Friday, November 12, 2010

Heather Bennett of Decadent Publishing

My own esteemed executive editor, Heather Bennett, took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for me and I'm happy to share those with you today.
Kimber:   It’s been almost five months since your Galaxy Express Interview.   You’ve since launched Decadent Publishing in August with Lisa Omstead and a bunch of brilliant editors and cover artists.  My blog buddies can read the Galaxy Express interview to know what your plans were, but how’d everything ‘shake out’ for you all?
Heather:   It has been beyond expectation! We have been so very fortunate to have acquired an excellent bunch of talented editors, some of whom are brilliant writers. We are getting superb submissions daily. The story quality and variety is a REAL delight. We have everything from steamy contemporaries to sweet Young Adult fiction, Mainstream historicals to steampunk. You can't get bored with our catalog! We're growing at a good pace and I am very much enjoying the process of working with the staff and the authors and those we market and promo with. It's a very vibrant community to belong to.
Kimber:   Any course corrections?
Heather:   Minor ones. We have always had a 'vision'; but some things come up and you just deal with them. I don't think of an obstacle as a road block, but rather an opportunity to learn a new route. Seriously. It's been a theme in my personal life and now in my professional one as well. We also value the educated opinions of those around us and enjoy incorporating their creative ideas.
Kimber:   I know a vital ingredient to success in anything is the ability to keep on learning. What have you learned since Decadent launched about publishing?
Heather:   How very intertwined everyone is. I come from a small town where everyone knows everyone, or at least everyone's grandmother or 3rd cousin, and that's what being in the world of publishing is like. If you treat people with honesty, integrity, and respect, though, you can rarely go wrong.
Kimber:   What about marketing?
Heather:   Well, the marketing is one of my very favorite things to do! I get all giddy when I find a new promotional opportunity or come up with something different. I also sincerely appreciate an author who, even if it's not their personal strength, make the effort to grow their career in this area. It's a major component to success. It is probably equally as important as the actual writing.
Kimber:   I will always be grateful to Decadent for bailing me out of that eeeevil, dreaded purgatory known as Queryland. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Heather:   We were happy to snatch you up, Kimber!  Yes. Do your homework. If you write something, find an honest crit partner who will tell you your strengths and weaknesses so you can work on them. If you are going to submit to a company, find out what they are about and if they are right for you. Listen to the editors who are trying to tell you your manuscript is good, but will need these 123 revisions before it becomes the gem it was meant to be. And educate yourself on promotion and marketing. Oh, and keep writing!
Kimber:   What are you especially looking for in submissions?
Heather:   It doesn't have to reinvent the wheel. Just tell me a good, or great, story. Show me some real emotion, some characters I'll care enough about to love or despise. As far as specific categories, I am looking right now for a few military romances to be released around Memorial Day, historicals, some erotic romance, some sweet contemporaries, I'd like to build our burgeoning YA catalog.... we are pretty much open to any genre in any length, from shorts to super novels. If people log onto they can see our Submissions Guidelines  Decadent Publishing
Kimber:   Is there anything extra special you want to tell us about Decadent right now? Holiday anthology or event? ‘Read For a Cure?’
Heather:   We are currently working on a number of holiday stories. We have a sweet Irish-American historical by Amanda McIntyre, a Steampunk Christmas tale from Robert Roman, as well as a fabulous anthology from a group of talented authors entitled A Passionate Christmas who are giving a portion of their proceeds to Read For a Cure, our Decadent Publishing program that benefits the America Cancer Society Relay For Life. Deanna Wadsworth is also donating a large portion of her December proceeds to Read For a Cure from her sexy yuletide m/m tale. We'll have contests on our blod, Daily Dose of Decadence , of course.  And we have a BIG announcement coming up. And more, but you'll have to wait and see. Can't give away all the surprises!
Kimber:   What did you want to be when you grew up?
Heather:   From 3rd grade on, I wanted to be a teacher. Then in high school I taught 6th grade Sunday School for two years. That cured me. Love kids, but not 30 at a time. HAHA
Kimber:   What do you want for Christmas?
Heather:   A Gigi Hill purse. One of my best friends sells them and I am secretly plotting to get a Gia and maybe a Greta. Otherwise I want a Vitamix so I can start juicing in 2011. Gotta stay healthy so I can embarrass my children when I'm 90!
Kimber:   Sounds like a great plan to me.  Thank you!


