Sunday, August 24, 2014


THE FOLLOWING GUEST POST IS BY CONSTANTINE KAOUKAKIS WHO RECENTLY JOINED our On Spec team as an editor. As with Eileen Bell, I asked him:

1). What kinds of stories appeal to you most? Do you lean towards a particular type of story or style? Original and thought-provoking stories appeal to me. Fascinating and complex characters enhance and make the story.

2). What types of stories don't appeal to you? What are your pet peeves, writing-wise? I loathe clichés and overused plots. Sometimes, authors try too hard to impress, and that backfires. I believe the craftsmanship of the writing is equally important to the plot. I have read stories with intriguing plots but poor writing. In the end, it defeats the goal of the writer. I abhor sexist, racist, ageist, and homophobic stories. I am not a fan of stream-of-consciousness stories.

3). What advice would you give to a writer submitting to us? Proofread, proofread, and proofread!  Don’t be afraid to alter the story in order to improve it. I find some writers tend to resist editing. Writing is like painting. One has to try different colours, hues, and combinations to create a story. Writing is a process, a discovery, and an evolution. The writer should research properly and have the correct information when writing about science-related stories. I realize it's science fiction, but it has to be believable. Readers today are very sophisticated. If an author insults their intelligence, they will never forgive him or her for it.

4). Please list any credits you'd like mentioned (i.e. book pubs, editing/publishing involvement), followed by a small bio: I am thrilled and honoured to be a new editor of On Spec magazine. I have degrees in Education, English, and Classics which have enabled me to teach Latin, ancient and modern Greek, ESL, English literature, ancient Greek and Roman literature at the high school, college, and university levels: Concordia University (Montreal), Queen’s University, and minor colleges. I have founded The Wisteria Lodgers – the Sherlock Holmes Society of Edmonton. My interests include comic books (Marvel & DC), Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Greek mythology, Doctor Who, British murder mysteries, ancient history, and literature. I am currently writing a murder mystery.

Thanks, Constantine. It's great to have you on board. For those of you who want to see what the rest of us like and don't like, check out these previous posts:

For Diane Walton
For Barb Galler-Smith
For Ann Marston
For Eileen Bell
For Barry Hammond (poetry)
and for myself, Susan MacGregor.)

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