This week FeaturesExec catches up with Paul Stevenson, editor of the recently launched HAUNTED magazine.
About the publication:
What makes HAUNTED different from other outlets in your sector?
HAUNTED tries to differ from the other paranormal themed magazines that are out there by looking at all aspects of the paranormal, featuring celebrities who are interested in the paranormal and featuring the a) spiritual side b) the razzmatazz side and c) the dark and demonic side opening up the paranormal genre to not just believers but also sceptics, non-believers, open minded people. Haunted has a slightly tongue in cheek ethos to the paranormal, although it respects the industry, people pay lots of money to go on ghost hunts and vigils, sitting in damp dungeons for 6-8 hours where nothing may happen, so a sense of humour is needed.
Describe a typical reader for us:
(see above) but aside from that Joe & Joanne Public are aged between 18-108 have got good senses of humour, are open minded and have an opinion on the paranormal.. and not necessarily a believer..
What stories are you most interested in covering in the publication?
Informative and entertaining well written, well researched features about anything weird, strange and thinks that fall within the eclectic mix of the paranormal.
How does the editorial process run?
I look at what I would like to read in a paranormal magazine. I look at whats fresh, what’s hot and topical .. and of course, we now get agents contacting us to get their star mentioned in HAUNTED.
Do you have specific days when you focus on different aspects of the magazine, or is the planning on a much more ad-hoc basis?
Because it is a new magazine and I am a one man band there is ad-hoc process on the magazine at the moment, I have at least 10 issues of HAUNTED in my head and noted down on paper, but I look at what is fresh, what is different, look at what the other magazines are or are not doing.. my brain is active at weird times of the day..
How do you decide the content, front covers and headlines?
Normally speak to my family and say what do you think about this or a few friends and business associates within the paranormal industry and I theme it around the time of the year.. the next issue (out in June) is a Haunted Seaside Location Special called “Wish You Were Eerie”…
Do you produce a forward features list? (If notwhy not?)
Work in progress, there is a forward features list but it is just sent to the current writers that write for HAUNTED. A press day at HAUNTED will be planned in the future.
Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
YES, we use freelance contributions, any ideas that anyone has, HAUNTED will always look at..
Do you work closely with PRs?
Not as much as I would like too.
What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
As much as they can give.
What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Do you have a PR pet hate?
None that springs to mind.. maybe in time.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions?
Email 24/7: Phone 9-5: SMS 24/7.
Describe a typical day at work:
Try to answer emails as regular as I can.. I work nights (until HAUNTED “kicks off” (fingers crossed)) and that is why I do most of my writing (that sounds like I don’t do my night job well, but I work in an emergency call centre and I can go 4-5 hours without a call sometimes), the days that I am not sleeping (due to night working) I am researching, promoting, selling advertising editing, proofreading…
What do you love about your work?
Every day is different.. and working in the paranormal industry its not always 9-5. Well maybe 9pm – 5am.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I was a freelance writer until I launched HAUNTED as I have always had a healthy interest in the paranormal and I saw that there was a gap in the market for something different and (fingers, legs and eyes crossed) it will be successful.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Never eat yellow snow… seriously go with a mix of your heart and head..
What media do you seek out 1st thing in the morning?
Radio 2, the thinking man (and older man’s) Radio 1.
What’s your idea of a relaxing day off?
I have two twin girls who are two and a half so sometimes a relaxing day off involves going to work!! Other than that it is spending time listening to the Radio, watching television but I am always at work (even if its just the brain ticking over) all the time.
I’d love to have a go at… / If you weren’t doing this, what would you do?
Visiting every scare attraction in the UK with celebrities and filming them…