Smoking Pen Press is an independent publishing company started four years ago by Catherine Valenti and Laurie Gienapp. For now, they mostly publish short story anthologies. Two of my short stories are published in their anthologies and they are a pleasure to work with—highly professional. For more information, check out their website at: http://smokingpenpress.com/
Question: How did you come up with the name Smoking Pen Press? Is there some meaning behind that?
Answer: We met online in the Nanowrimo forums, and the chatroom we met in was called The Smoking Pen. We liked the name, as well as the image it evokes of an author writing at such a pace that their pen smokes.
Question: You mostly publish anthologies, how did that come about?
Answer: It wasn’t always the plan to publish anthologies… in fact we’ve published one novel, and have several others in the works. Where we both have full-time jobs in addition to running Smoking Pen Press, time is at a premium, and we thought a short story anthology would be a good use of our time. Then we discovered that we really enjoyed the process of culling through the submissions, and working with the different authors throughout the editing process.
Question: Can you tell us about some of your published books?
Answer: We have four titles in our Read on the Run series. The idea is that each story in the Read on the Run series of anthologies is short, “to suit your busy lifestyle”. We started with A Step Outside of Normal, followed by A Bit of a Twist, Uncommon Pet Tales, and we’ve just put out the first romance—A Wink and a Smile.
We also have an anthology of longer short stories, The Ancient, which has variations on the Aladdin’s lamp theme. And we’ve published a novel—The Weatherman.
Question: What are you working on now?
Answer: We’re working on a few titles at the moment. We’ve got a longer short story anthology of romances in the works, as well as three novels – a romance, a suspense and a sequel to The Weatherman.
Question: What made you start publishing?
Answer: We knew there were a lot of good authors out there looking for a legitimate small publisher who would provide good editing and cover design services. We thought we could provide that, and compensate the authors, and still have a viable business.
Question: What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing?
Answer: Don’t stop. Or perhaps more importantly – Start! In order to be published, you need a well-edited piece of work. And you can’t edit what you haven’t written.
Question: Where and when will readers be able to obtain your book(s)?
Answer: All titles are currently available at Amazon and other retailers, in both digital and paperback format.
Links to Amazon:
The Ancient -
The Weatherman -
A Step Outside of
A Bit of a Twist
Uncommon Pet Tales -
A Wink and a Smile -
For links to other retailers, see our website -
Catherine and Laurie, thanks so much for coming here.
For those who are interested, they are available to respond to comments and questions. But the best way to learn about what they publish is by buying one of their books and reading it.