Adele Wearing may be allergic to sleep. As well as founding book review site Un:Bound , vital post apocalyptic wisdom nexus The Girls' Guide To The Apocalypse and running Alt Fiction , she's just launched her own publishing company, Fox Spirit . I talked to the Vixen of the Skulk herself about Fox Spirit, its launch titles, who they have on deck and what the future holds.
Interview by Alasdair Stuart
What inspired you to start Fox Spirit?
Ha, I’m totally blaming this particular venture on certain friends who I am convinced put a chip in my brain during Alt.Fiction to override my “don't be ridiculous” reflex. Honestly though, it just seems things aligned together at the right time, an idea for a book came up, people wanted to do it and then a book I love was looking for a new home and the author was willing to take a chance on the venture; a friend who had been suggesting I do something like this for some time started pushing the idea again. Sometimes you just have to say “Okay, universe I get the message, I'm on it,” and do a thing.
Why Fox Spirit?
Foxes are synonymous with mischief, there is a sense of fun and boldness about them which I felt captured the spirit of what I wanted to do.
What sort of projects are you looking to publish? Print, eBooks or both?
It'll be eBooks to start with. I hope to be making print on demand available toward the end of the year and of course I'd love to get into print eventually, but that will take time and more resources than I have at the moment.
In terms of the kind of projects, I’m afraid it really comes down to my personal sense of whimsy at the moment. FS is definitely genre and probably not children's, but YA and adult, multiple and mixed genre. I want to publish books I love.
Tell us about your anthologies. You have some unusual titles on deck.
Ah, the anthologies. Well, this whole project began with The Tales Of The Nun & Dragon , which is a collection of stories from a mixture of genres all featuring nuns and/or dragons. Over half the stories are in already and include Nunsploitation, fables, mini-epics and the undead. It’s a fantastic mix of well-known writers like Adrian Tchaikovsky and Wayne Simmons sitting seamlessly alongside the new talents such as Fran Terminiello and Ren Warom. There will be internal illustrations for this one too. There will be two more in the series which has been nicknamed Bushy Tales .
Later in the year we have Weird Noir , being edited by the amazing KA Laity, which is best described in her own words: “Patricia Highsmith meets Shirley Jackson or Dashiell Hammett filtered through HP Lovecraft. Mad, bad and truly dangerous to know, but irresistible all the same.” I'm an enormous fan of Laity's work and must admit I jumped at the chance to publish this one.
We also have Weird Science For Women being edited by fellow first timer Mhairi Simpson. She first mentioned the idea to me at Alt.Fiction and it stuck in my head. Women creating the perfect partner, not necessarily a man or even a person. When I set up Fox Spirit I dropped her an email saying essentially, “Do you still want to do it and do you want to do it with FS?” Clearly she said yes.
Who have you got on board?
Well, I’ve got Kate and Mhairi editing anthologies and writers, I have Vincent Holland-Keen's peculiar and typically Vince Balesley Green and in a moment of wonderfully synchronised timing South African writer Joan De La Haye was after a new home for her horror Shadows which I was already familiar with, so she moved it across and also let me take a look at the other two books she had ready.
What's next for Fox Spirit?
Well, in the immediate future, we start publishing the first two eBooks in July so the next few months are going to be very focussed on getting the books out there and telling people about them. After that who knows, I’d like to have POD on at least the first few before the end of the year, and in 2013 I will be looking for new projects.
Unfortunately FS isn't able to take open submissions at the moment but maybe next year I can open the doors on an anthology and see who is out there that I don't know about.
You have an unlimited budget and resources. What do you do with it?
FS is working on profit share at the moment, so the income isn't assured for anyone. I'd love to be in a position to operate on upfront payments, publish print books as well as eBooks. I'd put out the GGSA book in a heartbeat if I had funding for print. But if wishes were fishes… as a friend of mine says.