Thursday, March 27, 2014

Celebration Station: Day 27 HCS Publishing

Day 27

Today we visit with the folks at HCS Publishing as they explain how their organization came to be. 

Hatton Cross Steampunk (HCS) Publishing

HCS Publishing is a concept as much as it is a publishing house. It began as an idea conceived at a convention between two authors and an artist. The conversation went something like this: “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a publishing house that really cared about promoting the author more than generating a profit for themselves? Wouldn’t it be nice if WE were the focus of what that publishing house did?”

This conversation triggered a reaction and sent owner (and author) Dave Lee into motion. As an author, Dave wanted a publishing house that would get his books out there to the masses, generate interest in him as an author, AND not take all of the revenue generated by book sales. Crazy concept, I know. There are plenty of vanity publishers out there but they are really more about selling services and generally could care less about book sales and the content published. This caused Lee to look at things a different way.

With each person Lee met and the more he spoke to people about the idea, the larger it grew. Before he knew it, HCS Publishing was ready to get off the ground with an entourage of extremely talented folks. When they opened shop on June 1st, 2013, they had already amassed four novels with a fifth debuting on the same day! The four novels were “Country in Ruin:1865”, by Dave Lee, “When October Ends” as well as “Chasing” by teen author JM Lee; and “Liberation at 50 Paces” by Jarod D. Crews. June 1st, their opening day, was celebrated by the debut collection of steampunk short stories “Ætheric Elements” by radio personality Travis I. Sivart. By the end of the year, HCS Publishing had released the debut novel “Hollow Thunder” by Nicole Ordway and the graphic novella & CD “Once Upon a Midnight” by Valentine Wolfe & Jacob Wenzka.

Each title displayed the company’s desire to focus on great stories, rather than a particular genre. Being a “steampunk” focused company did not seem to matter as everyone loves a good and entertaining story. Having a colonial era paranormal (Hollow Thunder) totally fits into HCS Publishing’s mantra as it’s a great story with superb writing and provides inspiration to those that may wish to add steampunk to that era. Why not? If nothing else, the reader will be absolutely pleased with the adventure Ordway takes them on.

One of the key elements, as identified by Dave Lee, was the importance of quality and talented editors. One thing that plagues independently published authors is the lack of good editing. Lee realized that if this was to work, he would require an army of talented, passionate and quality editors. This is perhaps just as important as having talented authors. He was fortunate enough to meet Jeanne Wilkins and immediately enticed her with the glorious title of Editor In Chief. Ok, well maybe not so glorious initially but Jeanne got what Lee was trying to do. She believed in it and the stage was set. Jeanne brought a wealth of experience in editing and being an avid reader, she brought an eye for good stories as well as the talent of helping authors polish their works to gold. The editing team expanded with the addition of Angela Bellamy-Knowles and author/editor Nicole Ordway. With each editor, a unique personality and set of skills joined the team and the family grew.

Another element that was imperative to success was artists and graphic artists. Lee had several years of experience designing book covers for clients and knew just how important this asset was to a publishing house. You may not be able to judge a person by the cover but EVERYONE judges a book by the cover. Lee brought the incredibly talented artist James Christopher Hill (from Charleston SC) to the team. James was the artist that initially encouraged Lee to pursue this endeavor and consequently Lee was thrilled when he agreed to be a part of the team. Hill, being a very talented and accomplished artist, brought a high degree of options to the table as far as cover art and cover design.

So what’s next for HCS Publishing? MORE TITLES! 2014 will see the release of book number 2 for Travis I. Sivart “Steampunk for Simpletons”, novel number two for Nicole Ordway “The Loyalty of Dew” (the sequel to Hollow Thunder), debut novel from renowned steampunk maker Stephen Chapman “The Stonehenge Rift”, debut novel from Shawn Cosby “Brotherhood of the Blade”, novel number three from teen author JM Lee “Novus Orsa”, novel number two for David Lee “World in Ruin:1870”, novella number three from Jarod D. Crews “Forbearance”, a Divinci ‘esque art book by James Christopher Hill and a continuation of the web comic by S.E. Ripley of “Country in Ruin:1865” written by Dave Lee.

Future endeavors by HCS Publishing include branching out from printed media to include audio books of their titles. Rather than crank out simple audio versions however, they team will be pursuing audio versions reminiscent of the classic radio shows of the 1940’s and 50’s complete with retro sound effects and voice acting.

With this much passion towards something that everyone on the team believes in, it would seem that they can’t go wrong. Be sure to keep up with this eclectic family and all that they have to share via Facebook, Twitter and their website.

You can purchase copies of any of the HCS Publishing titles from their website, or directly here:

When October Ends: book 1 of the Novus Proprius Chronicles JM Lee

Chasing: book 2 of the Novus Proprius Chronicles – JM Lee

Hollow ThunderNicole Ordway

Liberation at 50 PacesJarod D. Crews

Country in Ruin:1865Dave Lee

Once Upon a MidnightValentine Wolfe


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  1. What a powerhouse group of people! I look forward to following this house as it becomes even more famous than it already is. Great idea guys - keep it up!

  2. The future is looking bright for HCS...

  3. Indeed. Thank you, everyone who's following the progression of our burgeoning company!