La legado vivo! With Edd Sowder!

Full disclosure: in 2016, Edd Sowder changed my life forever. Edd is Vice President and co-founder of indie imprint, Burning Willow Press, and, along with his wife, co-founder and President Kindra Sowder, and horror/fantasy acquisitions editor (and novelist) Sheron Parris, helped me realize my lifelong dream of becoming a published writer. Edd was one of the people who made the decision to buy my debut novel, Fiction. As long as I live, I will owe my (hopefully long) publishing career to them, for giving me my chance to get in the novelist game. But aside from all that, Edd is damn nice fella. Patient with me while I fumbled through the contract signing, amenable to my writerly idiosyncrasies, and, as you’ll see, a great conversationalist. I don’t say this often these days, (mainly because I don’t drink much anymore, and loud bar conversations have begun to hurt my aging ear-drums), but Edd is one person I truly look forward to sharing a beer with someday.  He is a no-bullshit kinda guy, with a heart of gold, and a passion for bringing good books to the reading public.

I am honored that Edd took some time out of his extremely busy schedule to do this interview for my La legado vivo! series.


RYAN LIESKE: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. Before we get into it, let’s have you introduce yourself to the readers. 

EDD SOWDER: Hello everyone, I am Edd Sowder, the Vice President of Burning Willow Press and Editor in chief, Legal affairs officer, Chief of operations and one of the controlling founding partners of the company. Many of you know me, others may not. I hope this interview proves that while I have some fancy titles with my name, I am in fact just a regular guy trying to make a difference in the world I live in. Enjoy, and happy reading.

RL: You help bring stories to the world, so I would say you have made a difference in the world. Without people who do what you do, this world would be an even darker and perhaps unbearable place. So I, for one, thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing more stories to our world.

ES: It’s a unique passion. We do it because we love to read and we love to work with authors. You included. SO, I say to you, THANK YOU, Ryan. 

RL: What is the first book you remember reading?

ES: The first book I remember reading on my own? I was about seven or eight and it was Jaws by Peter Benchley. WOW what an awesome read, no wonder it was made into a movie and then scared the piss out of would-be-redneck-fishermen in Cape Cod. I mean that was the first that sticks out to me. I know I read others. I know I read the Cat in the Hat and others like it, but that one was my first take on horror. Living in the ‘burbs of Detroit, where we went into Lake Erie a lot to fish or swim, was a different feel for the water afterward.


RL: There are those who might argue that Jaws would be the least threatening thing floating around in Lake Erie. Sorry, I’m also a Michigander, so I feel compelled to beat everyone else to the jokes. But, speaking of Detroit, you DID just give me a great idea—Robocop vs. Jaws! There might be a book in that…does Burning Willow have a Bizarro fiction line?

ES: Hey, if it is fiction, we will entertain the idea at the submissions table. If you want to write it, we may back it. Of course, the creators of Robocop and Jaws may have some words to say about it. Let’s not get into any legal battles with movie studios. My pockets do not run that deep…yet.

“Dead or alive, you’re coming with— Oh, shit. We’re gonna need a bigger squad car.”

RL: Yeah, mine aren’t either. Good call. I can barely afford my mortgage. Last thing I need is a damn lawsuit. So, hey! Anybody reading this, if you’ve got the means…free idea! You’re welcome. Just give me a “story by” credit. Thanks.

Moving on…What book do think it was that sealed your fate as a lifelong reader?

ES: The one true book that changed my feeling towards reading was J.R.R. Tolkien’s, The Hobbit. My uncle David gave it to me when I was about nine or ten and I have been a reader ever since.  I still have a copy of that book on my shelf and it is an honored member amongst the likes of Inferno, Moby Dick, and all of Stephen King’s works, some Koontz, a few Patterson, and every single book we have with Burning Willow Press. Not to mention Mike Evans, S. C. Parris, Skye Knizley, Lily Luchesi, and many more.  

