I can, and I will!
Many things have happened throughout the course of my life to deliver me to this point today. I was a Straight-A student all through high school and had the privilege of attending the premier women’s college in the country for my first two years of higher learning. I came home to take a semester off and decided I wasn’t going back because I wanted to get married and raise a family.
Move ahead a few years and I’m punching the time clock and raising kids. I’m telling myself every day, “There’s going to come a time when I don’t have to work for ‘the man’ anymore.”
In 2008, I had a car accident and subsequently lost my job due to being gone all the time for doctor appointments and such. I thought it was the end of the world, but then I decided to return to school and finally get my degree. It was time.
I attended Missouri Southern State University as a full-time student and sometimes worked three jobs on top of that to try and help make ends meet for my family. In the meantime, I came into possession of a Nook and began downloading books from indie authors I had never heard of. Christopher Buecheler’s The Blood that Bonds was my first indie read, and I was instantly hooked. I sent him a message and told him how much I loved his work, and we began an online friendship right away. Chris introduced me to the world of indie publishing, and then I met more authors and bloggers, and my life in the book world took off.
I started This Redhead LOVES Books and had a pretty successful run of it. I hosted signings, met more authors and bloggers, and began proofreading books. When I felt confident enough to begin editing, I did. I put several books under my belt and spread my wings into the editing world with Redhead Book Services.
A little over a year ago, Laura Hidalgo (Bookfabulous Designs) and I decided to merge our businesses into one, thus Beyond DEF was born. Beyond DEF has a full staff to cater to all the needs of the indie author all the way up to the point of publishing the book.
Now, in the middle of all of this, my path crossed with Deena Rae (EBookBuilders), and we quickly formed a bond I do believe will never be broken. She is truly my Gemini twin. Deena is always full of ideas and ways to further our careers in the book world, and she makes them happen. From Badass Book Bitches to Badass Book Society, she comes up with all sorts of ways for us to help indie authors make their books better and make sure they reach the masses. Putting Beyond DEF, EBookBuilders, and Badass Book Society on the same playing field has created a force to be reckoned with.
Back in May, Deena told me she had an interview with a publisher in Houston, and I was ecstatic for her. This was the break she needed. This woman has worked her ass off in the industry for twenty years and deserved to get a leg up in the business. Then I got thinking, “I wonder if they have room for me?” You see, I’ve applied to publishing houses for the past year, and they all say the same thing: Masters Degree Required. I wasn’t ready to go back to school as I had just gone through a divorce and have been playing single parent to my kids AND doing the editing full-time, as well as a little bit of social work part-time. Needless to say, Deena got the job and sparked the idea for Caliente X Press.
In August, I took my kids on a nearly three-week road trip, Houston being one of my stops. After trying to get together for business meetings for a few days, I was finally able to make it happen and sat down with Deena and the man in charge of John M Hardy Publishing. To say I was impressed with his vision for the company is an understatement. I am in LOVE with his ideas! My own wheels in my head began turning, his ideas melded with mine and Deena’s, and a wonderful business relationship was formed.
Now, I am officially the Acquisitions Editor for Caliente X Press, an imprint of JMH Publishing. I’ve been sitting through conference calls and talking to authors day in and day out in order to ensure we have the best authors and titles to market to the masses. Deena and I cuss and discuss everything we need to in order to make our first contract signing event a total success. In short, I LOVE what I do!
Oh, and did I mention I enrolled in graduate school? In a little over a year, I will have my Masters in English—something I have wanted to add to my resume for a very long time.
My point is this: Don’t let “the man” hold you down, and don’t let life get in the way of the things you want. You CAN achieve your goals; it just might take a little more time than you thought.
Congratulations to Deena, JMH Publishing, and all of the authors who have signed and will sign on. We’re happy to have all of you! Salut!! ~Tiffany