The VS Interview: Katie Cord of Evil Girlfriend Media
Good evening, readers!
It’s been a few years since I’ve done an interview, but I got the fedora and dictaphone (ask your grandparents) and Serious Reporting Tie out of mothballs (ask them again) just so I could do this interview! I’m just kidding; I did this over Facebook chat so I didn’t have to transcribe anything, and I sure as hell wasn’t wearing a tie. I was at home; be happy I was wearing pants.
Katie Cord is the founder/publisher/co-head honcho/Evil-Girlfriend-In-Chief of brand-new publishing company Evil Girlfriend Media. She is also a friend of mine, a fellow writer, and a fellow displaced Southerner (though a far prettier one than me)!
Anyway, I suck at introductions, so without further ado, my interview with Katie Cord!
VS: What is Evil Girlfriend Media?
KC: Good question! Evil Girlfriend Media is a company specializing in horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. We are starting with publishing books but have talks with several companies to also produce boutique items for lovers of those genres. My big dream is to provide books, boutique items, art, music, and video games under our name. That’s why we chose “media” instead of “publishers” as our name.
Sounds ambitious! Why call it “Evil Girlfriend”?
“Evil Girlfriend” is a nickname that my husband gave me when we were dating. I was bullied during my nursing clinicals in school and came home crying. He asked me what I was going to do about it. I didn’t know. He’s an artist, so he suggested I draw out my feelings. When I was done, he said, “Oh my god, you’re my evil girlfriend.” It was the first time I started using creativity as well as not being a nice girl.
I’ve been writing out emotions and drawing ever since.
And I’m not always nice.
I’ll consider myself warned! As you know, there are many other small publishers out there competing for new writing talent. What sets EGM apart from all the rest?
Wow, I know it’s amazing how many small publishers there are out there.
For one thing, our e-book royalties are very competitive. We feel this is very important because it’s what’s causing so many writers just to self-publish. Plus, we pay for anthologies. We are passionate about helping writers succeed. I’ve already set in my mind our first YA [Young Adult book] is going to sell x-amount of copies for my author and we are going to make her known even if means we are up all night selling it all over the place. I’m sure other publishers are just as passionate, goal-oriented, and care about writers, but if I had to ask one of my friends or writers, I think they would tell you those things about us.
So, would you say it is your dedication, not only to the success of EGM, but also to the success of each individual author that sets you apart?
Yes, I would think so. I don’t think EGM will be successful if we don’t consider and nurture every author that comes on board.
We need to have it on our mind that we want every author to be a rock star.
Your dedication to the authors is great, but what about the support staff? The editors, illustrators, and such? What does EGM offer them to set it apart from other publishers?
First and foremost, if you are editing an anthology for us, your name is on it. If you edit a book, you are on the inside of the cover. We want to promote great editors as well.
The illustrator is important too. Without that awesome cover, someone may pass over a kick ass story.
We will even promote the model on the cover if they want. It takes a lot of people to get that book into the hands of the reader and they deserve some credit as well!
Our pay rates are not the same people would receive from a big publisher but we will definitely credit the person for their hard work and promote them.
It sounds like a company very dedicated to making sure that everyone is recognized and promoted for their input. What inspired you to take EGM in that direction?
It’s what I think every person wants in the work that they do. Joseph Campbell once said, “One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.” Evil Girlfriend is that for me and [her husband] Anthony. It’s our way of helping creatives become who they need to be, while helping the readers they touch on their own journey. We are all on this journey together, man (said in her best “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski voice).
From Joseph Campbell to The Big Lebowski – that’s an impressive range of influences! Are you looking for a similar variance of influences in your authors?
Yes! We want to provide a diverse range of authors. Of course, the type of work we produce will have to be something that Anthony and/or I would like to read. We read a lot of different things. I’m most interested in those people who can relate to a wide audience while sharing their passion for sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Of course, you don’t have to love The Big Lebowski or Joseph Campbell to submit, but how can you not?
Good question! What would you like to say to prospective authors, editors, and illustrators that are thinking of submitting work to EGM?
Submit or contact us! Will we accept everyone? No, it’s not possible. However, if we can give you insight that will help you, or lead you to work with someone else, we will. If we accept you, we want to start a relationship that will give you the ability to do something you love while working with a company that also wants to do what they are passionate about.
So you’ll be helpful even to rejected authors?
Of course, I do not want to break anyone’s confidentiality but we sent out a helpful letter to someone who is just starting out. We gave advice on how to format and re-submit. Also [help with] some things that brand new writers do as mistakes. We are a brand new company as well. We will make mistakes. Karma is a you-know-what.
We like good karma.
Good karma is good! Before you go, please tell us about the anthologies you mentioned earlier.
Our first project is a series titled Three Little Words; each anthology’s theme is based off those three little words so each story must have the elements provided. Witches, Stitches, and Bitches, Roms, Bombs, and Zoms, and Stamps, Vamps, and Tramps are the first three anthologies in this series. They are fun, flirty, but we are not looking for voices that are typical. We would love to see some LGBT stories or gender role reversal. Definitely shake things up bit. Especially in the zombie selection, we tend to see a lot of Caucasians writing zombie fiction as though they would only be the group that survived or deeply feel the effects. That is definitely not going to be true. So we don’t want 15 stories about straight white people in love for the anthology.
Speaking of gender roles, you know that famed producer/directer/writer Joss Whedon is known for his strong female characters. Would you like to see more of those in submissions for EGM as well?
Yes, I’ve been heavily influenced by Joss Whedon. I’ve watched everything he’s ever made that is available. Wouldn’t it be cool if Joss Whedon wrote a short story for us? You think if I beg him he will? Help an Evil Girlfriend! So, yes, we would love those stories.
Can’t hurt to ask, right? Any parting words for the readers and/or Joss Whedon?
Well, for one, Joss Whedon thank you for writing about kick-ass geek girls when I was an overweight unhappy teenager who only survived puberty because of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror creatives. For writers, keep writing; believe in yourself even when you want to burn every piece of paper you’ve ever touched. Have your tantrum and keep going. Creating is painful, but you are doing it because it has to be done. Also, give Evil Girlfriend Media some love by liking our Facebook page and sharing the word. Love to all and keep being evil!
Thanks for reading! See you next time!