Interview With Vagabondage Press
Author: Fawn Neun, managing editor, Vagabondage Press LLC
What makes Vagabondage Press a unique part of the publishing community?
VBP sits on what we think is a unique place in the market. Most small presses seem to be either highly literary or strictly genre oriented. VBP doesn’t make that restrictive distinction, and we look to publish works that have the best of both worlds. In literary work, we first look for relatable characters and fully developed plots. In “genre” fiction, we look for narrative beauty and skillful writing.
What sort of qualities do you look for in a manuscript or piece of work that you are considering for publication?
One of the first things we consider is the premise, whether it’s viable and whether it offers a new and interesting perspective. Many of the works we publish offer a slightly skewed take on the world, in one way or another. We look for unusual characters with unique viewpoints: a gifted teenager from the ghetto, the survivor of a suicide pact. We’re looking for fiction that shines a different light on the human experience.
Personally, one of the first things I look for as an editor is good pacing, which can be surmised from the first three chapters. If the premise and pacing are good, I then look for characterization and narrative skill. After that, I look at the structure of the work: is it well paced throughout? Does it hit the marks as a story? Is it framed properly? Is the exposition balanced, and is the back story properly placed to keep it from stalling the flow of the main plot?
Do you have a specific aesthetic preference? How would you describe that aesthetic?
I would say not. We love rich and ripe narrative as much as sparse exposition. What counts is whether it is appropriate for the story being told and whether it’s been done thoughtfully and well.
What is the readership like for Vagabondage Press? What do you imagine your typical reader is like?
Because we publish across a broad spectrum, I don’t feel we have a ‘typical reader.’ Our readers are there because of our authors and for their voice, not for VBP’s editorial policy. If there is anything that they might have in common is that they are willing to look at the world from a slightly skewed perspective than might be found in more mainstream works.
What is the next exciting thing happening at Vagabondage Press?
We have some very interesting things upcoming. We will be publishing some great dark satire from David Henry Steery and a alternative history novel that places Sir Thomas Malory and François Villon in Newgate Prison at the same time. Just brilliant stuff by fabulous authors; we feel quite honored.