A Little About You……..
I am a publisher and graphic designer in charge of the day-to-day operations of Raw Dog Screaming Press (fringe fiction) and its imprints Dog Star Books (Science fiction/Adventure), Guide Dog Books (non-fiction) and Imaginary Books (children’s). I’m not really a writer and usually stick to editing and layout when it comes to books. However, when we founded our children’s imprint I came across a fabulous painter and illustrator, Kristen Margiotta, whose work inspired me to write a children’s book. Her work had so much character and life that it was easy to craft a story that showcased her talents: Better Haunted Homes and Gardens. I wanted to create a picture book that was as much for the parents as for the children. In fact, many people who don’t have kids wind up buying copies, particularly fans of Tim Burton because it has the similar ascetics. Of course kids love it too.
A Little About Your Writing……..
As I mentioned, it was Kristen Margiotta’s illustrations that inspired me to write this particular book. For the most part it is collaboration with authors and artists that keeps me going in publishing. I really enjoy the process of helping an author get their work through the editing stage to the final product and it’s their enthusiasm and creativity that inspire me.
How Has Writing Changed Your Life?
It’s not writing so much as reading and publishing that have changed my life. As a child and a teen I read a lot and, of course, when I majored in English there was a lot of reading as well. But being a publisher has transformed me from a bystander into creator. There were a lot of things that frustrated me as a reader of contemporary fiction that drove me into publishing. At the time, 10 years ago, I believed there was not enough variety so set about to change that. Today, with self-publishing and ebooks, things have been completely transformed and variety definitely isn’t a problem. Now I feel it’s quality that needs work. But either way, I feel that I’m part of the literary scene and want to pitch in to improve things for readers and authors.
What Is Your Favourite Book, Ever?
Do you want the long list or the short list? For the long list you can check out my books on GoodReads.com (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1599338-jennifer). For the short list: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach. These books had a huge impact on my reading life.
What Is The Best Piece Of Writing Advice You Could Give, And Why?
Remember that writing is a process, not an end. These days many people complete their first book and rush to get it published. But in my experience most writers don’t hit their stride until they’ve completed many, many works. Many of the best debut novels that we’ve published have actually been closer to 4th or 5th novels, just the first to be published by that author.
If You Were A Dragon, What Kind Of Dragon Would You Be?
I would absolutely be a dragon right out of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, another fantastical realm that captivated me as a young reader.
Better Haunted Homes and Gardens on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Better-Haunted-Gardens-Jennifer-Barnes/dp/1933293810/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362076207&sr=8-1&keywords=better+haunted+homes+and+gardens