did it well. Um,
Raquel: Unfortunately it ain’t cheap.
Jonny: certainly not. And it’s just not something we have the, the money for at the minute, unfortunately.
The other thing is that, and this is like a complete pipe dream and not something I even, I’m even sure I’m cut out to do. But people have also asked if we ever planned to start like an actual press publishing, like books or novellas. Um,
Jonny: and again, that’s something that I would love, love, love to do.
But it’s, I absolutely don’t have the time for it, the minute. And it’s also something that I, again, have no experience with, but, I’d never had experience running a magazine either, and [00:58:00] that’s turned out okay. I’d, I’d certainly wanna look into that, but I’d want to build up some experience beforehand.
Maybe like work with someone putting out an anthology as just helping on a project or something by learning how to put out a book first. Cause I, again, I’d, I’d want to, I’d wanna do it properly. I think I’d owe that to our writers. Um,
Raquel: Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Jonny: not something I’d wanna jump into, but yeah, those, those are two things I’d really love to do in the future.
Raquel: Yeah. Okay. Uh, well why don’t we wrap it up. I’d ask you if you had anything you wanted to promote, but I think that’s pretty much about what been, what this entire episode
Raquel: Would you like to promote something? Yes. You would like to promote something? It’s called Seize the Press magazine. And what is the url?
Jonny: so you can visit us at seizethepress.com. So you’ll be able to read a lot of our past issues. There’s a lot of stories up there for free, that we’ve run in past issues. If you do want to become a subscriber, you can find us at patreon.com/seizethepress, and you’ll get access to [00:59:00] every issue immediately
once it’s released. You’ll better read the whole thing and you’ll get an ebook copy of the magazine. And you’ll also be ensuring that we can continue paying our writers, which is something that we believe in very strongly.
Raquel: Yeah. Well that’s good. Well, thank you for coming on. I’m gonna wrap it up because Harley is getting feisty. He’s, he’s paying some attention cuz it’s getting near that time of the evening where I feed them. So thank you for coming on
Raquel: and thank you all for listening. If you like what you heard, head to patreon.com/ritegud and subscribe. Until next time, keep writing good.