RL: The Hobbit is definitely a gateway drug for a lot of kids. What is it about Tolkien’s book that resonated so much with you? 

ES: The Hobbit was a book that inspired me to think outside my everyday life. Middle-earth…WOW! What a fantastic place where you could be you. I was a bit awkward at times as a kid; I think we all were to a degree. And while it was not just the kid in me, I wanted to experience more. We moved a lot—we were not nomadic, but we were in a lot of different states and while I made friends quickly, I did not always want to be with them. I wanted to have adventures like Frodo, Bilbo, Gandalf, Pippen, even though I resonated more with Aragon. I think it was because he knew he was destined for more but was afraid of it.

RL: I’ve had more than a few people tell me that, even if they were a voracious reader as a child, it was their middle-school and high-school years that had the most impact on the reader they are today. Would you say this is true for you? 

ES: I would say yes and no. I was more a reader as a child when it was raining outside. We did not have cable TV until I was eleven, no video games system until the same time, so reading became a real pastime for me. When I got to middle school or as we said in my day, Junior High, and into High school, my reading took on a different appreciation of the art of writing. I saw more in the story than just the words or the authors story but the intent of it. I suppose that came with maturity and the fact that it was no longer just a pastime but a search for the best story I could read in between homework assignments, out of class projects, girls, sports, hijinks, cars, and work.

RL: What were the books from this period that shaped you?

ES: I think one of the books that shaped me from that time was The Dark Half by Stephen King. It did not just tell an interesting story, but it spoke to me, not as a reader mind you but as a writer too. The idea that there was a thing living inside of you that took its life from you and then became its own entity from a surgery to take back the life you abruptly ended through surgery…how fucking creepy is that? There have been many other stories done like it and while he was not the first, I am to assume, it still spoke volumes to me.

RL: The Dark Half really impacted me, too, for the same reasons you state. As a fledgling writer, it really fucked with my head. In fact, it’s one of the main inspirations behind my forthcoming book, Fiction. Plus, I loved the whole story behind the book—that it was King’s way of dealing with his freshly-outed pen-name, Richard Bachman, how he killed him off with “cancer of the pseudonym,” and how he flirted with the idea of it being co-written by Bachman. There’s just a really cool sort of mythos surrounding that novel.


ES: Genuinely brilliant marketing on behalf of the King himself.

RL: Speaking of this time, were you one of those kids who went rogue from the curriculum and read whatever you wanted, sometimes even ignoring what was assigned to read altogether? (It’s okay, I was. I’ll cop to it.)

ES: Haha! I hated English Literature. Interesting how I became a book publisher later in life. I imagine my old English teacher in High School is wondering how that happened. But I did hate it. I did not like Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, or any of the curriculum of the day, although Lord of the Flies did speak to my wilder side. I wanted to write, but not write like the Bronte sisters. I wanted to read new classics, not older text that had been around for centuries. I also feel that Shakespeare was overrated. (Go ahead, bash me). He had the Queen’s attention. What else did he need? I am sure there were many other lyricists of the time that had plenty more than him that died in obscurity due to his overshadowing figure of success. So, to ask if I was a rebel, you bet. I groaned when I had to read anything from that period. They were all great stories but not what I cared for. I wanted to go to Koontz, King, BarkerAnne Rice, for God’s sake. Newer authors who were making a huge impact in the horror scene and did not care for the rules.

RL: We are definitely kindred spirits, my friend. I was exactly the same. I aced my Advanced English class, despite the fact that I absolutely refused to read Wuthering Heights or The Scarlet Letter. I’ve still never read either of them, nor have I read anything by Jane Austen. And I’m pretty much indifferent to Shakespeare—some of his work I absolutely love, some I couldn’t care less about. 

ES: I never read The Scarlet Letter. I actually saw the movies, yes even the one with Demi. Holy shit, dude, she was my 80’s crush. Wanna see me fanboy, let me ever meet Demi Moore.

