I wrote my first book before I learned to read—something about a little girl and a bridge. Illustrations in fat crayon swipes. A few words, dictated to my big sister, the scribe. Construction paper, a stapled spine. A real book, see? Turn the pages and you’ll see what I put inside. I was thrilled.
I wrote my second book sitting cross-legged on the floor, pounding out preteen fantasies on a two-ton Smith Corona propped on its black wooden case—something about girls and boys and fancy clothes. Slow-fading ribbon ink on onion skin, no illustrations, maybe fifty pages, all lost to mildew in a root cellar fifteen years later. I was bummed.
I wrote my third book in longhand in a mountain hideaway with no indoor plumbing and intermittent electricity, writing anything that came to mind except my unfinished master’s thesis—something about a woman, a cat, a man, a boy, another bridge. No illustrations, but finally an advance, royalties, reviews. I was ecstatic.
That’s the real About Page, because that’s what I’m really about—I love books. Always have. Want the world to have more of them. Really good ones. Tightly conceived, eloquently written, beautifully produced.
The other About Page, the one you’re probably after, would be my résumé—the list of qualifications and experience I bring to your project. So as not to disappoint—
I’ve been a freelance publishing maven for more than two decades, beginning with my own work and branching into work by others—fiction, nonfiction, memoir, art, photography, and academic and technical writing. I also served for fifteen years as the publications maven for the New Mexico Legislature, a position that blended technical writing, editing, graphic design, publication design and layup.
My publication work has earned regional and national awards, including the New Mexico Book Association’s Southwest Book Design and Production Award (2013) for the Encyclopedia of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico and the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Notable Documents Award (2015) for Piecemeal Amendment of the Constitution of New Mexico and for Highlights 2014.
To see samples of my work, visit the Portfolio tab.
I’m also a staunch supporter of indie authors, that support born of experience.
Sometimes an author aims to gain the attention of major publishing houses by first self-publishing to establish a name and an audience, as I did with my book. Sometimes an author has no interest in major houses and prefers to keep her work entirely under her own control. I respect both choices. I want the world to have more books. Really good ones. I’m honored to be part of the effort.
Oh, and my name is Kathleen Dexter. I suppose you’d want to know that too.