The Mamalode Starter Series is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce you to some of the amazing people we get to meet. Starting something takes enormous amounts of work, faith, help and community. Every week we'll share another story of starting. So, community of Mamalode, read up, get inspired and check out these wonder-folk.
Interview with co-founder Vicki Lesage of Velvet Morning Press.
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.
As an author, I know how hard it is to find time to write AND market my books. Many authors I know (including me) have to keep their day jobs to support their writing careers. How can we ever make it as authors? That's why fellow author, Adria J. Cimino, and I founded Velvet Morning Press. We knew there had to be a way to help authors launch their careers, something in between self-publishing (where you have upfront costs and no support) and the big pub houses (where they take a huge cut and you still don't have much support). So we started our boutique publishing press as a happy medium. We only take on a few clients so that we can work closely with them and really market the heck out of their books. We're currently accepting submissions, so if any Mamalode readers or contributors have something in the works, we'd love to hear from them!
What do your kids think about your job?
My toddler and even my 8-month-old notice I spend a lot of time on the computer. Recently, I've had to institute a policy where I don't work on my business when they're awake, which means lots of late nights working! But it ensures that I spend quality time with them and don't miss these precious young years. Adria's daughter is a little older (she's 4) and she has already written miniature books of her own, so it's safe to say she thinks Mom's job is pretty cool!
Tell us about a total mom+ biz fail?
Adria and her husband (French private chef, Didier Quémener) invited my family over for lunch to celebrate the launch of Velvet Morning Press. Each course of decadent French cuisine got cold as my husband and I chased our toddler and tried to keep our colicky newborn from crying nonstop. Both kids had diaper blowouts, and my son trashed the entire house. Every conversation got interrupted and the most we managed to talk about the business was a five-second champagne toast, but hey, that's life, right?
Share with us a total win (brag away!)
Our newly released anthology, That's Paris, features a foreword by Stephen Clarke. He's been a personal idol of mine for years, and when I met him at a fundraiser I'd organized a few years ago, I made sure to hold onto his contact info. Sure enough, it came in handy when I asked if he'd write the foreword and he replied in less than an hour with a firm “yes.” It gives our book extra cachet, not to mention it really helps with marketing. As a new business, we'll take all the help we can get!
But my biggest win (cheesy alert!) is the support of my husband. Without his help, I wouldn't be able to balance a full-time job and my new business venture, while still having quality family time. Even with his help it's hard, but it's possible!
What's your relationship with Mamalode?
I've been a reader of Mamalode for a long time now, and over the summer I started submitting pieces as well. I always considered myself a humor writer—I've written two humorous books, Confessions of a Paris Party Girl and Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer but my Mamalode pieces often end up being a little more sentimental with just a touch of humor. I enjoy having a place to share those types of stories, and it allows me to grow as a writer. I also love reading everyone else's stories, particularly all the different takes on the monthly themes. I've met some great people through Mamalode and really love the community.