28 October 2007

Guest Blog: Jennifer Macaire

Jennifer Macaire
Today's guest blogger is Jennifer Macaire, historical romance author and co-founder of Calderwood Books.

What is the name of your publishing business, and who owns/runs the company?
It's called Calderwood Books, and it's run by Joy Calderwood, Jennifer Macaire, Christopher Miller.

Why are they qualified to run a publishing company?
A trio combining different skills, experience and talent: Joy is the editor, Jennifer is the author and artist, and Christopher is the numbers man.

Why should aspiring authors pick you over all the other companies out there?
We choose books because we like them and think readers will too. We choose them without regard for publishing fashions, marketing genres, or even what readers are currently buying. We look for shine and creativity. Then we put them through a rigorous editing process to ensure that the new books are as good or better than books that come out in print.

Calderwood Books bannerWhy should the readers decide to buy from your company?
Same as above. We don't accept average books. There are more good books written than ever get published, and readers deserve access to them. The results are in the reviews, which are consistently enthusiastic.

What kind of editing process do your books go through?
A several-week process of full read, an editing run-through, exchange of manuscript notes, discussion until agreement, another full read, and discussion on polishing until agreement.

How long have you been in business?
We opened in September 2007.

Tell us about your unusual historicals.
Traces of Dreams by Tricia McGillTraces of Dreams by Tricia McGill is set in England and Australia and follows the true story of Tricia's grandparents. (That's their portrait on the cover of her book!) It's a lyrical, haunting book about a family's struggles during the War and deals with such subjects as out-of-wedlock pregnancy and violence against women. When she first published it in Australia, it won the Romance Writers of Australia award. Tricia writes wonderful books set in turn-of-the-century Australia. Blue Haze is set to come out next. The heroine is a deported criminal who lands in Australia as an indentured servant.

Time for Alexander by Jennifer MacaireThen there is my own series, set in Ancient Greece in the time of Alexander the Great. It's a time travel, with a journalist from the future going to interview Alexander the Great in the past. He mistakes her for Persephone and kidnaps her, thus stranding her in his own time. Book One, titled Time for Alexander, came out when Calderwood Books opened, and Book Two is in final edits. There are seven books in the series, all written and stacked in the edit pile. It's unusual in that it's a cross-genre book. Time travel is fun device to use because it sets modern against ancient times. I did a year's worth of research before embarking on the story, and then I let my imagination run wild. It is pure fiction set against solid history. It was great fun to write.

Only e-books or print as well?
We're looking into POD books. We pride ourselves on being 'green'--e-books are ecological, and paper books, although precious, are damaging to our environment. There are the chemical inks, the fuel burned transporting them, and when you factor in the number of copies that are unsold and end up in the incinerator, you're talking major pollution. Most people look at a little book and they don't see the reams of paper and petroleum based products behind it. Trees are a renewable resource, but recycled paper is better, and how many books are printed on that? Frankly, after e-books, POD books seem to me to be the most ecologically feasible idea. That way there is less waste. However, if you really want to make me happy, buy a portable e-book reader and load it full of hundreds of e-books. E-books: Easy, Ecological, and Economical!

Anything else you’d like to say about the company?
We believe that the young people of today, with their computer skills, will be the first full generation of ebook readers. For them we have set up our Calderwood Kids line.

Now does anyone have questions for Jennifer? She'll be around all this week to provide more information about the publishing opportunities at Calderwood Books.