Publishing is a tough world to be in. Sure, every writer dreams of having their work published and sent out to the world, but there are some hard realities in the publishing industry that make it a tough place to thrive. First, most of us are not going to be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. Most are not going to sell our first novel to one of the big houses out there. A lot of us start smaller, at small houses that are willing to give new authors a chance. That’s how I started. Two smaller, but excellent presses became the homes to many of my first books. Breathless Press and Secret Cravings Publishing both helped me learn and grow as an author and I found success with both of them. Sadly, both have closed their doors this year due to the financial restraints on smaller houses against the big houses and against self-publishing. It saddens my heart to see both go, but I am not letting it slow me nor my career down. While I will always be grateful to both houses, I am moving forward and learning some lessons along the way.
One of the first lessons I have learned that it is good to be multi-published, that is to have been published by more than one publishing house. I started out with two and continue to expand, which has serving me well now. I have at least four more stories coming out before the end of the year on two different publishers, Torquere Press and Three Worlds Press. I am always seeking out new avenues to pursue and I think spreading stories out there to more than one house helps safe guard against losing all exposure if one (or sadly for me two) of your publishers close.
The other lesson that I have learned, is that self-publishing has come a long way and it is certainly a viable option that authors should look into. I know many great authors who self-publish and I am going to be joining their ranks soon with the start of Stoker Publishing with my fiancé! I am excited about this new venture. I will be working with some great cover artists, editors and formatters that I have met along my journey as an author and be putting out high quality work. I love the freedom that I will have and the ability to put out works that don’t quite fit traditional publishing.
The final lesson is of course, never give up. Yes publishing is hard. There is rejection. There are sad events like the closing of a publishing house or an editor moving on. The main thing to remember is that you are a writer, an author. You have something to tell people and nothing should get in the way of that. There are many publishers still accepting new authors. Some people do sign with the big houses. You can publish your work on your terms and still be well received. As long as you keep pursuing your dream anything is possible. Remember that!
Joy and Dot plan on having a summer to remember. A cabin on the beach, hot men from Harvard down the way, one last hurrah before true adulthood set in. Everything is perfect. They did not plan on their summer being interrupted by Joy’s sudden collapse in a strange room in their house, nor the mystery that surrounded it. As they look into their rental, horrifying details from the house’s past, mixed in with pirate lore of old, come to light. As more details emerge, they realize that more than their fun is at stake, that souls may hang in the balance. How can two sisters battle an evil that has haunted coastal Maine for hundreds of years?
Taking a deep breath, just like the first time, she entered the room and realized immediately something was wrong. Joy closed her eyes and stepped in. At first, the room seemed perfectly normal. No blood, no ghosts, nothing scary, just a light on by the nightstand in the middle of the two twin beds. The room was actually quite cute. She could imagine her and Dot being in here when they were younger. Then she remembered the two sisters who had shared this room and what happened to them. That’s when the scene before her began to change.
The room dimmed and shifted subtly. A strong sulfur smell permeated the room. She didn’t know how, but Joy felt certain that she was seeing the past somehow, witnessing a memory. “But that’s not possible. This isn’t possible. I’m dreaming. This is just some sort of terrible dream,” Joy said to herself, determined to snap herself out of this nightmare. She pinched herself, slapped herself, and screamed hoping to wake up. Nothing worked. She tried a different approach. Maybe if she left the room in her dream, she would wake up. Turning to leave, she found herself face to face with two girls, sisters by the looks of them, the two who had been murdered here, she knew it.
Joy froze, staring at the girls who didn’t seemed to notice her at all. They were arguing with each other, but Joy found it difficult to make out the words. They sounded as if they were talking through a very static filled radio. The older of the girls grabbed something from the younger sister, and that’s when she saw him. No rational thoughts formed. Joy screamed, unheard by those in her vision, though she was sure he stared right at her. That was the last thing she remembered, piercing red eyes that chilled her soul.