Redameter said...

trying to leave a comment but it throws it out as an error.

Great interview. Nice to get to know your publisher a little better. Can't wait for the anouncement.

Love and blessings

Kate Richards said...

It is fun to learn more about people you talk to all the time, and Heather's enthusiasm for her life and pursuits comes through so nicely. Sometimes, just a lttle online chat with her perks me up --so I can edit until two a.m. Hmmm, now I'm wondering...LOL.
Decadent is a fantastic place to be, the authors, editors and staff are wonderful and the fast growth is exciting.

Maureen said...

Have no kids but still...from what I've seen of kids and the embarrassment will take more than a juicer! But it's a good idea! One of those things I always mean to start doing!

Thanks for making room for those of us with off-the-wall books at Decadent!

Becca Dale said...

Great interview, ladies. Kate is right. Heather you can be a perfect little pick me up when things get tough, and I appreciate your enthusiasm as well. I am sure when you are still hot at ninety, your kids will be nothing but impressed. I would be.

The Sweater Curse said...

I tried to leave a message. In fact, I thought I did but came back to find it gone.
Trying again, thank you Heather and Kimber for this interview.

Deena said...

Great interview! Coming in a little late, but I've been busy... editing my first novel for Decadent Publishing, the BEST place for an author to be! No joke! Heather, you and Lisa have cultivated a nurturing, vibrant and familial environment here, and I'm thrilled to be called one of your authors.

Clarissa Yip said...

I want to look hot at ninety! LOL. And I totally agree with everyone. Heather is an awesome pick me up! I'm very happy to be a DP author. Decadent Publishing is the place to be and I can't wait to see what new releases DP will offer!

My CP's and I are very excited about our new Passionate Christmas anthology through DP.

Gracen Miller said...

Great questions, Kimber, and equally great responses, Heather. I want to live to be 100, so maybe I need a juicer too. LOL Like everyone else, I'm excited to be a DP author.

I'm off to spread the word about this interview.


Sandra Sookoo said...

Great interview :-) I don't know you very well but hope to better in the future :-) Here's to future success!

Rebecca Royce said...

Great Interview Heather. I love being with Decadent. I've been so thrilled. Thanks for including me too!


Rie McGaha said...

Hi Kimber and Heather! Very nice interview. Gracen Miller dragged me over here and I'm glad she did. BTW, I didn't realize you don't publish only erotic romance so I am happy to learn something new!

Rie McGaha

KT Grant said...

Thanks for snatching me up as well :)

Kathleen said...

I'm the really late one to comment.

Thank you Kimber and Heather for an upbeat and positive interview. The enthusiam from both of you, jumps off of the page. I'm glad I found Decadent Publishing.

Deanna said...

Heather forgot to mention that she can really shake a rug too!
Great interview, Heather. And I think you got your dream to be a teacher, after all :)

Robert C Roman said...

@ Heather - You really are a ray of sunshine for me. All the folks at Decadent always make me do the happy dance. Which might be alarming for small humans, but I'm stickin' to it anyhow. I am thrilled as anything to be with Decadent!

@Kathleen - I left the house before this was posted, and I'm just getting back on my computer now. You're before me, so you're not late. I decided.

@Rie - I'd hate to think what strange juxtaposition of Rule34 and quantum fetish theory would put 'Road Mage' in the erotic romance category.

Scary thoughts aside, I want to reiterate, I'm thrilled to be with such supportive, friendly folks!

Kimber An said...

Thanks to everyone who commented about our glorious leader. You're all a bunch of great folks to hang out with too, all smart and super-supportive to each other and especially the newbies among us.

Anonymous said...

I think I am glowing. Isn't that what a ray of sunshine does? :-)

Thanks, everyone, for commenting. And to Kimber. It was fun. I do SO enjoy working with our authors and editors; enough brain power to run a locamotive, and that's just from Bob! With the rest of everyone, it's simply icing on a big, giant, sweet Cinnabon.