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Dave Lindschmidt
City Slab Editor
Horror Interview by The Gravedigger

Q: What is your background as an editor?

My experience with fiction came from the standpoint of a reader and then a writer. I felt like I knew what a good story was and started learning the editorial duties from having worked with editors as a writer and with the magazine’s life. Of course, there came a point where I had to turn myself more to the business end of the magazine and hand over the majority of the editorial position to Scott Standridge. That guy is a fucking horror encyclopedia. Along with the very helpful and knowledgeable talents of Mike Kelly and Mike King (art director), we make up the editorial board and it seems to be working pretty well.

Q: Why a horror related magazine?

Of course, I’ve loved several different types of tales " classics, thrillers, police procedurals, but horror was the story vehicle that worked best for me. Years ago when I was actively writing fiction I wrote for several of the men’s magazines because they paid well, but always returned to the horror skeletons in my closet. The other factor was that I wanted to prove that horror magazines could be done intelligently and their fiction could receive a much wider readership than was being given them when we set sail. We’ve taken some kicks to the nuts along the way and learned quite a few tough lessons, but we’re getting stronger all the time.

Q: How did the name for the magazine come about?

A friend who’d been an entrepreneur in many business start-ups and I were talking and I’d said that the only business I would enjoy, be passionate about was publishing. We started tossing around possible names for a magazine and CITY SLAB just really resonated while I thought over beginning. As strongly as I felt about horror I felt equally that the magazine should be CITY focused. City life seemed to be rich with possibility and I figured that those of us who live in cities as well as those who don’t could enjoy them " both sets often think of cities as scary places. The slab part of the title was, of course, the place where many of the characters would wind up.

Q: How long has CITY SLAB been published?

I swear it’s been a blur, but I’d take a chance and say nearly five years and counting.

Q: You cover everything horror related, fact and fiction, from music to movies to short stories. Why everything?

Frankly, we took a hard look at the horror market and the numbers and decided the best way to attract more attention to our fiction stories (the dark heart of City Slab), was to bring in the material that made the huge magazines like Fangoria sell so widely. Five distribution companies across two countries and loads of readers agree with me.

Q: The magazine also has a Goth slant to it, particularly with the covers. Do Goths constitute a big percentage of your readership?

Honestly, I couldn’t tell you how many of our readers are Goth. We went with the Goth style models because they seem to represent so well what the magazine is about. We lean toward sexy, beautiful, strong female characters. You won’t see weak female victims in THE SLAB. If they’re female and victims in CS, they’re going down fighting and more often than not winning. We took a bit of shit from the horror community early on about our images, but we refined our take and the readers refined theirs. Not too long ago at a meeting with my printer he asked me if the magazine’s readership wasn’t predominantly male " it seemed likely to him. Seeing the sales and spreadsheets I can tell you, without doubt, the majority of Slab Readers are female.

Q: In regard to the short stories, do you solicit authors, like Tom Piccirilli or are most sent via standard submission?

We do solicit stories from writers we’ve respected. Beginning with Poppy Z. Brite who taught me a couple of lessons (you haven’t lived until you’ve been called a knot-head by Poppy) and on through Tom Piccirilli we’ve been very pleased to have them. The writers who come in as feature fiction bring professional quality work and help generate an audience for the not so well known authors. They’re giving the magazine and the genre a hand when they respond and offer us fiction. However, there is nothing cooler than cracking open a submission " either email or paper, and reading a fan-fucking-tastic story from someone I’ve never heard of before.

Q: What have been some of your favorite stories & articles that you’ve published to date?

There is an answer to that question, but if I offered it I’d feel like I was slighting so many other folks. What we ask of contributors is that they give their best " not somebody else’s. We ask that they write their own piece, their own way and put all they have into it. Sloppiness, half-assing shows and really pisses me off because it’s wasting time neither me nor the crew have. The same we ask of contributors is true for us " what you read in each issue of City Slab is my favorite work for that issue.

Q: What do you have lined up for upcoming issues?

Most all of the crew was just down in L.A. for the Fangoria weekend and we were able to meet with lots of talented folks. It seems, these days everybody wants into City Slab magazine. We do plan to do a retrospective of Clive Barker’s work and a review of his recent movie Midnight Meat Train whenever it’s released. From the beginning of my horror career I’ve been a fan of Clive’s short fiction. He, more than any other writer shaped my own writing and what I look for in other’s writing. We’re bringing in more and more crew all the time and time will tell what they dream up.

City Slab: Urban Tales of the Grotesque!

find information about Dave Lindschmidt at imdb.com find horror stuff by Dave Lindschmidt

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