If you’re an author, not self-publishing, finding the right home for your work is essential. It’s also a long and sometimes difficult journey.
I began my publishing career in 2013. I awakened on my birthday that January and decided that my 42nd year would be the year I finally published a novel. I had published short fiction and poems over the years, but none of my three novels had graced a shelf.
I wrote a two sci-fis and a vampire novel. Eternity was a young adult, dystopian sci-fi. Annah was the first book in a sci-fi epic I would call the Children of Evohe. The vampire novel, Dark Road to Paradise, is the first and only vampire novel to deal with the notion of AIDS head-on.
I had Eternity around the longest, so I decided to publish it on Amazon/CreateSpace. I wanted to prove that I could put something of mine out into the world.
A month later, a friend of mine mentioned a small sci-fi and horror-focused press that published a guy he knew. I thought immediately of “Annah”, my most recent work, and my friend got me in touch with the publisher on Facebook. I pitched the book in a series of short messages, and the publisher asked me to send “Annah” to him for a look. The next day⏤or it may have been two⏤I had my first publishing contract in the mail. A little later that week, the contract was expanded to cover “Dark Road” and “Eternity” as well.
“Dark Road” and “Annah” were published by this company. (I won’t mention their name because I don’t wish to emphasize the past, but rather the present and the future.) The books did well; “Annah” went on to become one of the best-selling titles that publisher ever put out. And I went on to work for the company, ultimately, as Chief Editor.
During this period of time, I met and became friends with Dark Moon Press founder and CEO Eric Vernor. It was through our mutual association with at Atlanta’s long-running DragonCon convention. Eric impressed me as a kind and smart man with a quick wit and an excellent business sense. He doesn’t hesitate to help others but encourages personal responsibility as well. Those are qualities I deeply admire. I was not in the position to work with Eric at the time, but we continued to be good friends.
In February of 2017, my former publisher announced they were going out of business. I didn’t want to take the self-publishing route for many reasons, so I would have to find another publisher. After pursuing thoughts of many options, I remembered that Eric ran Dark Moon Press. I was keenly aware, though, that their main focus was occult and horror. That was only one narrow aspect of the work I write, but Eric said he’d be glad to have me, and we began making plans.
Now, three books of the “Children of Evohe” series will hit shelves fall of 2017. I will also see what I consider the first real publication of “Eternity” in that same time.
In the spring of 2018, DMP plans to publish a new edition of “Dark Road to Paradise” and its sequel “Cassie’s Song.” Later that year, the fourth Children of Evohe book, “Annah and the Arrow,” will be published.
Hopefully, “The Conversationalist,” my stand-alone sci-fi, and my urban-fantasy, “The Kind,” will follow. Those books have yet to be completed, though.
I feel at home with Dark Moon Press. I feel valued as an author and I feel that productivity is encouraged. I never feel like I’m ‘writing too much.’ Although I do sometimes feel I am pestering Eric too much about the state of my books. Fortunately, he is a man whose patience matches his kindness and good humor.
Dark Moon is a place that encourages success and drive. It’s that perspective of the underdog standing outside the mainstream and striving to carve their own road to victory through vision and willpower.
That is a perspective I share, and this is a place I’m glad to be. I thank my friend, Eric Vernor, for welcoming me here and doing a great job with my books. I thank, as well, my new friends such as Angel Vaow, Starr Morgayne, Kevin Eads, and Judia Krakowski for being supportive and welcoming as well.
For someone who writes and reads fiction, and who embraces a vision of life that comprises both light and shadow, Dark Moon Press is an ideal place to be. I don’t regret the road I walked to get here, but I’m glad to be here, and I plan to stay. I look forward to sharing “Eternity”, “Dark Road to Paradise”, and the first three “Children of Evohe” books with you all this year. I hope you enjoy the new works to come in 2018 and onward.
Most of all, I wish you all shared joy and success. We are each of us only as strong as our visions and those who share them.
With gratitude, friendship, and blessings,
About the Author
Clay Gilbert has been hearing the voices of aliens, vampires, and people from the future since about the age of four. It wasn’t long before he started to think taking notes on what they said might be a good idea. This has led him many places—through the halls and classrooms of many schools, where he’s been both in front of the teacher’s desk and behind it, himself—to presenter’s podiums at conventions, and, most often, to the comfortable chair behind his writing desk at home, where he uses his Dell computer as both a beacon and a translator for the voices that still find their way through from countless worlds and planes of existence. Clay’s work in various genres has been in print since his first short science fiction story, “The Computer Conspiracy,” was published in Scholastic magazine when he was just thirteen. He holds an M.A. in English literature from Auburn University, and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the University of South Carolina. Clay is the author of the science fiction novels Annah: Children of Evohe, Book One, Annah and the Exiles: Children of Evohe, Book Two, Annah and the Gates of Grace: Children of Evohe, Book Three and Eternity, as well as the vampire novel Dark Road to Paradise. The Children of Evohe novels will be available from Dark Moon Press this fall. His current projects include an urban fantasy novel called The Kind, as well as Cassie’s Song, a sequel to Dark Road to Paradise. He has also served as the Chief Editor for PDMI Publishing and has been a member of the volunteer staff for DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia for the past decade, where he’s frequently shared panel space with Dark Moon Press’ own Eric Vernor. He lives and works in Knoxville, TN. His author blog can be found at https://portalsandpathways.wordpress.com/, and the official website for his Children of Evohe novels resides at https://childrenofevohe.com/.