Tuesday, November 8, 2011

with Chila Woychik

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Chila!
Port Yonder Press is a fairly new company. How are things going? Is owning the company matching up to your hopes and dreams for publishing?

The biggest challenge with any new venture is deciding direction, then maintaining enough flexibility and gall to change that direction when the winds dictate such. So yes, things are going as well as expected, and maybe better, considering the changes we’ve taken since starting the press. Dreams are what one does while asleep; reality is lived out in the waking world and hard work is the thing that shapes our reality.

One project coming out of PYP is the upcoming Christmas Campfire Companion. Tell us about that.
14 short western-themed Christmas stories from some of America’s top western authors, each story is a gem; it really is. The interior formatting is second-to-none—our interior designer did a wonderful job—and the cover is lovely. It’ll make a beautiful gift, and will be available in softcover, hardcover (for just a few dollars more), and Kindle/Nook.

What was it like, looking at all those stories by great authors and putting them together? Was there a certain order you felt complimented the theme?
No, I don’t think the order was that important. I did put the only female author first, but other than that, I simply placed them where no two were very similar. I believe I’ve had contact with all the authors in this collection at least a couple of times, and that’s been amazing. They’ve all been wonderful to work with. You can imagine my hesitancy when attempting to edit authors of this magnitude, some with hundreds of books to their credit. A few stories I barely touched, while most of the others only needed minor tweaking, usually punctuation gaffs or typos. I worked with a light hand.

What book have you recently enjoyed reading?
I always have several books going at once; I seem to think best when popping back and forth between books (or projects, for that matter). The ones on my end table currently are: The Shack by Paul Young, Talismans by Sybil Baker (a set of linked stories), Great Short Stories by American Women (edited by Candace Ward), Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard, and Gary Larson’s The Far Side, one of several volumes. The latter keeps my sense of humor sharp. We live in a world that’s far too serious at times.

What have you been learning lately in the writing/publishing world?
In writing: I desperately want to learn to write great crossover fiction, and it’s been hugely challenging, but just as hugely rewarding. Lessons: read and study the very best general market fiction available; find reliable and very thorough critique partners.

In publishing: Everyone wants to be published. No one wants to be told no. The best writers will float to the top of the slushpile. Some people take rejection very poorly. A publisher can never be too unconcerned about dissenters, angry naysayers, or the seemingly slighted.

Can you share a few more of the books coming up from Port Yonder Press?
We’ve got the 3rd Sam Cooper Adventure slated for next year. Middle graders, especially boys, absolutely love Sam Cooper and friends! And I love it that Bill Myers of “McGee and Me” fame has endorsed the entire series. That’s quite an accomplishment in itself.

My own book of lyric essays will go live with the revised cover in January. (I’m not one of those who have a problem with the “workman” enjoying a few rewards for her trouble.) I’ve got 2 or 3 others under consideration right now, but nothing else contracted. My primary emphasis in 2012 will be education, for me, for the press, in an effort to truly be one of the premiere crossover small presses around. I want us to be university quality with anything else coming out through our press.

Chila is giving away a copy of Christmas Campfire Companion. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


marybelle said...

I love Christmas stories. They always have a little something special about them. CHRISTMAS CAMPFIRE COMPANION looks beautiful.


Judy said...

I love Christmas and that means Christmas stories too. Actually, I have already started to read them. I would love to win a copy of, Christmas Campfire Companion. I love the cover of this book.



CarlybirdK said...

I entered this giveaway yesterday and I'm entering again today. I really want to win this book! Thank you :-)


Rebecca said...

Oh this book looks amazing. I would love to win this. Thank you for the chance to win.


Amanda Stephan said...

You know, I'm very much looking forward to Christmas this year. A warm cup of hot chocolate, wrapped up next to hubby on the couch, my feet in slippers...oh yea...reading this lovely book... ;) It really does look fantastic! Good luck in your PYP ventures!

Thank you for the opportunity to win.

(I will check back on Wednesday to see if I won!) :)

Marianne said...

i would love to win this book, Esther and Chila Thanks for the chance


margie said...

This sounds like a great read. I haven't read any of Chila's books and would love an opportunity to win a copy of Christmas Campfire Companion. Thanks! margie at mijares.net

ann said...

Love Christmas stories
so I know this is one book I will like. Love the cover on the book to.

amhengst at verizon dot net

Lisa Lickel said...

My secret is that I have seen this book, and everyone should buy three or four as gifts. These are awesome stories from the poignant to the "cool" to the "wow" to the roaring laugh out loud funny. I'm getting them for my dad and dad-in-law for gifts too.

Anne Payne said...

Chila, I didn't know you had a book coming out. I hope I have an opportunity to read it. I love the Sam Cooper books from PYP :) They're wonderful books for boys! This Christmas collection looks like a winner.


Heidi Kortman said...

Christmas stories with uncommon settings--good idea! Please enter me as a contestant.


Caroline said...

Enjoyed the interview. Christmas is a fav holiday for me, and I love western stories by good authors. I'll have to say I'm really impressed at the totally beautiful cover of this book. I saw it on PYP's site, I think that's where, and loved it.

Hoping to win . . .

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jackie said...

The cover is beautiful! It sounds like an awesome book. I think I could even get my husband to put down the newspaper to read this.
Please enter me in the contest.
Jackie Layton

Julie Arduini said...

Christmas and western stories all in one---amazing. Wonderful interview, I loved reading about Chila and Port Yonder Press. May they each have decades and decades of success.


apple blossom said...

oh, please enter me in this giveaway thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

PriviesAndPrims said...

Would LOVE to win this! I read the preview this morning and it looks to be a great read!

priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

wfnren said...

Thank you for doing this giveaway, like the idea of 14 short stories.


Joy Hannabass said...

Thanks for the giveaway!! Would love to win this book to read.

Teela said...

I love Christmas! Everything from the Advent Candle to wrapping gifts, baking, giving....and would love to read this book. teelayoung@hotmail.com

Chila Woychik said...

Greetings! Chila here. I was just sent this link, so didn't see it before now. I assume I'm the one who does the drawing? If so, someone please let me know and I'll do that. FYI: I conduct very honest drawings - the old "put the names in the hat thing and draw one out." :)

Thanks to all of you for the comments and the interest! Please let me know if you have specific questions about this book, or about Port Yonder Press. You can email me directly at contact@portyonderpress.com.

BTW, I've given this book a PG rating for western thematic elements and some light language. If this affects your decision to enter the drawing, please let me know.

P.S. Is there another site/link with other entrants? If so, I need that link too. Thanks!

Delores Liesner said...

Each December I try to have enough Christmas related books or stories to read at least three a week. I met Terry Burns and would greatly enjoy anything he contributed to.

Banor said...

Don't know what the book is but I know it's good to work with Chila on a book. I'm throwing my lot in with whatever she's delivering, because, hey, who wouldn't want a free book?

Benjamin Bailey

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