|I started writing my first novel as therapy. I’ve written in my journal pretty much every day since the 7th grade, and throughout adolescence, I constantly searched for new and interesting ways to express myself. My attempt at penning a romance novel was really just an experiment birthed out of boredom, never meant to be serious. I was shocked when friends and family members responded favorably to the work in progress. “This is really good!” “This could be published!” Really? Maybe I’m on to something here…I finished the first draft of my first novel in November 2005, and was so proud of myself. I mean, wow, I wrote a book! How many people can tack that onto their list of accomplishments? Armed with my completed manuscript, I set out to learn as much as I could about this publishing business. I learned about queries and agents and the proper way to format a manuscript. I attended conferences to pitch my manuscript, and to my surprise, people actually wanted to read it! It was so validating to get that kind of response from industry professionals, and with each request, I became more convinced that this was indeed what I was supposed to be doing with my life.
I turned thirty in 2006, and as many of you know, the transition from your twenties to thirties prompts all kinds of meditation and soul-searching. The more I thought about it, the more dissatisfied I felt in my “day job.” There had to be more than punching a clock, right? I must have a greater calling in life… In the throes of my Saturn Return, I was determined to clarify my life path and rechart my course.
Part of my new commitment to pursuing a passionate existence was the decision to take five weeks off in the summer of 2006 and drive across the country. A cross-country road trip was something I’d ALWAYS wanted to do, but I could never find the time or money or right companion. But that summer, I decided, no more excuses–I’m going to make this happen. So on July 7, 2006 I packed up my trusty Toyota and hit the road.
I knew this journey would be a turning point in my life, but I never could have imagined how significant that summer would turn out to be.
On July 12th, I arrived in Dallas, to visit with my cousin Doug and attend the Black Writer’s Conference. It was here that I met James and Omar for the first time. Omar and I bonded instantly, anointing each other “Kindred” after only a few moments acquaintance. And James, well, James ended up being a pretty significant part of my life as well over time
Needless to say, after the BWRC, I was incredibly energized. I had reputable editors and agents interested in seeing the FULL manuscript, and I was beginning to act and feel like a real writer. I knew it was only a matter of time before I got a break.
Any writer will tell you there’s a lot of waiting in this business. Write, Submit, Wait; Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Before you know it years have passed. As 2009 drew to a close, I started to feel frustrated that I had a product people actually wanted to read, but I couldn’t deliver the goods. So I started to mull over self-publishing. After some extensive web research, I discovered how easy outfits like Lulu and Createspace made it to get your book out. POD really has come a long way and is incredibly cost-effective. After weighing all my options, I decided to go ahead and self-publish WHEN LOVE.
Once I committed to this path, I couldn’t believe how quickly things started to get off the ground. The proverbial stars aligned, and things started falling into place. Ideas and inspiration were coming fast and furious. I wondered if it might be feasible for me to go ahead and start my own publishing company. This has always been a goal of mine, and all of a sudden, things seemed doable. I was deep in meditation about whether I wanted to use POD, or go ahead and try to start my own publishing company, when I received a serendipitous text from my Kindred Omar, apparently in the midst of some meditations of his own, asking “What do you think about you, me, and James joining forces to start our own publishing company?”
The rest, as they say, is about to be history…