Traditions in Life and Writing

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about traditions and how my family traditions have changed over the years. Similarly the pathway to publication has evolved.

As a child, the holiday season was filled with traditions surrounding food and family gatherings. My mother is a baker and a chef beyond compare. Every holiday season, the women in the family – Aunts and cousins – would gather and bake. My Great Grandmother’s Italian Cookie Recipes all started with 5 lbs. of flour. That is a LOT of cookies! My contribution to these cookie baking nights was the famous and often shared story of the time I knocked over the 5 lb. bag of flour when I was five. A true indication of my love for all things domestic to come!

The Traditonal Family Italian Cookies

The Traditional Family Italian Cookies

My favorite family memories as a child were that of my family – My mom, dad and brother. We were together always, and there was a lot of laughter in our home. Christmas Eve, we would make the rounds, first on my father’s side of the family for dinner – family and food, then to my Great Grandmother’s house for more family and food. We were LARGE in numbers back then. I only remember that it was fun…and at times we drove through snowstorms to get there. Have I mentioned I grew up in Buffalo where A White Christmas was a given? The snow did not stop us from seeing family, nor from missing Midnight Mass. Christmas Day was filled with more family and food. Mainly I remember a long day filled of playing with my cousins. Those were beautiful Camelot-like days.

New Release: Knock Out

I am really excited about my contemporary sports romance series: Worth the Fight. The first book, KNOCK OUT, is a story about what happens after the Fall, the time in  life when you’ve found yourself knocked out, out of breath, and just struggling to get back up.


It takes courage to find your feet, brush off the dirt, and move on with life, right? We’ve all experienced our fair share of falls, too.

Which is why this book means so much to me. You see, I had a major fall, a literal one, smack off a curb and with an Italian ice in my hand. I broke my right ankle and tore the ligaments in my foot . . . the right one. The driving foot. The Italian ice remained intact.

That summer was tough, being laid up on the couch when all I wanted was the sun on my face and the sand between my toes.

Plenty of time to think…which is exactly what happened.

Amidst all my agony and struggle, I had an idea. What if I wrote a story about a heroine who also has a fall and breaks her ankle, but its a career ending injury? What would she do? How would she cope with the way her life has belly-flopped. Her goals shattered along with her ankle? That’s how Logan Rettino, my ballerina turned MMA Octagon Girl, was born.

Sisters Doin’ It For Themselves: Four NJRW Authors Form a Publishing Company

Publishing is an ever-changing business these days, and more and more authors are beginning to publish their own stories. Services once performed only by publishers—such as cover design, developmental and copy editing, and formatting—are now readily available through freelancers, allowing authors more control than ever before.

TimelessKeepsakesFinalCoverFour NJRW authors have taken the idea a step further. Ruth A. Casie, Lita Harris, Emma Kaye, and Nicole S. Patrick have joined forces and collective brainpower to form a publishing company, Timeless Scribes Publishing. Their first venture is an anthology, TIMELESS KEEPSAKES, a collection of holiday stories by each as well as a story by Carina Press author Julie Rowe.

So how did these ladies go from authors to friends to business partners? They were kind enough to stop by for a Q&A to clue the Femmes in.

Joanna Shupe: Welcome, and congratulations on both your new publishing venture and your first release together. How did the idea come about?

Ruth A. Casie: Being a published author, from contract through release, is exciting but not necessarily when you’re on the sidelines. I was the only one published in our critique group and I wanted them to experience the excitement. In May, I presented them with the idea that we each write a short story and publish them ourselves in December. With our diverse genres we decided on a unifying theme, Christmas ornaments.

Nicole S. Patrick: We started off the project with the thought that since only Ruth was published at the time, if we self published something together, then each of us would have a published credit. Since we’ve started, both Emma and Lita have gotten offers on their own books and I’m thrilled for them!

JS: What were the challenges in getting your publishing company off the ground, and was the experience anything like you thought it would be?

Lita Harris: The four of us are actual members of the company, which is necessary to setup if you have multiple authors working on a project. First, it gets the business arrangement out of the way and creates an entity to receive payment. It was easy to setup the company, without getting into too much legal stuff, we settled on an LLC, which functions like a partnership but provides perpetuity, so ownership changes can be made if needed or in the event of death that party’s royalties can be paid to their estate or designated beneficiary. The LLC also provides liability protection like a corporation but doesn’t have the complicated structure therefore simplifying tax reporting and the pass-through of profits and losses. Each state has their own business structures so check first.

Emma Kaye: It was amazingly easy! And by that, I mean, Lita handled that aspect of this project. Actually, though Lita had the lion’s share of the business end our project, we all had our roles in setting up the LLC—bank account, name selection, website, etc. But with all of us working together and focusing on our strengths, it all came together nicely.

NP: The hardest part was deciding on a name!

RC: This entire experience has been better than I expected. I’m proud of what we have created and of each other.


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