I needed to learn more about publishing my own books, and I had to work with something larger and more complex, to prove again that I could do it. And I had to publish in paper, since it’s not possible to autograph Kindle copies at a science fiction convention, and you can’t put them on a dealer’s table. I decided to take a look at some short stories which I had written and filed away long ago, many of which I had not submitted, to see if they might be worth publishing. There were many which were not.
Among those which I finally chose were two which had appeared in print magazines, in 1983 and 1984, and I got permission to reprint them. Another had been published in an on-line magazine in 2011, and which the editor had included when she had published a print anthology. I included a collaboration with a friend, who had been good at fantasy but terrible at science fiction. And I added a very short story by my daughter, Darcy, who has no interest in publication. She writes better than I do.
I also registered the book with Bowker, in order to get my own ISBN, in this way creating my Ogden House imprint, so that the book would be printed, bound, and offered for sale by Amazon, without the notice that it was published by them. A Closet for a Dragon and Other Early Tales came out in 2014 — that seems so long ago now — and it is available on Amazon, both digital and paper.
Now I had to try something really big. I chose Stroad’s Cross, which had been sitting around for a few years. It had been rejected several times and, after reading it through, I knew that it needed work. But I wasn’t sure what I should do with it.
About that time I was contacted by a high school junior, who knew about me through her mother, who was a friend of Diane’s. Her class had been told to find people who would mentor them about working in the real world. She told me that she was interested in being an editor, so, since this book was a problem, I let her read it to see what she could do.