Friday, January 20, 2012

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Fiction Studio Books!

Vocation is where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.
--Frederich Bruchner

Today is the first anniversary of Fiction Studio Books, the publisher of my novel Commune of Women. It was started by Lou Aronica, who has over thirty years in the publishing industry and has worked with some amazing writers over the years. When he wanted to publish his own novel Blue, he knew just how he wanted to do it and set up the entire publication, distribution and marketing process. Then, in a great leap of imagination and faith, he made the decision to open this now-established pathway to other authors.

When I think of Lou, I imagine one of those Indian deities with multiple arms. Somehow, he manages to juggle his own writing career while focusing his discriminating mind on new manuscripts, dealing with the publication and distribution of those he approves, communicating graciously with their authors who doubtlessly range from grateful to testy, and managing the nuts and bolts of business. Did I mention he also has a wife and children? Where does he find time and energy for it all? Does he live on pots of black coffee? Have some special genetic dispensation that allows him to sleep only two to three hours a night? Possibly he’s had himself cloned? However he does it, he works magic.

And he’s certainly worked that magic in my life. The publication of Commune of Women represents a profound turning point where my psyche swung toward its own True North. I’ve always known that in the second half of my life I would turn to writing as my authentic vocation. I had no idea how that would come about but the intuition was strong and so I followed it – right to Lou Aronica’s doorstep. Since it’s publication last July Commune of Women has been on Kindle’s top 100 bestseller list and has generated dozens of enthusiastic reviews. Readers from all over the country write me to say that Commune of Women moved them. That validation has spurred me on to finish my next book, Fiesta of Smoke, which will be published next July, one year after the publication of Commune of Women.

None of this would have happened without Lou Aronica and Fiction Studio Books. Lou showed great courage in launching his venture into the face of the worst national financial crisis since the Great Depression. His boldness has paid off and his belief in the reading public is validated. Fiction Studio Books is bringing high quality fiction to the people who are hungry for it and opening the door to authors who are glad to provide it. And if that’s not a felicitous confluence, I don’t know what is!

Signs of Life:

To see Lou's own comments about establishing Fiction Studio Books, here's a link to today's Fiction Studio blog, which happens to be about the first anniversary of the imprint:

No comments: