Mirror World Publishing recently celebrated their fourth year in business.
The local publisher was created by sisters Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred, who are both writers. Co-creator Justine Alley Dowsett had learned many necessary skills of running a press by previously self-publishing her first four novels and working as a producer/business and marketing director for a video game company.
“I decided to take what I had learned there and combine it with my publishing experience,” said Dowsett. “My sister, Murandy Damodred, urged me to take the risk and together we launched Mirror World Publishing with the first in our dark fantasy romance series, Mirror’s Hope as our inaugural novel.”
The name Mirror World is inspired by that first book and the parallel worlds that exist within it. The press continues to publish books for children, young adults, and adults that let readers escape to other worlds: whether it is fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal or romance.
“Having a memorable name and brand really opens doors and allows you to gain traction which I found near to impossible as an individual in the industry,” said Dowsett. “Not to mention the fact that having a team of authors working with us has just been a blessing in getting our name out into the world.”
Dowsett believes Windsor is a great home base for Mirror World Publishing and many of the books are even by local authors. Other books in their catalogue include authors from Calgary, New York and London, England.
“We have an exceptional pool of writing and artistic talent in this city,” said Dowsett. “People are down to earth and easy to talk to and there is a great entrepreneurial spirit here.”
Mirror World author Sharon Ledwith recently took part in the A Taste of Literature event to help raise funds for the Windsor International Writers Conference. In May, Dowsett and Damodred will be part of their own A Taste of Literature event to celebrate their upcoming book, Mirror’s Deceit. In July they’ll be at The Windsor International Writers’ Conference running a round table discussion, attending panels, and meeting with authors one-on-one to discuss their submissions in person. In September they will be returning to Word on the Street in Toronto and in November they will be travelling to London for the Southwest Book Expo.
At these upcoming events they will have the opportunity to showcase their previously published titles, as well as brand new books coming out in 2018.
“First up for 2018 we have Nate Friedman’s newest Canadian classic for kids, The Last Hockey Fight,” said Dowsett. “Then, in April we’ll be releasing the sequel to Sandra Unerman’s Spellhaven, entitled Ghosts and Exiles.”
Other new 2018 titles include the third title in the Mirror World series, Mirror’s Deceit, a middle grade adventure novel, a fantasy novel, and a children’s picture book.
Dowsett’s best piece of advice for new writers is to try to write every day.
“Momentum is key when writing a novel, I really believe that,” said Dowsett. “However, if you get stuck, or if life gets busy, the other important thing to keep in mind is not to berate yourself or feel bad for not writing every day.”
Balancing her own writing career and running a small press is a big task, but Dowsett’s other words of wisdom include, “Make sure you love what you do.”
By doing what she loves, working with a team of people she can trust, and constantly evolving and learning new tasks, Dowsett and the Mirror World team has had a successful four years. Mirror World hopes to continue offering quality books where readers can escape reality and enjoy new and fascinating worlds.
[originally posted on Windsor Arts & Crafts]