LSQ Year 10 Special: Editor Interview – meet Dana Mele

Luna Station Quarterly is in its tenth year of publication, but we couldn’t have gotten here without our behind-the-scenes editors. Get to know editor Dana Mele today as we continue our year 10 celebrations!
LSQ: How long have you been an editor for LSQ? Tell us a bit about what drew you to the position and what you’ve learned while in it.
Dana: I’ve been an editor for LSQ for a couple of years now! I love speculative fiction, and when I saw the call for editors I was a slush reader for another spec fic magazine that has sadly since folded. I was a fan of Luna Station, so I applied. They say reading a lot is one of the best writing tools, and I think reading literary submissions is extremely valuable, because those opening pages are everything, and you get very acquainted with what works and what doesn’t. Or maybe not! For me, it’s been helpful. I hope. Ask me in five years.
LSQ: Do you mind telling us a bit about your background and writing/reading experience? Within the genre of speculative fiction, what are some of your favorite and influential books and authors? 
Dana: Sure. I write mostly young adult contemporary thrillers, but I have some speculative short fiction out there and a couple of novels on the back burner. Some of my favorites are Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, Feed by M. T. Anderson, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, and Octavia Butler and Margaret Atwood in general.
LSQ: Where do you think women-identifying authors currently sit at the table of speculative fiction? What about as characters? What about in the future?
Dana: I think all authors who are not cis men occupy relatively little space (though this varies by sub-genre and age group). As far as characters, it gets a little harder to say. For example, a lot of iconic sci-fi and fantasy main characters are women written by men, especially in film and TV. I certainly hope the future will look a little different.
LSQ: As an editor for LSQ, tell us a bit about the top aspects you wish to see in a published story. Are there sub-genres that you feel are over-submitted or under-submitted? Is there a sub-genre or topic that you would like to see more of? 
Dana: My tastes are very much my own, but I really enjoy near future sci-fi and original fairy tales with a dark edge, or retellings that bring something new to the table. I can’t think of anything in particular of anything that’s over-submitted, but I’m always excited to see sci-fi that’s not space opera, especially when there’s a poetic bent to it.
LSQ: What are the most common errors in stories that you come across (e.g., typos, plot holes, characterizations, etc.)?
Dana: Front-loaded exposition.
LSQ: Are you working on any writing projects currently? If so, can you tell us a bit about them?
Dana: I just finished nine months of work on one project, so I’m gathering my thoughts on what to work on next. I haven’t decided yet, but it will most likely be scary.

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