I want to interview someone who has published literary, women's fiction, or CNF with a trade publisher (small press is fine). She/he should have encountered specific difficulties on the way to achieving this goal. The difficulties can be of any nature--financial, confidence issues, illness, etc.--or all of the above).
This is a great website, and its excellent design makes navigating it a pleasure. I'm happy to be part of this community!
Helen W. Mallon
Hi, Helen --
Here's a story of perseverance that I hope might interest you . . .
Back in 2006, my short story collection, Shoes Hair Nails, was published by a small, independent press that went belly-up before the book had a chance to get off the ground. Like most writers these days, I became a one-woman marketing/public relations show. Despite some good reviews -- and very enthusiastic responses from readers -- the time came to take off the marketing hat and get back to writing. Disappointment is a tough pill to swallow, and the best antidote for me has always been to immerse myself in the work that really sustains me.
With the explosion of e-books, the nagging feeling that my collection might still find its audience took hold, so I published a digital edition. Am I tenacious? Yes. Putting aside the unfortunate circumstances of a publisher going out of business, hindsight left me feeling that Shoes Hair Nails -- something of a breakthrough in the way it bridges the boundaries between literary women's fiction and chick lit -- might just have gotten caught in a marketing crossfire.
In fact, around the time the collection was published, two anthologies with which you may be familiar were released (This Is Not Chick Lit, edited by Elizabeth Merrick; This Is Chick Lit, edited by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, the latter in response to the former). Call it thinking outside the (shoe) box, but a shoe on a cover would seem to be a draw in both genres. Does Toni Morrison own a pair of Christian Louboutin? Mais oui, according to an article in last May's issue of Vanity Fair.
All of which is to say, I would love to send you a copy (print or digital).
Here's a link to my blog/website . . .If you go to the SHOES HAIR NAILS page, there are further links to recent reviews/interviews.
thanks for your reply! I am on a brief vacation (Cape cod) and I'll be able to give this some thought when I get back home. I'll mull over whether this would be a good fit. Tenacity rules!
Thank you . . . and enjoy your days on the Cape ;-)
I think I'd like to be considered as well.
I've been caregiving for my husband with dementia and Huntington's Chorea for 3 years, 24/7, and it has taken its toll on my writing, career, etc.
Through prayer, I have a novel, LA Blues, (my fourteenth work), coming out on 6-28-11. As a literary agent, I've still managed to get book deals for other authors, mainly because of the Internet and my Internet radio show.
Before this, it was the raising three children, and a social work job, which came between my writing and my time. Finally, I had the empty nest syndrome from 1999, until this illness struck. But things are looking up.
It's been quite a journey. I'm sure I'll write about caregiving in the future.
I just came from a Houston vacation at the National Black Book Festival. I was a panelist on the literary agent forum.
Enjoy your vacation!
I'd like to sumbmit my story of overcoming when you return.
Dr. Maxine Thompson
Hi, Dr. Thompson,
I hope you will accept my friend request and also get in touch with me. I would like to interview you soon.
All the best,
Hi Helen, I had a manuscript about a matrifocal tribe that lived 6000 years ago accepted twice by small presses that went out of business. I had a poetry manuscript accepted as well by a small press that went out of business. I finally published with Plain View Press in 2009 and my chapbook transparencies of light was published by Finishing Line Press this March. I have several novels and memoirs I continue to try to place.
In 2002 my partner who was bi-polar died of suicide. At the time I was involved with two writing groups that met weekly, a woman's group called Word Dancers and a group called Write Action to write our way through illness, crisis and grief. Michael's death released me from care-taking and the depression that had clouded me as well as him. This was a period of great creativity. Word Dancers put out an anthology and performed in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, I produced a CD, traveling to NY, Mass, and Berekely, had work published in literary journals; wrote another novel.
In 2004, I married a gay Mexican, someone I loved deeply, in order for him to continue medical care in the US.
In 2005, my youngest son died of suicide while intoxicated. This was like pulling out the rug. It shattered me. I lost everything, declared bankruptcy and left the US to live in Mexico with Alejandro. We opened an art gallery together. However, the relationship was tempetuous and I felt frustrated following his dream rather than my own. Although I could barely write, I wanted to and felt frustrated that I was not able to. I joined the Puerto Vallarta's writer's group and put on several poetry events, one during Dia de los Muertos that was very healing.
In 2006 I moved to the Twin Cities as my oldest son requested my help with child care. It took me months to acclimate, connect to the literary community, and regain my inspiration. But I began performing and teaching workshops again. I received McKnight grants to teach at risk youth. I currently am the after school instructor at Face to Face and will be leading a workshop for people with HIV.
Ceremonies of the Spirit was published in Feb 2009. My husband passed away in June 2009 and I am trying to find a publisher for my memoir about our life together.
Meanwhile, I have performed poetry 12 - 18 times a year except for 2005; I have published in literary journals, datebooks, and anthologies; and to top it all off, went through two hip replacements!
I debuted Ceremonies of the Spirit at the Green Mill Jazz Club in Chicago 3 months after surgery.
Last night I participated in Queer Voices reading series to celebrate Gay Pride month at the central library.
So many times I thoguht I wanted to give up but I can't. Writing saved my life after Michael died; teaching writing saved my life after Sam died.
Feel free to contact me with any questions!
My website is wendybrownbaez