INTERVIEWER’S NOTE: I was afraid to ask if he’d actually seen “Striptease.”

RL: I’ll see what I can do for you, man. I do have some contacts in the film biz. But I’m not promising anything. I’m still waiting for them to introduce

Now, speaking of Lord of the Flies, which we had to read for that same class, remains my favorite book to this day. I consider it a horror novel, and a vital reading experience for anyone about to enter the deserted island of adulthood. That may sound a little extreme, or cynical, but what can I say? Life is tough, and humanity can be so fucking dangerous at times.

aka “Welcome to Adulthood”

ES: I can see the ideal there. I did not make that connection then but now that you say it, I can. Very insightful. Kindred spirits, I can agree with that. Welcome to the party, pal.

RL: Lovin’ it! We should have shots for this. Damn. Well, we owe each other a toast.  

Now, reading is inherently a solitary activity, so did your reading life ever supersede or cause conflict with your social life growing up? Were you more apt to hide out in the library at school, or stay home on a Saturday night to read a book?

ES: I was pretty out there as a teen. I would socialize and hang with friends and still at night when I was supposed to be asleep, my light was on and I was propped against the wall by my bed reading the new King book I got from the library. I could not put It down. I still have a dire fear of clowns today, (and) still read every page of it. I can criticize it now, but then it was a must-read book. The Stand was the same way for me, though. And I had the unabridged version. In hardback. Four Past Midnight, almost all of King’s works were read in the wee hours of the morning when I had to get back up at 6 am for school. I guess some things do not change, I find myself reading new subs in the wee hours of the morning instead of sleeping now.

RL: Once again, kindred spirits. My favorite time to read is well past midnight, with nothing but the night for a soundtrack. Speaking of It, which is also a favorite of mine, I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, it’s a bit more difficult to read parts of it. I know the “sex scene” in It’s lair causes a lot of debate, and rightly so. As a writer, I do understand why King wrote it, and as a kid it didn’t bother me at all, but now it makes me very uncomfortable. I still stand by the book, and do believe the scene is necessary in the context of the story. And, warts and all, it remains one of my Top 5 favorite books of all time. What are your thoughts on the book all these years later?

ES: Now that I am in this industry more, and more diversely, I hardly ever think of that scene. The book itself is still one of my faves. I think King has admitted to taking a lot of cocaine while he was writing certain books. Hmm, I always thought it was LSD, but whatever worked for him to do his insane pace and make his millions in this industry. Back on the book though, it is one of my faves. I have not read It in years, though. I have very precious time lately to read for pleasure and when I do, I try to pick up a new one just to see what else is out there that we missed out on. I keep up with some of my new favorite authors and try to make sure I have their books on my shelf too.

RL: And then comes college. What new books, literary styles, or genres were you exposed to in college? 

ES: The unfortunate thing about college, the first go around it was all Architecture, Engineering, and Mathematics. No real time for reading other works. The second go around I was more into reading, but I was working so much I did not have time for it. I did however pick up a book recommended by a professor to read: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.


What a fantastic story of how he survived with more than he thought after the Vietnam War. I was so impressed with it I had my son read it one summer when he told me he was thinking of joining the Army. He enjoyed it too. I am still a horror or fantasy or sci-fi reader through and through, but that book exposed me to military drama. I found that with it, there were more messages in other works than I had thought originally. Now this was well before I knew I was going to open a publishing company or anything. I did not even really know Kindra, my wife, at the time. Another that I thought was practical for every entrepreneur was The Art of War by Sun Tzu. The copy I have will also tell you what to think about the words. I found it enlightening in how to be competitive in today’s market. I should likely re-read it and move forward. In college, I also read Darwin’s great book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Moved me a bit further towards science, as I was a Bio-Physics major my second go around.

RL: For me, as a teenager with a car and a part-time job (and then subsequently in college), book stores became a big part of my life. What book stores were the first you began to haunt?

