Author | Lisa Dumond
THINGS ARE OUT OF MY CONTROL
On March 15th, 1961, against my best judgement, I am born in Cincinnati, Ohio. After reconsidering, my parents choose to relocate to Florida; apparently no one told them how %#*&$! hot the summers (March to October) would be. I suffer through the heat in West Palm Beach and Tampa, and now I dehydrate in a beautiful, little town called Tallahassee.
I BEGIN TO ASSUME CONTROL
High school? Boring. On to college! Start at University of Florida, but finish a human resources degree at University of South Florida. Sadly, business and I are a lousy mix. Another degree! Start this one at University of South Florida and graduate Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University. That minor in theatre snuck up on me. Honest. I’ve never even been tempted to go to a Renaissance festival.
I AM IN CONTROL
Worried about varicose veins, I give up the glamorous world of waitressing for a desk job. In the publishing field! Actual (almost) use of my degree! My parents are this close to being unable to contain their pride. I become empress of proofreaders, one-person marketing department, computer 911 service, and cheerleader for technology at Luddite, Ltd. In rare moments of freedom, I write novels and comedy, selling a short story and co-authoring the 45th anniversary cover of MAD Magazine.
I REALIZE HOW LITTLE CONTROL I ACTUALLY HAVE
My third novel receives praise from agents, but no offers of representation. Eventually, the lengthy submission/compliment/rejection process has my bibliographical clock ticking. At this rate, I will never escape the ominous phenomenon that is Luddite, Ltd., except, perhaps, by mandatory retirement. An inventory of my personality makes career employment unlikely.
I WREST CONTROL AGAIN AND BEGIN TO PUBLICIZE MYSELF SHAMELESSLY
The MAD cover is good for several weeks of miniscule fame. For the novel — and upcoming novels — it’s time to reach as many agents, publishers, and philanthropists, as possible. DARKERS will sell itself. Web-of-mouth, doncha know.
Frank Viollis of The Salafar Press proves his extreme good taste and business savvy by deciding to publish DARKERS. He negotiates with the frightfully talented Denise Ruzich to illustrate and design the cover. And…well, let’s just say all was not as it seemed at Salafar Press. %#&*@!!! Back to the submission process.
Mary Wolf and the insightful staff at Hard Shell Word Factory decide DARKERS is just right for their list. Which, of course, it is. The contracts are signed. Denise Ruzich retains her rightful position as cover artist. Next thing you know, DARKERS is published in August 2000. It is available at Borders.com, BN.com, Powells.com, HardShell.com, and right here at hikeeba.com! (Pay off those credit cards now so you’ll be free to snag your copy.)
The specials editor of The Tallahasse Democrat likes my work in BREAK magazine and approaches me about writing for her Sunday magazines. The first article — on the wonders of solar power — is the cover story for Homes. Surprise upon surprise! One of the editors at iUniverse.com has been reading my reviews and interviews. Would I like to write for them? Is that even a serious question? An interview with fantasy author Carolyn Kephart is approved and is on its way. DARKERS’ stunning cover by Denise Ruzich wins the first annual Dream Realm Awards for Best Cover Art.
JUST BECAUSE I SUCCEED…
A new editor takes over at BREAK magazine, quality starts a long downhill slide, and the magazine dies a humiliating death. IUniverse overreaches its means and the Daily page folds (though, if you’re persistent, you can still dig up my articles there. SciFiNow contacts me about doing interviews, articles, and reviews. I turn in some dazzling work for them, everything seems to be going well, and the site mysteriously vanishes. Honestly, I had nothing to do with the demise of these publications.
BUT, LET’S GET BACK TO S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
My old publisher and editor John O’Neill starts a new fantasy magazine, Black Gate. And, of course, I am on board from the beginning. Ingrams and some of the superstores decide to carry the illustrious periodical, so you can find it somewhere near you. Or — even better — get a subsciption! “Some Enchanted Evening,” a story to creepy for some editors is purchased for the TOURNIQUET HEART anthology. Look for that in the stores in early 2002, in hardback and paperback.
WORKING MY A.S.S. OFF FOR S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
Getting the word and my face out there takes some work. Just the last year, you could find me on panels and doing readings at ChiCon, UncommonCon, NorwesCon, and PhilCon is only days away. If you desire to meet me, talk about DARKERS, get me to sign something other than a tab, or just say hi, head up to Philadelphia for Labor Day weekend’s WorldCon.
IT’S LONELY AT THE LOWER RUNGS
TOURNIQUET HEART gets rave reviews and “Some Enchanted Evening” is nominated for Best Horror Short Story in the Preditors and Editors Poll. Go ahead and vote for it — you won’t be hurting my feelings. Now, if you haven’t bought a copy of the anthology, we may have to go fist city, but there is still time to correct that. Returning to the subject of DARKERS… Sales are steady and encouraging, especially for an e-book. Still, I hope to see it in print someday. Everyone who’s written to ask me about a print version — I’ve been listening. TORCON 2003 is still months away, but I’m already making plans. When I get an itinerary of my panels, etc. I’ll be posting it here to make things a bit easier for my stalkers. With any luck, I will finally get to meet up with Rodger Turner, my editor at SF Site, after what will be six years of writing for him. Artist Denise Ruzich and I are working on a graphic project, but it’s still in its infancy, so you’ll just have to wait on details.
SPLINTERS ON THE LADDER
Though the TOURNIQUET HEART anthology is out there and DARKERS is coming out in paperback from Hard Shell Word Factory soon, not everything is rosy. My divorce was loooonggg and messy, but it is over. Life was rough for a long time, but so many of you supported me both emotionally and financially and I will never forget your kindness.
Also, I am returning to freelance copyediting and housesitting! Wheeeee! If you have a project that needs a going-over or a home or pets that need watching, contact me. We’ll talk.
That’s about it for now. Until the next update, I’ll be seeing you in the forum and answering your emails. And don’t forget to contribute for a chance to win an advance reader copy! Ta!
THE LONGEST LADDER EVER HAS THE GREATEST REWARD AT THE TOP
After 15 years of just missing each other, the real love of my life, Steve, and I get together and it is more incredible (in so many ways…wink…wink…than I ever imagined. We have love and laughter and passion. So, in awhile it will be goodbye to Tallahassee and the Sunshine State and hello Steve Land. I’m not sure where we will be settling, but you’d better believe that if you are near my new home you’ll hear from me because there are so many people I’d love to actually meet in person.
Don’t forget me when your new book, short story, report, etc. is almost ready; think of me for all your editing and copyediting needs. I’m fast, good, and reasonably priced. What more could one ask?!