I wrote my first novel in 2008, at 23 years old. It was called Harbour City Story and, despite being light years short of publication worthy, it would lay the groundwork for the years to come.
After the death of my friend Michelle in that same year, it would take 3 years to write what would become my first published novel, released summer 2018. After it was finished in 2011, parenthood pulled me away from novels for six years. It sat in a drawer, unedited.
In 2012, I began posting poetry on a WordPress blog. That blog, Retkon Poet, would grow to over 8,000 followers in a 3 year period. In 2015 I shuttered RKP to begin what would become Free Verse Revolution. During those five years, I released several poetry books. At War with Water, my first, was the first foray into the world of self-publishing through LuLu Publishing. As expected, no one bought it. This had to less to do with the book itself than my ignorance of how to market it.
In 2013, I assembled several writer friends I had made through WordPress to release Ground Zero, a commemorative book to Michelle. It was my biggest success thus far, garnering local media attention, decent sales and (finally!) slight validation I was on the right path. For the next three years, I opted to publish several digital chapbooks that released through my blog as free reads; THE KILLING WAGE (2014); LITTLE CITY (2015); GENERATION WHY (2016) and MEN IN PAPER COATS (2017). Through cultivating my site and several writing relationships, I put together a follow up to Ground Zero at the summit of my forthcoming mental health journey. Bringing together 22 amazing people (many of them part of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective), SWEAR TO ME included many of the people I now count among my closest friends.
In 2017, I began writing FOUNDING FATHERS, which would become my first full-length published novel. At the same time, I pulled out my novel from ten years earlier and edited it into a novella called LEONARD THE LIAR. The combination of these projects convinced me I would need a vehicle to drive these stories to market, using all the knowledge I had gained self-publishing poetry.
In 2018, I shuttered the Free Verse Revolution blog to start FVR Publishing with my friend Kristiana Reed. In summer, we joined forces with indie author Kindra M. Austin. Kristi took the reins of a six year old entity and will relaunch the original Free Verse Revolution blog where writers can contribute in a celebration of poetry. Kindra’s imprint One for Sorrow became our fiction-publishing arm and O4S and FVR merged under a new parent company, Blank Paper Press. Leonard released in July and Founding Fathers will be here in November. On the poetry side, FVR will release Georgia Park’s QUIT YOUR JOB AND BECOME A POET (OUT OF SPITE!) 2ND ED. on October 2.