Promotions From Vendors Attending The 2019 Summer
Young Adult, ﬂash ﬁction, memoir
Clay Cormany is the author of two YA novels. Fast-Pitch Love (Astraea Press, 2014) combines the angst and thrill of teenage romance with softball competition. The Bullybuster (KDP, 2019) also involves a teenage romance as well as robots and revenge.
Before writing his novels, Clay spent over 25 years as a writer and editor for Ohio's State Board of Education. His creative work has appeared in numerous central Ohio publications, including the Columbus Dispatch and Spring Street, Columbus State Community College's literary magazine. He has also edited numerous books, including a three-volume biography of Christopher Columbus and A Death Prolonged by Dr. Jeff Gordon, which received coverage in the New York Times and on PBS.
Clay is involved in several writers group, including Writers' Ink and the GEM-C Writers of Columbus State Community College. In 2018, the latter group published Lost and Found: An Anthology of Poems, Memoirs, and Stories. Two of Clay's shorter works -- "Man vs, Squirrel" and "Losing Brian" -- appear in this volume.
When he is not writing, Clay enjoys reading and bicycling. He loves his wife Becky, and his children, stepchildren, and grandchildren. He is a tutor at Columbus State Community College and a committee member for the 1Girl Project, an initiative that seeks to develop the leadership potential of middle school and high school girls. He also supports literacy and arts programs, especially in his home community of Worthington. Clay tries to live by the Golden Rule and hopes to leave the world a better place than he found it.
MY “SMALL” ROAD TO PUBLICATION
But someday never seemed to come. Since my job with the Ohio Department of Education kept me writing speeches and reports throughout the workday, I often didn’t feel like writing when I got home. Even when I could muster the energy to do creative writing, something always pushed the book onto the “back burner.” Then came the cancer scare, the surgery, and the convalescence, which removed any excuses for delay.
In the following months, Fast-Pitch Love slowly took shape. Realizing girls read more than boys, I added a romance and changed the focus from boys’ baseball to girls’ softball. When my efforts finally produced a draft that seemed worthy of publication, I tried to find an agent. With hope and confidence, I queried 23 agents—and received 23 rejections. Indeed, out of the 23, only five or six even read the excerpt I sent with the query letter.
Discouraged, I considered self-publishing; however, I first wanted to try another route: publication through a small press. A speaker at a writers’ conference I attended suggested that as an alternative to aspiring authors. Small presses, he noted, didn’t require an author to have an agent, and they gave the author a stronger voice in managing his or her book.
After some research, I queried eight small presses that accepted unsolicited submissions from authors with YA books. Three never responded, three others rejected it, one liked the book but wanted changes unacceptable to me. Then came this response from Astraea Press:
Hi Clay! We happen to love Fast-Pitch Love. I’ve attached a contract for your review and signature. Let me know if you have any questions. Stephanie
The rest, as they say, is history. To date, Fast-Pitch Love has sold about 230 copies. So it didn’t take the literary world by storm or, as far as I know, change anyone’s life. But it was a story that had to be told, and no one but me could tell it. I’m glad I did.
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Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
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Looking for a place to swap blogs? Holly Bargo at Hen House Publishing is happy to reciprocate Blog Swaps in 2019.
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