The recent combination of two award-winning magazines - Dragons, Knights, and Angels and The Sword Review - resulted in one frequently-updated, high-quality magazine called Mindflights, brought to you by Double-Edged Publishing. Angie Lofthouse is one of the team of editors at Mindflights, which features the stories, poetry and illustrations of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Angie has graciously agreed to share her knowledge with us and will be available to answer your questions in the comments of this post.
What’s the most recent thing you’ve read that you loved?
Ironhand by Charlie Fletcher, the second in the Stoneheart Trilogy. Loved it!
How many submissions does your magazine get each week?
We average 15-20 submissions each week. We try to respond within three weeks.
What are you looking for now that you’re not getting?
We always like to get more science fiction, more flash fiction (under 1000 words), and more poetry (though I am not strongly involved in the poetry side of things.)
What is your #1 pet peeve in submissions you receive?
I think my biggest pet peeve is reading stories that are predictable, obvious and clichéd. Those have fallen into about three categories lately, Conversations with the Devil, Afterlife stories, and Dystopia/Oppressive Government stories. It's not that I don't want to read stories that fall into those categories; it's just that most of them that I've read have nothing new or fresh to offer to those themes. Another pet peeve is getting submissions that clearly do not fit our guidelines and are not appropriate for our magazine.
What is the most common mistake writers make in their submissions to you?
Probably the most common mistake is a lack of careful proofreading. It's very distracting to read a story riddled with errors. It leaves me with the impression that the author didn't really care.
What can writers do to make their submissions sparkle?
Proofread carefully. Let more than one person proofread the story. More eyes will catch more errors. Use proper manuscript formatting. Then, start off strong with an opening that catches my interest and makes me want to keep reading. Don't begin by explaining the history of the world or your main character's life story. Create characters that are three-dimensional, that I can relate to and care about. Avoid clichés. Show, don't tell. Use strong, active sentences and word choices. Give me a satisfying ending. At Mindflights, we are looking for stories that are entertaining, enlightening, and uplifting.
How does one submit to Mindflights magazine?
You can submit to Mindflights using our online form. Be sure to read the guidelines first.
You are an author as well as an editor, with several publishing credits. Would you mind sharing links to some of your work with us?
Sure. Here are two of my short stories.
"Soul Singer" and "Brierly's Lilies"
How do you find time to write, edit, and have a personal life?
My family always comes first, so it can be hard to find the time. My husband and children are very supportive and encouraging, though, and that makes it easier. One of the biggest ways I found time for writing and editing was getting rid of my TV. We don't get any TV reception at all, and I don't miss it even one little bit, though I must confess that I watch an occasional episode of Star Trek on DVD. I usually do my Mindflights work during the day while the older kids are at school, and write in the evenings (when I might otherwise be watching TV.) I try to take advantage of any time I get, and keep my notebook handy at all times. I did most of this interview with my toddler on my lap.
If you could give one tip to writers everywhere, what would it be?
Don't be afraid to dream and keep working for your dreams. Let your imagination run wild. Never give up. Okay, I guess that was more than one tip.
I will be available to answer any question until 5pm MST today. If you'd still like to submit questions, and don't mind waiting, I can answer a few more tomorrow.
BIO: Angie Lofthouse is a stay-home mom of six children. Her fiction has appeared in NFG, AlienSkin, Amazing Journeys, The Sword Review, Dragons, Knights and Angels, Irreantum, and Unparalleled Journeys. She is also an editor for Mindflights Magazine. She lives in a little canyon in the foothills of the