I have been writing and publishing for such a long time that I sometimes forget there are many people out there who might not know my author to publisher story…
I’ve been writing ever since I was eight years old. Over FIFTY YEARS of creating stories out of pure magic and my imagination.
When I was eleven years old, I entered my first writing contest sponsored by my hometown library and I won first place! Right then I knew I would see my own name on the cover of a book some day. During my teenage years I wrote A LOT of poetry…sometimes collaborating with my sister …but usually all on my own. I was also working on my sketching skills, but wasn’t quite ready to share my works in progress with the world.
My twenties came along and I finally dared myself to submit some of my poetry for publication. A couple of my poems were accepted for inclusion in an anthology and I thought I was on my way to a writing career.
But a newbie writer’s ego is a fragile thing and harsh words can sometimes do long-lasting damage. When family members began to ridicule my work…to ridicule me, I decided to lay down my pen, to lay down my sketch pencil for the next TWENTY-FIVE years! I thought my dreams of becoming a sketch artist and author of children’s books were lost forever. But LIFE is funny that way…just when you think your boat is settled on a steady course in one direction, a squall rises up to toss you in an entirely different direction.
Fast forward to 2010 and a chance encounter with Tara Lazar and a funny little picture book challenge coming up where I was supposed to write down thirty ideas for stories in thirty days. I wasn’t going to join…until I dreamt of nothing but PICTURE BOOK IDEAS every night for two solid weeks prior to the challenge! I saw it as a sign that I needed to give my childhood dream a second chance and I signed up for the challenge before I could change my mind.
One of the story ideas to come out of that STORYSTORM challenge was a book about a girl named Addie who wanted so badly to learn how to read, but the words kept seeming to run away from her every time she sat down with a book. Five years later, in 2015, THE STORY CATCHER about Addies struggle with dyslexia was picked up during a Twitter Pitch and later traditionally published, which eventually led to my signing with a literary agent.
By the time 2017 came along, I realized that my agent’s vision of my writing future and mine wasn’t meshing too well so we parted ways as friends to pursue our own destinies which led me straight to my publisher’s path!
With no agent and many, many manuscripts written over the years, I decided to look into indie publishing. Prior to then I had swore to myself I would never self-publish because the industry had such a negative connotation and most of the books I saw at the time just didn’t meet my personal high standards of what I wanted MY books to look like. But by the time I opened the door to STORY CATCHER PUBLISHING in January 2018, the indie industry was slowly improving the overall quality and standards of what would be put out into the world.
LUNADAR: Homeward Bound was the first book I released under my new publishing house. It is a young adult fantasy novel full of magic, mermaids, fairies, dark lords, mythical creatures, light romance, piracy, portal travel, and the ultimate battle to save the secret heir to the land of Lunadar. I was proud of the hard work I put into this baby, all the while still working full-time running a martial arts school five days a week.
Next came a historical fiction chapter book series called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES that was written for 7-12 year olds, but has become very popular with readers of all ages. Each book in the series is thoroughly researched and has a blend of fictional as well as historically depicted characters. I’m currently working on book four with many more titles to come!
Then came the release of my memoir (part one) of growing up among the Cajun people and the bayous of southern Louisiana. I had found my design team and started fine tuning the publishing process to make the most of both KDP for ebook files and IngramSpark for softcover and/or hardcover production. What once took me weeks to fight and figure out how to create, format, and design the files for production now takes days because I’ve delegated that side of the business to my design team who you will get a chance to meet next week.
Last year I introduced my picture book line to the world and ramped up working with my lead illustrator on the design team.
Now I’m ready to expand Story Catcher Publishing into realizing another dream I’ve had for almost five years now. I want to help strong writers publish THEIR stories under the umbrella of the SCP family, but all while teaching those writers how to set up their own author platform to take their careers to a whole new level! It will be a partnership where my design team sets up production, and I offer FREE services for helping create websites, blogs, social media sites, sales sheets, marketing plans, author events, book awards and much, much more! It’s my way of giving back to the KidLit community that has supported me for so many years, I’m really excited of what the Fall will bring!
Don’t forget to stop by next week to meet my design team and see what is on the horizon for Story Catcher Publishing…
Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.
Want to connect?
LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing
Goodreads: Donna L Martin
Mail: Donna L Martin
c/o Story Catcher Publishing
P O Box 27788
Knoxville, Tn 37927