Why Publish America?
Actually, I was referred to them by somebody who had his manuscript turned down, so that was the first impression I had of them... Not only that they were a new publisher who was friendly to first time authors, but that they weren't just publishing anyone who submitted a manuscript.
And if you're one of those "PA bashers," permit me to anticipate your knee jerk reaction... (smile!) I've seen a lot of bad feeling and exaggerations done on both sides of that fence! Pardon me if I ignore the "arguments" that are generally as leakproof as a colander! The sheer number of books that are printed each year (even without PA!) precludes the possibility that everyone who manages to get a book published is on their way to fame and fortune. My reality check tells me that I'll get nowhere if I sit around waiting to be "discovered!" I can also die of old age before I find a publisher who will look at my work without a known agent's recommendation or even an honest agent who will work with my benefit in mind! The bottom line is that it is working for me as an individual and that is what counts.
I had been writing since I was a teenager, but had only recently started to consolidate some of my work into book form. I had published some of my pieces, but I placed no value in that, since I perceived them to be through vanity presses that preyed on the hopes of the thousands of people who would wish for publication, not knowing how meaningless it was in that context. I had been writing both prose and poetry in other mediums, however, and I had received much more meaningful feedback on my writing skills, enough so that I learned to have faith in my own abilities.
I also learned the value of using my life experiences in my writings. It makes a great deal of difference when you are writing from personal experience. When you are writing, it very quickly becomes evident if you don't have any real experience with what you are writing about. That's even true for fiction writing. Even if the readers know that it's a work of fiction, they're looking for a believable story that can entertain them and allow them to see the extrapolation from known facts presented in a logical manner to a point where they can accept what might otherwise be too fantastic to take seriously. Even with fantasy and science fiction, the best writings are built up logically and with a great attention to detail. Frank Herbert's DUNE series and Anne McCaffrey's wonderful world of Pern are excellent examples.
For Poison Pearls, click on www.publishamerica.com/books/4092
For Going Without Peggy, click on www.publishamerica.com/books/8958
For Brain Stemmed Roses, click on www.publishamerica.com/books/14297