The decision to become a publisher resulted from a plethora of circumstances in my life. Before COVID, I was happy with my previous publisher, Taylor and Seale. I love the woman behind the company, Dr. Mary Custureri, but Dr. Custureri has suffered from COVID, and I knew my book would be a challenge for her because it is written in verse form and she uses Pages. I use Microsoft Word.

A second reason I chose to become a publisher is I want to offer authors the opportunity to select their own illustrators and covers. Many readers don’t know, but typically, authors don’t choose their illustrators. Publishers do that.

Why is choosing the cover important to me? When I write poems and some of my novels, I am writing a description of a scene, work of art, or action. A picture is in my eyes or on my desk. The term used to describe this type of work is ekphrastic or descriptive.

Broken is based on a scene I witnessed. My teacher empathy kicked in when I saw a young girl waiting for the school bus. She seemed to be swallowed by a trailer with the words Keep Out dripping in red paint surrounded by a chain length fence. I wondered if she was teased. How embarrassed was she? Did she feel trapped? Did she want to escape? I had to write her story as I imagined it. The cover had to illustrate my vision.

Frances Keiser, the woman helping me start my company and create my cover, has worked tirelessly to help me illustrate my vision. I’m anxious to know what you envision when you see my cover. Thank you, Fran.

Readers, I hope you’ll identify and feel at one with Riley. The cover will be available for viewing on this page by next week.