Today I had the chance to interview Marie McGaha, founder at Dancing With Bear Publishing, and also one of my publishers and colleagues.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your publishing company:
The love of my life, Bear, passed away and I was devastated even though we hadn’t been married for several years due to a closed brain injury he suffered in a motorcycle accident. He was never the same after that and really just went downhill. It was horrible for me, our kids, our grandkids, and the rest of our family. But after his death, I wanted to do something to honor him, so I wrote Dancing With Bear: A Love Story, a memoir of our life together. Even though I had about 25 books out with nine different publishers, I didn’t want anyone else touching this book; it was way too personal. So, after a bit of thinking, I decided to start my own publishing company, Dancing With Bear Publishing, to publish my book. And having been in this business more quite a few years now, and having to deal with unscrupulous publishers when I was new at this game, I wanted to help new authors get published, and learn about the game of publishing without getting ripped off like I had been with one or two of those publishers.
Summer is a great time to encourage kids to read. What are some offerings from DWB for children?
Our children’s line, Dancing With Bear Publishing’s Children’s Line has something for every age from newborn to young adult. We have picture books like, An Important Job to Do: A Noah’s Ark Tale by Victoria Roder that has the most wonderful illustrations by Deborah Lenz.
From our teen author, Shaelee Elmore, whose father passed away unexpectedly when she was thirteen, we have My Definition of a Dad. Shaelee wrote this as an essay for school shortly after her father’s death and it is a very touching tribute that everyone should read, especially young people who have suffered the same type of loss.
Tears to Dancing by Laura Thomas is a wonderful story of tragic loss and finding the will to live even when you think everything you have is lost.
And for boys, Tim Champlin, who is the father of two boys, gives us Lummox, the story of adopting a St. Bernard who winds up being a hero.
Also, from Val Muller, we have the Corgi Caper mysteries that boys and girls alike will enjoy reading.
What are some fictional offerings for adults you would recommend for a beach read?
We have quite a few that fall into that category. Miracle at Sycamore Grove by Bobbie Shafer is due out July 4,2013. This is the third book in the Secrets of Eagle Creek series.
And there’s a few of my own books that were previously released by other publishers, and I was able to get out of my contracts. I have rewritten them, had them re-edited, and put new, more beautiful covers on them.
Tell us about some of DWB’s offerings for readers who prefer nonfiction:
We have some wonderful inspirational books. It’s Not You, It’s Them by Victoria Roder that deals with adults who suffered childhood sexual abuse and how to overcome and be empowered through God’s word.
Limitless by Andrew W. Lankford is a collection of poems that resonate like prayers, and will touch your heart.
How did you get into writing?
I was born with a pencil in my hand. Seriously, as soon as I learned to put letters together to form words, I was writing. But even before I could write, I made up poems, songs and such far-fetched stories my parents were sure I would grow up to be the biggest liar on earth! (They didn’t have the imagination I did!)
What is your favorite piece you’ve had published? Why?
I love everything I’ve written but Cross The Line my all-time favorite. I think it’s so different from other books, and the characters leap off the page and live with you long after you’ve closed the book.
If you could meet any of your characters, who would it be? Why?
That one is easy – Caleb Jordan from Deep Within My Heart, a story that was previously e-published, and I’m still working on the rewrites. Caleb is a pirate… need I say more?
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
I get a lot of emails from aspiring writers and the one thing I get asked all the time is, “How much do you charge?” When I say nothing, they are flabbergasted. So my advice is this, never ever pay a publisher to publish your work. Money should always flow from publisher to author, NEVER the other way around.
You can visit DWB and Marie at:
Twitter – #DWB_Publishing