Two Wonderful & Challenging Years of Wearing Two Hats

Sharing words of gratitude at Spider Road Press' 2nd birthday & flash fiction writing awards ceremony.

Sharing words of gratitude at Spider Road Press’ 2nd birthday & flash fiction writing awards ceremony.

I’ve always been a writer, but I never considered becoming an indie publisher. Then I fell in love with a group of flash fiction pieces too vivid and evocative to be ignored. Those stories demanded to be published, and if no one else could do it, then I would have to step up and do it myself. Two years later, it’s been a wild, satisfying, brain-expanding journey! I’ve worked with some world-class writers. Someday people will mention talents like Kate Spitzmiller, Cathy Edmunds or Eden Royce and I’ll be able to say that I knew them before their big break.

It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it. Some days my writing goals played third fiddle to my publishing and marketing work, and some days my work emails had to wait a few minutes longer so that I could meet a deadline for an agent, an editor or a contest. Yet I wouldn’t trade the hours spent poring over text and the nights reviewing deadlines and event details until 2 am for anything. I’ve learned so much! The writer who wasn’t sure what she was doing this weekend has become the small business owner planning her editorial calendar a year and a half in advance. Along the way, I’ve been blessed with allies who taught me skills, generously gave of their time, listened to me vent, and role-modeled making tough decisions. Behind the scenes, Spider Road Press’ “girl Monday” (and “girl Thursday”) Kessika has lent her organizational magic and calm to every publishing endeavor. CFO Steve has patiently waited while the woman who took “Words, Codes, and Cryptograms” to fulfill her college math credits learned bookkeeping and embraced spreadsheets. Editorial consultants Joanne Rosen and Pamela Mooman helped team Spider Road Press take projects all the way from an idea to a book that you can hold in your hand or read on your tablet. Designers Jodi S. Doff & Lilia Fabry helped us harness images to augment our words.

The gracious, clever and generous indie publishers and authors in the Houston Writers Guild and Goddard MFA communities have been there for me every step of the way. I would never have made it this far without the help of my critique groups & the advice and role modeling of Skipjack Publishing, the Women of Mystery, and Writespace. My sisters, my awesome “little mum,” my aunt Bridget, “the seven of us” best damned friends a gal ever made in high school, Eileen, Donna, Renee, Jessica, Heather, Ian and, of course, Steve, the most patient man in Texas, have kept me going with laughter, encouragement, prayers and positive thinking. Grateful seems too paltry a word for how I feel, but I will offer it anyway. Indie publishing is what happened while I was making other plans, and it has been a sparkling, unexpected blessing.

Hardworking, fun colleagues like Kessika Johnson have made my journey possible.

Hardworking, fun colleagues like Kessika Johnson have made my journey possible.

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