You may not have noticed, but we started our fifteenth year! In honor of this, I asked emeritus editor David E. Hughes for his thoughts.
Thanks for the chance to comment. I'm so excited that Electric Spec has reached the fifteen year mark and is still thriving!
I remember being so nervous about launching the magazine. We were starting from scratch, and we had no idea if people would submit stories for our first issue. We did get submissions, but I was dismayed by much of the slush. Then I read "Raising Archie" by Michael Stone. Not only was it a clever story, but it was about gargoyles, which I already had a fondness for. I knew if we could pick up stories like that, then Electric Spec would be a worthwhile venture.
For the early issues, some of the stories that we picked needed some editorial help. We were often willing to take a diamond in the rough and make it sparkle. I don't think there were many (if any) magazines that would take time and effort to work on substantive edits in that way. For those stories where I ended up doing some major edits, I was often worried that the authors would be upset when they saw the proof. However, it turned out that most authors understand and appreciate edits. We ended up with some great final products.
I'd be remiss if I didn’t mention the Editor's Corner story: "The Dog that Broke the
Camel's Back." I was lucky enough to co-write that one with current editor Lesley
Smith. If I recall correctly, that one arose out of a writing exercise we did in our
critique group. Lesley and I decided to try to write a story by trading off on the
narrative. It turned out to be quite a wild ride since neither of us knew exactly
where the story was going as we wrote it. (I know, not the recommended technique for
a good story). It was so fun reading it again—-I love stories that make me laugh!
Thanks, Dave! Very interesting!