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Meet F. E. Greene in West Houston

Today we’d like to introduce you to F. E. Greene.

F.E., let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I sometimes joke that my foray into independent publishing is the result of a midlife crisis. Instead of buying a little red sports car, I decided to pursue my passion for writing and publishing in a new and different way.

I’ve been involved with publications in some form or fashion since my student days at Spring Woods High School. As a journalism adviser at the secondary and college levels, I spent more than a decade assisting young writers with their projects, equipping and encouraging them to pursue their passions and their dreams.

In 2014, I decided the time was right to practice what I’d been preaching. I stepped away from the classroom, downshifting my role in education to a paraprofessional job. At that point, I had written a series of four complete novels and began investigating options for publishing, both traditional and independent.

After a lot of researching (and soul-searching), I decided to strike out on the indie publishing route. I started a business, developed a five-year plan, and soldiered forth, semi-broke but totally fulfilled in a new and different way. I did what I could and outsourced what I couldn’t.

In the past four years, I have written six books and published ten. Although I still have a decade before I retire from the Texas public school system, I intend to continue building my publishing company one proverbial brick at a time. When I do retire, I plan to assist writers of all ages however I can – with hands-on training, constructive feedback, and moral support, just like local authors Pamela Fagan Hutchins and Rebecca Nolan have done for me. And I’ll keep writing, of course.

Ultimately this “midlife crisis” has been a journey of self-realization. My life isn’t any easier, but it feels so much richer. Creativity is a gift, a magical extension of the self and the soul. So many of us are gifted in uniquely expressive ways. Even if the realities of our daily lives require us to chip away at our creations over months or even years, we are still creating – and that is what matters. When it’s time to slog, we slog. When it’s time to soar, we soar.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The biggest obstacles I’ve faced as an author/publisher are money and time. By choosing to downshift my day job into second gear, I scored the time I needed to write. The trade-off was money. Second-gear jobs in education don’t pay anywhere close to what the sixth-gear teaching jobs do. As a single-income household, this decrease in salary presented my biggest challenge.

In addition to living lean, I’ve learned a lot of publishing skills first-hand since I can’t afford to outsource most of the work. As a result, I can now format a print paperback and an e-book, build and manage a website, create promotional graphics, and even design a book cover when absolutely necessary (although I prefer to leave that task to the experts).

One of my biggest joys of this adventure is how much I’ve learned along the way. The scariest tasks have proven to be the most rewarding. As a result, I have a newfound sense of personal achievement and creative empowerment. A person’s age, it turns out, has little to do with ability or possibility.

F. E. Greene – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I specialize in writing a cross-genre blend of romance, fantasy, and adventure. I consciously craft strong female characters and guarantee my readers a happy (if not always perfect) ending. As one of my literary heroes, Jane Austen, wrote, “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.”

As a writer, I am deeply influenced by places, especially those with a rich and intricate history. All of my novels are set somewhere in England (either past, present, or future). Having lived in the U.K., I love mixing Americans and Brits in my fiction since I’ve experienced firsthand that delicious, and generally amiable, a collision of cultures and language.

As a publisher, I hope to one day branch out into formatting books for other authors, especially those who are just getting started. Promoting the works of young authors, in particular, is an exciting prospect for me. My “dream job” is to write most days and support other authors during my non-writing hours.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I succeed when I appreciate the gift of each day and notice the incremental yet tangible progress I make on my creative journey. Success is not about hitting a target; it is about firing the arrow, wherever it may land. I succeed when I spend even just 15 minutes a day in some creative pursuit.

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