Once Upon A Time …

It has been gently pointed out that I have told the tale of how Raconteur Press got it’s start, but that I haven’t written it down.

Well, that just won’t stand.

So. In 2021, a friend of mine named Robert Bruce MacIntyre asked the question: “If Germany had done the Intelligent Thing, and sent the force which invaded Crete to Malta instead, where would the best landing sites be?”

As I am proud of my birth-place, this simple question led to me writing a fairly lengthy Facebook post about how that would have been a Terrible, No-Good, Very Bad Idea on 16 SEP 21.

In it is a brief vignette involving some ghosts of previous invaders of the island watching the German troops having a bad time of it. People latched onto that little scene and started prodding me to expand it into a book. More folks read it, and starting pinging me about how they’d like to write in that world.

I honestly didn’t think they were serious, and kept poo-pooing the idea, until 22 SEP 21, when I took Jonna Hayden to the local cafe, and she dared me to do a Facebook post asking for authors who wanted to write in a Malta anthology to speak up. She further asked me not to look at the post until we had finished lunch.

I did so, and when I looked at the post 30 minutes later, I had 59 responses. While this freaked me out a bit, I figure that one or two out of ten would actually send me a story, so I just kind of batted the idea around for a bit; using the excuse of not wanting to fool with royalty splitting, tax stuff, and editing the whole thing.

Meanwhile Cedar Sanderson and I did Taskforce CHIWEENIE on 10 NOV 21, followed by her snagging me for her anthology Can’t Go Home Again on 19 NOV 21 — both of which used PubShare for royalty disbursements and tax documents.

After Can’t Go Home Again went live, someone brought up the Malta anthology at the shop, and I mentioned that I would inevitably screw up paying people. Cedar looked at me gently, and in that very Cedar way sweetly pointed out that I had used PubShare twice already for her, and there was no reason I couldn’t use it on my own.

Well, that was two out of my three arguments excuses done for, but I held out on the editing part.

At which point, Jonna cut my legs out from under me by mentioning she had a roommate who had Done This Sort Of Thing Before. That got Kortnee Bryant on-board. And I was out of excuses.

The first week of January 2022 we opened for submissions for Ghosts of Malta. I was still expecting to have less than ten stories.

We got four times that. And they were good stories. After I calmed down, Rita and I were having supper, and I said that I guessed I was a publisher now, but I had no idea what to call the press. Rita looked at me over the chicken pasta, and said, “You’re a storyteller. A raconteur. It’s Raconteur Press.”

Ghosts of Malta went live on 20 APR 22 under Raconteur Press. Followed by Knights of Malta on 29 AUG 22, and Saints of Malta on 25 DEC 22.

I had said that I would be done once the Malta stories ran out, but during FoolzCon of ’22, Jonna, Tully Roberts, Tom Rogneby, and Wayne Whisnand conspired to get me very, very drunk; and took advantage of my weakened state to get me to agree to an antho involving “Cow- hic -boys in space!”

Space Cowboys and Space Cowboys 2 followed (23 FEB 23 and 08 MAR 23, respectively) Saints of Malta, and I had pretty much (privately) given up on fighting the inevitable, but then TulKon came along.

Oh, my tap-dancing gods. The (now-infamous) book launch/room party. I think we still have books on deck that I agreed to after imbibing way too much really good liquor by way of Scott Richardson. (ps: Oilfire is Teh Debbil. Just saying.)

I gave up and filed a Doing Business As in October of 2023, and followed up by filing as an LLC in February of 2024.

So. There you go. The tale of the start of Raconteur Press.

LawDog

Is that a ...
It's live! LLIIVVEE!!

21 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time …”

    1. Well, ethyl alcohol has two carbon per molecule, and occurs in nature, so “naturally and organically” is not too far inaccurate…

  1. So proud of you, my brother! And proud to be one of the authors you so generously published. And proud to know you! Just. Proud.

  2. This is one “once upon a time” story I’m glad found a way to become real. VBG

  3. Having found myself published in Ghosts of Malta, I feel like a “founding member” of a publishing “house” (blanket fort, actually) that is now upending trad pubs. And I love it.

    Raconteur Press has a dynamic business plan, current and future authors by the container shipload, and a “Hold my beer” attitude. It’s gonna be a memorable ride.

  4. so, we plied you with alcohol, got you to do something that you’re good at, and it’s take off from there, is what you’re saying?

  5. I just can believe it’s been TWO years already! Wow, where does the time go?
    Now, about that bible you’ve promised us… 😉

  6. I really need to figure out a story that will fit one of the many many anthologies. Drawing a blank so far.

    More practice.

  7. So the moral that I’m getting from this story is that, if I have an idea for an anthology, I just need to find you at a con and bring a couple of bottles of really good alcohol with me?

    I don’t actually have an idea at the moment, but I wanted to be clear on the procedure in case one happens to come along.

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