In the first installment of our frank and honest #IndiePubDiary column, Brittany Borshell talks us through the concept and thought process of starting Violet Gaze Press.
At the beginning of the year, instead of a New Year resolution, I chose a goal word for 2019. My word this year was ‘Flourish’. This isn’t something which comes naturally to me. I stand in my own way more than anyone else ever could. But I was past the horror of 2018 and had dived head first into a venture I believed in wholeheartedly, but was all shiny and new to me.
I was ready for this to be my year.
Things never work out how you want them to. That dream died with the sound of screeching tires and a lot of tears. But out of the ashes came a new dream.
Violet Gaze Press was born in April 2019 from a keen desire to bring more diverse romance to Romancelandia. And as we celebrate The Pink Heart Society’s 13th birthday, I find myself reflecting back on the great milestones 2019 brought to my life.
Opening Violet Gaze Press was such a dream come true. I saw so many people hurt because they couldn’t find romances which reflected who they were and made them feel lovable and seen. Born from a deep desire to make that a reality, I approached some friends with the idea of starting my own publishing company. Was this something I could do? Would it be well received?
I had no end of offers to help me and I was, and still am blown away by the amount of support from setting up websites to introductions to authors. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 11 years and still have to overcome self doubt almost hourly. But the opportunity to make others dreams come true, along with my own, is something I celebrate (and agonize over!) every single day.
The first time I held Heart and Hand, I cried, and then ordered ten more copies. I arranged them on my fireplace mantle so I could just stare at them and revel in how beautiful they were. In July, Heart and Hand beat out some absolutely incredible authors to win The Pink Heart Society’s reviewers choice award in Historical Romance. When I woke up to that news it felt so surreal. I couldn’t be prouder of our authors, and the books we put out, if I had written them myself. Each victory feels like a victory for us all.
As we prepare to send out ARCs for Rebel Carter’s Hearth and Home, book 2 in the Gold Sky Series and open our doors to submissions, I am in awe every day that we get to do this. Each time an ebook, or a paperback with my logo on it is delivered, I can barely breathe with how happy I am that we are bringing these books into the world.
Another dream of mine was fulfilled this year when I created the pen name of Bria James and submitted my first completed story, Sweet Heat, to the Summer Heat anthology published by the New Romance Café. They are a romance authors and reader group on Facebook and all proceeds from the anthology go straight to breast cancer research, a charity so close to my heart.
While my writing takes a back seat to the publishing business, it has still always been a dream of mine to be an author. Those eight thousand words were pulled from my soul with much blood, sweat and tears. I can’t begin to explain the euphoria when you have someone like your author page who had no previous connection to you! My hope has always been to have something published for my mom to read. She has always encouraged me to write from a very young age, and after she went into remission from triple negative breast cancer, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. This wonderful group of ladies have made it their mission to encourage new writers in the romance genre while also supporting an important cause in women’s health. They release an anthology each season full of diverse, budding talents.
This year has been a battle from great personal loss to strength and celebration. I truly feel like I am flourishing into who I was meant to be. It is in no small part thanks to the romance community and the wonderful lady love that exists within it. And here is to at least 13 more years of The Pink Heart Society bringing us the best romance has to offer!
You can find out more information about Violet Gaze Press at VioletGazePress.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And Brittany can be found on Twitter and Instagram.
What milestones have you celebrated in your writing/publishing journey in the past year? Have you set goals for yourself between now and Christmas? Let us know in the comments and on the social media discussion of this article using #IndiePubDiary