How I Got Here

A FEW YEARS AGO I decided to quit looking for another agent and publish my novel Talion on my own. I quickly discovered that in order to be sold in a bookstore, a book must have something called an ISBN, a number that identifies it. There are several ways to obtain an ISBN free of charge, but whoever gives it to you is the publisher of record for your book.

If I was going to invest time and money to publish my novel, I wanted to be the publisher of record.

That meant becoming an official publisher. It’s easy to do. Just go to and buy a batch of ten ISBNs for a little less than $300. You’re now a publisher. Since I’m not a fast writer, I figured ten ISBNs would be all ever I needed.

So Cantraip Press was founded. Cantraip is an archaic Scottish word meaning “magic spell.” Since I’ve been able to read, books have been magical for me, a way of finding knowledge and wisdom and escaping into imaginary worlds. And magic spells themselves are woven with the right combination of words spoken at an appointed time, under a full moon or at the Winter Solstice The word enchant carries this meaning.

A year later, I agreed to publish Occasional Writers, an anthology by the Past~Forward Memoir Group, a group of local writers who meet once or twice a month to discuss each other’s work and hone their skill. Since the group is funded by our local arts council, I had to enter into a contract with a corporate entity as well as with each of the nineteen writers whose work would appear in the anthology. It was time to separate my business obligations from my personal obligations and those of my husband. The press became an S-Corp, Cantraip Press, Ltd.

Since then, Cantraip has published The Memory Pool, a second anthology of memoir pieces by the Past~Forward group; A Thousand Cranes and Other Stories, a collection of stories and poems by Lee Isaacson Roll; Trace, a paranormal mystery by Letitia L. Moffitt; and Daemon Seer, the sequel to Talion. This spring, another two books will be added to the Cantraip roster: my suspense novel Darkroom and Letitia L. Moffitt’s Vibe/Sync, the sequel to Trace.

Those ISBNs got used up much faster than I expected, especially since each edition of a book requires a new one. I bought 100 more of them, which really ought to last as long as Cantraip Press, Ltd. stays in business.

But then you never know . . .

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