Interview with Tod McCoy of en theos press

6:40 PM Posted by Danika Dinsmore

An Author and a Publisher Take a Risk Together

The publishing industry is changing, and as my Brigitta of the White Forest novel manuscript was being shopped around, there was an air of caution and uncertainty in the traditional publishing realm. I felt like I was getting nowhere with unreachable people whose distribution models were out-dated, and wasteful (financially and environmentally).

After a while, I decided to take things into my own hands. I wanted a relationship with someone who was as excited about my book as I was and wanted to publish it now and in a more progressive manner.

So I contacted Tod McCoy at en theos press and asked him if we could talk about the possibility of his publishing my novel. En theos press is a boutique press that has primarily published poetry. Tod had published a few of my poetry books and also published a few anthologies I had edited. He had expressed an interest in publishing other material, and hadn’t decided what, so it was good timing for us both. His interest in sci-fi and fantasy adventure was also a huge plus for me.

The book will be released the first week of June. It took us one year and we both learned a lot.

Below is an interview I conducted with Tod recently.

En theos press was originally started in order to publish small runs of poetry. What inspired you to do that?

In the late 90s in Seattle, I was spending a lot of time in the poetry community, taking classes, attending readings, writing poetry, and getting to know a lot of poets. It seemed to me that there were only a handful of really good small presses that published local poetry. I knew some talented poets who I thought needed to have books so that their fans (including me) could buy them at poetry readings. I had the skills and resources to put the books together. Thus, the press was born.

What was your publishing background before you launched your press?

Earlier in my career I worked as a journalist and then there was a period of time I worked as a script editor for Rain City Projects, an organization that supports playwrights in Seattle and published the plays of local playwrights.

I don’t know if you’d call it publishing, but I have done a lot of website content development and I was a technical publications editor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

After that I worked for the e-book company Publishing Online. It was a small, start-up company, so we all wore many hats. I handled the website, had some editing duties, and worked on certain aspects of production. I think the company started before its time. E-books hadn’t caught on yet.

So, you’re a writer as well?

I have an educational background in journalism and English lit. I’m a big fan of poetry. I also write plays and screenplays and short stories and have a sci-fi novel in progress. I’ve always been drawn to theatre, playwrighting – but I also love to write fiction. And screenwriting. Lol.

Why the change from en theos publishing poetry to fiction?

It's not so much a change, as it is an expansion. While the poetry side of the publishing house is on hiatus for now, it will resurface. But in terms of publishing, I’ve always known I was going to branch off into fiction. It was simply a question of timing and the right project coming along.

Why did you choose science fiction and fantasy as your first line of fiction?

I have had a love affair with science fiction since I was a kid. I was always drawn to the fantastical elements of a story. It's been a dream to write it; it seems natural to publish it as well.

What are your goals for en theos press?

The goal is to put talented writers into print! With luck (and perseverance), the press will grow and in a few years the stable will be full of great writers.

What do you look for in the authors you work with?

Good storytelling, above all. And there is no story without solid, well-rounded characters who keep the reader interested. Focus on developing your characters and the story will follow.

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