ES: Honestly, the books stores that I was around when I was a teen are long gone. Sadly, a lot of smaller stores closed shop due to the market screw up in 2008. I do still go by the local big box store to look around but it is more toys and games now than books. Sad there too. Thank God for places like Pipe & Thimble in Lomita, California, for catering to the indie market and not getting sucked into the big box store mentality. Here is something you younger men need to know: If you want to meet a fascinating young woman with more than just a pretty face, go to a library or book store. Smart girls can read, will read, and will likely be much more interesting to talk to than the typical party girl.

RL: During my twenties, when I spent most of my free time hanging out in bookstores, I must have had at least five or six crushes on young women working at the stores. A woman carrying a pile of books in her arms, while scoping the shelves for more, is just about the sexiest thing I can imagine. My girlfriend now is as voracious a reader as me, and we have no issues sitting in the same room as each other, reading books and not talking. Bliss, man. I second your advice to the young men out there.

ES: When I was a teen, I went for the bookworm. I had my share of pretty cheerleader types, also the sporty jock types, but I always found my way back to the bookworms. The girl who can hold a conversation with me about a book they are passionate about is one that will get me every time. Hence the reason Kindra and I are so good together. Last night she told me about her upcoming 4th installment of her books with main character Mila. All I can say is WOW. And her co-author, Bryan Tann, with his series that are running right alongside hers, these books are must-reads on my list. The light in her eyes was stunning. I am so happy to be with her. Sorry ladies (those reading this), I am taken.

Very much taken.

RL: Did you find, as you grew older, that the books of your youth began to mean less to you? Or do you still enjoy all the types of books you’ve been exposed to throughout your life? 

ES: The books that I read as a child are still there. I hold them in a special place in my heart, memory, and soul. I still read more horror or fantasy than I get the chance to read sci-fi, but I try to balance it out. I will admit this to you, I read all of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight books. I did enjoy the books, but I thought they were geared towards a pre-pubescent girl, not a (at the time) thirty-something man. I think that time has gotten away from me to be able to re-explore books I loved as a child. Maybe someday when I am an older man, with more time to sit and reflect, I will have the time then.  

RL: I won’t judge you about Twilight, although I personally don’t think I could read them. To be honest, I’m not much of a vampire fan. Even though I’ve written a vampire movie, and am currently working on a vampire novella. But overall, they’re just not my thing. I’m opened minded, though. Speaking of which, a friend of mine dared me to sit through all the Twilight movies, and my girlfriend, who loves vampires and cheesiness, went and bought them all for me on DVD. I never turn down a dare, so…

Note to self: Start turning down more dares.

ES: Here are a few pointers to keep in mind. They are great if you are a 12-year-old girl. By the second movie you wish Edward was dead, and by the third you hope that Blade and Buffy would come to Forks and take out all of them while working with Sam and Dean of Supernatural. I did not enjoy the movies as much as the books, but by the end of it all, the final scenes with Bella and the rest of the them were well executed. I guess money does play an important role in how successful a sequel will be.

RL: How has your reading life survived adulthood? 

ES: It is a constant struggle. I read so many submissions now to our publishing company and all that, I have a stack of books that need to have the spine cracked on them. I do find time to get started but I rarely get to finish them. I think the last book I finished all the way through was a book I signed to a contract. I usually only need to read the first few chapters and then the end chapter to know if I will want it signed. I found that this one was so well put together I was reading it all the way through and had gotten to chapter twelve before I knew it.

RL: You know I’m dying to ask for the title, but I won’t. Seriously, though, you have a unique perspective I’d love to pick your brain about. You are a reader who has the power to choose stories that you feel deserve to be made into books and sold to readers. Is it ever difficult to separate your own personal tastes, and read a submission that might not normally be in your wheelhouse, and look at it objectively, knowing that, even if it might not be something you would buy, a lot of other readers would?

