Meet the Space City Scribes!

by Monica Shaughnessy

Hello and welcome to our new author collective, Space City Scribes. We’re six Houston area writers who’ve banded together to navigate the indie/small press publishing waters. Through this blog, we’ll be sharing marketing and promotion tips for writers, fiction posts for readers, information about upcoming appearances, and probably a few ridiculous posts that don’t mean much of anything but will make you laugh or give you something to think about. We’re a varied group, so you never know what you might find here, but it will always be interesting and informative – unless I’m writing it without benefit of a second cup of coffee. Then all bets are off.

Since this is our very first post, I’d like to unashamedly brag on each of our members and talk about what they bring to our collective. It’s also a way for you to get to know six really cool authors.

Mandy Broughton, AKA “The Risk Taker” – If there’s some aspect of indie publishing or promotion you want to know about, Mandy has probably tried it. Or has thought about trying it. Or has looked into it enough to know she doesn’t want to try it. In other words, she’s not afraid to experiment, and this is Mandy’s greatest strength. I shouldn’t be surprised by this. She is a Girl Scout, after all. She started her indie journey with a trio of kids’ mysteries, but has since moved into the adult mystery market. Her latest challenge was running the Ingram Spark gauntlet to get her kid mystery in hard copy.

Ellen Leventhal, AKA “The Entertainer” – Ellen has done more school presentations than I can count. And she’s given them for YEARS to audiences who are still learning how to read! If you want to know how to present your book in person and entertain at the same time, she’s your gal. She’s been on TV, radio programs…you name it. She and co-author, Ellen Rothberg, have three darling books in the “South Pasture” series through E(2) Books. They sell consistently well, year after year, because 1) they’re great and 2) Ellen is a pretty darn good speaker. She also participates in Writers in the Schools (WITS).

Ellen Rothberg, AKA “The Level Head” – Mild mannered school counselor by day, the other half of the E(2) dynamic duo by night, Ellen provides us with the guidance to see our projects through. Whether it’s helping someone decide whether to pursue an MFA or getting them to assess their personal goals, she stands at the ready, shovel in hand, to dig deep into the problem. One utterance of her catchphrase, “But is that really what you want?”, usually sends us in the right direction. These sensibilities are apparent in her many books.

Artemis Greenleaf, AKA “The Guru” – Artemis was Indie before Indie was cool, and she’s got the stripes to prove it. She “been there, done that,” with print books, audio (yes, audio!), tax IDs, DBAs, ISBNs, and other alphabet soup problems indies face every day. Chance are, if you can’t figure out your print margins or you’re having a hard time with file conversion, she’ll know what to do. She’s got a slew of books out and specializes in paranormal fiction. But unlike the ghosts in her books, she’s physically there to lend a hand.

K C Maguire, AKA “The Artist” – When the rest of us are run through with the minutia of self-promotion, K C is there to remind us that it’s all about the writing. And isn’t it? She’s probably one of the most well-read members of Space City Scribes, has several shorts published through a small press, and will soon begin work on an MFA. It’s easy to lose sight of why we started writing in the first place–because we enjoyed it–and K C helps remind us of this by bringing the soul of the artist to every meeting.

And then there’s me. I’m not really sure what to say about myself. I thought about several aliases, including: “The Glue” – the one who holds everything together; “The Big Idea” – the one who consistently comes up with the most hair-brained ideas; and “The Coffee Swiller” – the one who drinks the most coffee at our monthly meetings. All of them are right and somehow not right at the same time. So for now, I’m just me, a hair-brained, coffee-swilling scribe who’s desperately trying to hold things together. In other words, I’m your typical indie writer.

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If you want to know more about any of my fellow authors (or me), click on our individual links in the header.

If you want to talk more about Marketing Collectives, I’ll be posting something on my personal blog this week. Stay tuned.

Your turn. Anyone else form a marketing/writing collective? If so, what are kinds of things are you doing together? Any tips? Hints? We’d love the feedback!