Friday, July 12, 2013

In Memorium: Linda Houle, Co-Founder of L&L Dreamspell

It's with a heavy heart that I share the passing of Linda Houle, one of the co-founders of the small press publisher L&L Dreamspell. Linda had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She died early in the morning of July 12, 2013.

I'd like to extend my deepest sympathies to Linda's family and friends and her Dreamspell partner, Lisa Smith. The L&L, you see, stands for the two women who ran the company. They did so with awe-inspiring passion. Unfortunately, Linda's death means the end of L&L Dreamspell.

I first became acquainted with L&L Dreamspell through author Pauline Baird Jones. She published a number of science fiction romances through Dreamspell, starting with THE KEY. Her Project Universe series is truly an epic (and cerebral and quirky!) saga. Pauline Baird Jones is also an intrepid advocate of science fiction romance and a regular aboard The Galaxy Express. I can't thank her enough for her ongoing support.

Dreamspell was also the home of L.J. Garland's MECHMAN, an action-adventure sci-fi romance featuring a kick-butt heroine and android hero. I think fondly of this title as "the sci-fi romance with Angelina Jolie on the cover." It's a fun story and I'm glad to have notched my SFR belt with it.

Another Dreamspell title I enjoyed was K.T. Grant's BRASS BALLS AND HYSTERIA, a short story in the DREAMSPELL EROTICA, Vol. 1 anthology. It's a funky erotic steampunk romance short that delivers everything the title promises!

But that's not all. I had the extreme pleasure of contracting a steampunk romance short story with L&L Dreamspell. STEAMBOT RAMPAGE was part of the DREAMSPELL STEAMPUNK, Vol. 1 anthology. My story appeared with those of authors Pauline Baird Jones, Chris Samson…and Linda Houle.

Words cannot do justice regarding how much I enjoyed being a part of the Dreamspell family. Words cannot express how much I appreciate their interest in acquiring science fiction romance, a genre near and dear to my heart. When Dreamspell offered me a contract for my story, I was on the moon. Publishing the story with them was so much fun.

People like Linda Houle and Lisa Smith are among the soldiers who have helped keep science fiction romance alive and well all these years. I will always treasure the art they made possible.

Given Pauline Baird Jones' active history with L&L Dreamspell, I invited her to join me in this memorial post. Here's her message:

Linda Houle was an amazing person. She dreamed a dream and made it happen with her partner and friend, Lisa Smith. L&L Dreamspell opened its “doors” in 2006. When I met Linda, back in 2005, she told me that they wanted to run a company that was author friendly, that did things right. As one of their authors, I can say, they made it happen.

The day the doors closed on L&L Dreamspell, an Amazon search on their name pulled up 349 books. Each one of those 349 books is the realization of an author’s dream to be published—and six years hard work. 

If you don’t know much about publishing, if you don’t know how dang hard it is to run a business—and you triple that hard if it’s a publishing business—then you won’t know what a miracle L&L Dreamspell was to all of us privileged to be associated with the company, and with Linda and Lisa. What tough, determined, amazing women.

My life, both personal and professional, was enriched by knowing them, by having the honor to be published by them. My grateful thanks to both L’s. 

My deepest sympathy to Lisa, her best friend and business partner, and to Linda’s family.

Rest in peace, Linda. You will be missed.