ES: I have found that I can separate the two. My taste is not always what the masses may or may not love. One thing that we pride ourselves with here at Burning Willow Press is that we will not tell you NO. We will offer you the option to do a run through based on what we have found. Well, that is what I do when it comes to me. I try to make the story great when I read it. I cannot say the same for any of the other staff members who do acquisitions. They all set their own guidelines. Freedom of choice and tactics here. But remember, It’s all about the story.

RL: What types of books are you personally drawn to now?

ES: I am pretty much drawn to fantasy, sci-fi, or horror. I love horror novels. I can read most anything, and lately have been getting a bit more into the aspects that steampunk have out.

RL: Any particular steampunk books that have really stood out to you?

ES: I have submission that I am working with the author and an editor to get it produced by Burning Willow Press. I prefer not to name anything yet. The story itself spoke to me. Maybe cause the fascination of the engineering that goes into the ideas of this world is a pique in my intellect. Not known. I did start my college career as an architect/engineering major, so that could have something to do with it.

RL: How do you share your love of books with others?

ES: Oh yeah, I share it. I have given books as gifts before. I have loaned some before. I am not however a part of any book clubs anymore.

RL: And, as I said before, you’re sharing with the whole world, really. Well, selling, but you know what I mean. 


ES: No, we are sharing. If it were merely selling, I would be lighting fires with hundreds in the winter to keep warm.

RL: I’m one of those people who reads several books at a time. I’ve been called a “reading polygamist.” Are you? Or are you pretty monogamous when it comes to reading?

ES: I have to admit, I am too. I read several at a time. Same goes for editing, subs, etc. If not I would never accomplish anything.

RL: I’m not a big fan of the term “guilty pleasure.” However, for want of a better term (you got one?), what are your literary guilty pleasures? 

ES: Delightful sin? Maybe. Dunno.

RL: I like that!

ES: Guilty pleasure fits it. As far as a literary guilty pleasure, I would say sarcasm. I do enjoy a good sarcastic hero or one liner that I wish I had thought of that pisses off the opposition. There are parts to the Miss Hyde novellas that I helped develop Blythe’s character with Kindra that I am proud of. Additionally, Peter Oliver Wonder in his POW! series of books has some great funny sarcastic answers for the other characters. Additionally, Kizzy and Jasmine in the Seers and Demigods series by Nicole Thorn and Sarah Michelle Hall also had me laughing a bit. James Crawford’s work also. Check these authors out. They are great at coming up with some good ones.

RL: What are your thoughts on “genre?” What I mean is, do you feel it’s necessary to label? Ultimately, do you think genre labeling even matters? 

ES: Well, for marketing purposes, yes, you must label it. So, it does matter, quite a bit in fact. To me, no. If the synopsis on the back of the book is intriguing I can read it. It should hook me, though. If it cannot get me to open the cover, I will place it back on the shelf and quietly walk to its neighbor and pick it up. It does not really matter to me, but like I already stated, it does matter to the market. I think the general public of readers want to know what it is supposed to be about before they get it in their hands. Like movies, we need to know it is scary before we sit down with our popcorn and cold soft drink in the theater.

RL: Being a filmmaker, and writer, I definitely see the upside of genre labeling. It’s usually the first thing I say when someone asks what my book or movie is about. I’ll say, “It’s horror.” And then, I quickly follow it up with, “Butit’s also…” As a reader, though? No, it’s never mattered to me. All I ask for is a good story, and I don’t care what it’s labeled. I’ve often said, some of the most disturbing and scary books I’ve read have been from the “literary fiction” shelf, while some of the most emotionally moving and spiritually compelling human stories I’ve read have been horror novels. It all comes down to story for me, as a reader. Just make me keep reading, and I’m happy.

ES: I am much the same in that respect as well. There we go all “kindred spirited” again. Ryan, people are going to talk. Ha. Ha.

RL: Haha. Uh, oh! I smell bromance in the air! 

