I find this page the most difficult to write—I can go on for hours about various aspects of book formatting, web design, and other topics of interest, but I never know what to say about myself. It’s not that there isn’t a lot to say, but exactly how much do I want to put on the Internet??
I do want my clients to know me personally, because that is important to the way I do business, so I’ll start there. I’m 40-something and a mother of five boys—I have two adopted sons from Russia, adopted when they were 8 and 10, and two foster sons. They are all between 26 and 30 as I write this. Like most people who put far too much information of their own on social networking sites, they’d rather their mother not talk about them online, so that’s all I’ll say about them!
My youngest is Andy, who is sixteen. Andy has been a big reader since late kindergarten—after he spent ages denying that he would ever learn to read, he one day just started reading like he’d been doing it for years! As a devoted bibliophile myself, I’m more proud of his love of books than anything else. His attention to detail is excellent, and he has assisted me in proofreading two mid-level books, The Witch of Leper Cove and Winsley Walker and Other Flying Objects. If you have a mid-level or young adult book and are interested in having Andy review it, just ask! He is especially interested in fantasy novels.
I am a New Hampshire native, but spent my high school years in Santa Barbara, where I had the opportunity to take college classes in high school. I graduated early because I’m a colossal nerd-geek. That said, if you, my reader, are an honors-level high schooler or a parent with an advanced child, I highly recommend considering taking college courses at a local community college (or four-year school if you can afford it) while in high school. It not only gets you ahead of the game, but gives you a different perspective when considering what schools you may want to attend after high school.
After high school I came back home to New England and went to Boston University’s School of Education (now renamed Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development) where I studied education and computer science. This was back before AOL even got online and websites weren’t quite invented yet—my 14.4kbps dial-up modem and 386MHz computer with a 100-megabyte hard drive were sufficient for all that I needed. The world sure has changed since then—I still occasionally take time out to marvel at technology when I turn on my phone and start browsing websites from a car zipping along the highway (in the passenger seat, of course!!).
In 1998, I started a web hosting business named Web Serve Pro. Over the next six years we grew our datacenter to over 125 servers home to 1500+ websites and, although still considered a small company, we were known for the high quality of our services. 80% of our new business was generated through customer referrals. One of our main selling points was that we knew what nearly every one of our clients did for business and what their needs were—when someone called we knew who they were. We were only able to accomplish this with a top-notch group of individuals that I prided myself on recruiting, training, and retaining. In 2004, after Andy was born, I decided to scale back dramatically, and sold the bulk of the company to another local provider, keeping only a few hosting accounts that were local or for which I did development work.
Since then, I have continued to do web development for a few local businesses and individuals and to run a few of my own websites on a dedicated server with LiquidWeb, a company that I have found to be extremely reliable in both uptime, network performance, and technical support—and they didn’t even pay me to say that. 😉 In 2008, I purchased a small existing 5-year-old tabletop game store, and renamed it The Relentless Dragon. It took some time for the store to ramp up to requiring full-time attention, and for several years, my primary focus areas were doing eBook conversions for the Kindle, Nook, iPad, and other devices, as well as providing print-on-demand book formatting for CreateSpace, Lightning Source, and other printers. Now, the store requires full-time attention, so my priorities are swapped–the book formatting is a “side gig” that I do because I enjoy it.
Oh… and the question everyone asks me… what does the Q stand for? Quenby. The answer to the next question is, no, it isn’t a family name, my parents just picked it out of the name book.