Let’s change the subject, so maybe no one will notice. Are you a physical copy person, or do you prefer other ways of “reading” books, such as e-books or audio? Does the “delivery system,” as King calls it, matter to you? And while we’re on the topic, what do you think the future holds for reading? Do you think physical books will always be available?

ES: As a publisher, I love them all. Digital Age books are here to stay and have a huge place in the market. They sell and sell faster. (The) issue is they are also easily transferred to other computers. Just like audio. It can be shared multiple times if you know a thing or two about computers. I cannot tell you how many times I have to send a letter to piracy sites to take a book down. Most comply, as they are willing to help; some on the other hand will not. As a reader, I love the printed book. I love the feel of it in my hand. The crack of the spine for the first time. Even the smell of a new printed book. I think it will always be there. Printed books have a following. Besides, as with your own library, you can stand in front of it and take a picture of the books you have read and many will be impressed if it is 100 or even 1000. To me, there is nothing really impressive about holding up a tablet and saying, “I read 1000 books, see?”

RL: Reminds of when I was Djing in clubs about ten years ago. When I made the switch from playing CDs to using my laptop, I jokingly called myself an MP3J. Which sounds nowhere near as cool. I have a hard time reading books or stories on a screen. I had an author send me a digital copy of their novel recently, so I could review it for them, and I ended up just buying a copy of their book because I missed feeling the paper. Bonus? It was a Burning Willow book

ES: WOW, thank you so much. I hope it met all of your expectations. We try our best to make the books the best they can be. Like I have already said, It’s all about the story.

RL: At presstime I am still reading it, and enjoying it immensely! 

Back to our man King, he’s often been seen at baseball games reading a book during rain delays or between innings. Says he never goes anywhere without a book. Do you take a book with you wherever you go?

ES: Back to that digital age. I have several on my phone that I can read at any time. I have my entire library for Burning Willow Press stored in there too. Just in case. Additionally, there are books in the bathroom, books in my bedroom, books on our night stand, books in my wife’s car and my truck. I even have a few in the kitchen and one beside the couch just in case there is nothing on TV worth watching…which is the case lately. So, to answer that question. I would say yes. I do follow the King in that respect.

RL: I carry a paperback in my back pocket, or coat pocket, everywhere I go. You just never know.

So, what are your favorite books of all time, and why?

ES: I am going to say that one book that I wish I had written myself is every one that is published by my company. My absolute favorite book of all time to this day is a hard one to narrow down. I really loved Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Blume as a kid. It was read to us when I was in 4th grade by my then teacher, Mrs. Linda Janaulis. Wow what a story. It captured us all. I also loved Shel Silverstien’s, Where the Sidewalk Ends. It gave me the ability to look at words in a way I had never seen before. I never knew how to rhyme and living in Detroit, where rap was coming up, that was something I needed to think about as well as getting the hell out of there. Those will always be a part of my childhood and will forever be some of my favorites I suppose. 

RL: Wait, are you saying you did rap battles?

ES: I am saying I was not able to so I learned how. I never got into the whole rap battle thing. Not my thing but I can put words on paper and make them rhyme. I am a traditional poet with iambic scales and ABAB or ABCB rhyme skills, but not this new age poetry that does not rhyme. Try writing a song like that, only a handful will get it and if it does not have a rhythm to it, it will be more Ross Geller of Friends fame with his “sound”. That is my two cents on it and I will appreciate all the banter you can give me if you do not agree. I can argue that point all day long. Ha ha.

RL: I’m a little disappointed, though. I was hoping you were going to tell me you had some old rap battle videos from your youth. But, no arguments here.  I used to be one a vocalists and primary lyricists in an industrial band many, many years ago, and I was all about the rhyming. There are those who can do it without adhering to traditional rhyming scales, and I have the utmost respect for them, but that was never my forte.

ES: But those books mentioned are ones that had a profound impact on me, in addition, the Holy Bible, In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat by John Gribbin, 1984 by George Orwell, Edgar Alan Poe’s works, especially The Cask of Amontillado.”  Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan—all of them had a shapely hand in my development as a reader, writer, and thinker.

RL: What has been one of the most unpleasant reading experiences you’ve ever had? You can protect the guilty by not naming any names.

ES: I read so many books as a publisher. I have the uncanny purpose of trying to tell others if they are ready to submit to us or not, and then have to tell them if it is not ready what we feel it needs to be ready. I try to make it easier on my editors when I can (or have the time). There is a book out by a mediocre author that has a crappy cover art and it sold very well. When I read it, I could not get past the number of typos it had in the first fifteen pages. The names of the characters were not just hard to pronounce but they also had no direction. Yet this book sold well and it now has a sequel in development. I should say that the person in question, when told of the issues with the book, he willingly decided to ignore them and said it was just not for everyone. Wow. I mean, be willing to work on your publications, hire an editor that has some guts to tell you that it needs a lot of work, and at least have someone who is not your mom read it and tell you if it is good or not. But do not do a disservice to everyone who is interested in the synopsis to actually buy it and try to read it but ignoring the bad reviews that went up and the good-hearted nature of the person over here who knows a little about the publishing industry who quietly tells you there is a problem with the printed version. If you are going to be that much of a dickhead to your readers, be prepared to lose every bit of sales you ever got in the end.

RL: I have a friend who is a budding writer, and he just doesn’t get the concept of an editor. When I told him I sold my first book, he a) couldn’t believe I would let someone else read what I had written (he’s very, very shy), and b) when I told him it was going through the editing process, he was horrified at the idea of “someone changing what you wrote.” And I’m like, that is not it at all, man. I worked with an editor on my novel before I ever submitted it anywhere, and am now working with another great editor from the publisher. And I tell you, they make me better. A good editor is a godsend, and I feel blessed to have worked two great ones. Any writer who thinks they don’t need an editor is either just scared, or full of shit. Probably both.

ES: I say full of shit. I have only had one book come through my company that needed little to nothing. When I was asked to edit it, I quite literally only found two things that needed addressed. I was amazed, and then I went through it again. Still nothing. Now this person I have called a true master of the craft and his works are some of my favorites with us. I see an editor much like a director. It is the editor’s job to make it marketable to the masses, much like a director in a movie; they have to take the images and make them marketable to the masses. It can be a huge challenge, and as I edit I keep in mind that I am working on someone’s baby, to speak metaphorically. So, I had better do it right. They trust me. They need to know that I will do all I can to make it better.

RL: Edd, thank you for taking the time to talk to me! I enjoyed the hell out of this interview. Hope you enjoyed it, as well.

ES: I did. I always enjoy talking about these subjects and hope to do it again some time for you.

RL: Indeed! We will. And I will buy the first round. I could talk about this for days.

ES: Absolutely. First round is always on the publisher. 

RL: Well, I’m not going to say no to that! 

ES: Just to let everyone know, Ryan Lieske’s Book, Fiction, will be coming out in January of 2018, be sure to check it out. Our editing staff loved it!

RL: Thanks for the plug, Edd. I’m still beside myself, and can’t wait for January. You and your staff’s faith in my book means so much to me, and I feel as though I lack the words to properly express just how much you’ve changed my life. I am truly honored and blessed. Looking forward to someday meeting all of you! Take care, man!

Edd meeting a fan. Little known fact: Pinhead, aka The Hell Priest, LOVES indie book publishers. Because they have such sights to show you.


Facebook me at Edd Sowder or on my Burning Willow Press page.

Tweet us: @Burning_willow 

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Find our works at Pipe & Thimble in Lomita, California, TBK Magazine online store,, B&,, and many more!

***We have a newsletter that goes out regularly and if you subscribe to it you will know before the public when books are coming out and what we are up to next. Plus, our FB page it our best way to get to us. We are on it daily and check it regularly.


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