Dave Hostetler and I are both retired high school teachers with extensive backgrounds in writing, journalism, design, and publishing. Dave was one of the first teachers in the country that taught desktop publishing, and coordinated a high school newspaper and yearbook that was done completely in house by students. Under his leadership the Streetsboro High School Orbiter won many national awards and was considered one of the best high school newspapers in Ohio. Dave was often asked to speak at workshops for not only students of journalism, but also for those teaching high school journalism. Meanwhile while Dave was doing the newspaper and yearbook, I was coordinating the literary journal at the same school. I am quite proud that in 2005 The Streetsboro High School Focus Literary Magazine was chosen the Best in the Country by the Scholastic Press Association. We both have done and continue to do numerous freelance writing and publishing projects for a variety of local and regional publications.

We put together Pink Flamingo Press and Creative Endeavors as a micropublisher to take advantage of our extensive experiences. Below are examples of some of the projects we have done. If you have a publishing idea you are considering, either for yourself or your company, and you think we might be able to help you, please contact one of us. We would be glad to discuss it with you. Dave can be contacted at 330.221.6667 or rogueDH@aol.com; I can be reached at 216.496.8286 or cielec@hotmail.com.

My Cleveland Story

The first publishing project we did was my first novel My Cleveland Story. I had signed 90-day contracts with both Random House and Double Day. I even got a fancy New York literary agent. I got dinged by both publishers at the same time; both publishers went through mergers and take overs; the editors who loved my book got fired or lost in the shuffle, and that $100,000 advance I was dreaming about disappeared. Anyway, I was then offered publishing contracts with smaller houses (none of which I had ever heard of). I showed them to my lawyer friends and they all told me they weren’t good deals. That is when people started to tell me we should publish it ourselves. I hired some teaching colleagues and several students to do the proofreading; Dave Hostetler did the interior design; and Chris Kowalczyk did the book cover. We made a little money and had a hell of an education on publishing.

Home and Away Games

The next project we did was my novella Home and Away Games. It had been almost eight years since My Cleveland Story, I wasn’t done with my next novel, but we needed to get something out to keep my name out there. I had been playing around with writing a film script. I thought it might be easier if I wrote it out as a short story first, but when I got it down on paper it turned out to be longer than a short story. I needed something to send out to publishers and that I could use in my creative writing classes. Dave Hostetler again did the interior design, and our former student Kristi Guyana did the cover.

The Brown Jug Cookbook

Dave and I started to think that maybe we could publish something besides books written by Greg Cielec. The best job I ever had was working at the Brown jug in Delaware, Ohio, during my college years. We were paid two bucks an hour plus all the beer we could drink in a place just filled with all sorts of characters. Years later the Jug would morph into one of the best independent restaurants in Ohio, before closing after 62 years in business in 2007. The last two owners of the jug Ed wolf and Bill Stroud had remained friends, and doing a cookbook about the Jug seemed like a good idea. It was a labor of love going through the boxes of photos, old menus, and other items that both Ed and Bill had and The Langston family had, the previous owners of the Jug before Ed and Bill. I also spent a day going though the archives of Ohio Wesleyan, what a cool experience that was! Dave again did the interior giving it a great scrapbook like feel; Kristi did the cover again; and I wrote the text to go along with Ed and Bill’s recipes. We printed a thousand copies and sold it out.

All In

My old friend Joe Behm was a fan of The Edge, the motivational book of quotes that Wrestling Coach Howard Ferguson put out back in the 1980’s. Joe’s version is called “All In” and he had made some copies using an online printing service. The content was good, but the product looked awful. I knew we could make it look a lot better, a lot more professional. For more about Joe and his All In program for high school athletes and teams go to www.all-inathletes.com.

Al Roop Views from the Stage

I never thought we would do another Delaware, Ohio book after the Brown Jug Cook Book. If you have spent time in this college/horse town north of Columbus, you have crossed paths with Al Roop. Man about town, drummer extraordinaire, music club owner, party thrower, Al approached us about helping him write his memoirs, and what a great experience it became. We had Al talk into a microphone for fourteen hours. Then our friend legal secretary Lauri Irace typed those fourteen hours into a 240-page manuscript. We then broke it down in to chapters and paragraphs and added dozens of photos.

The Seasons of Little Italy

Dave lives on the top of Mayfield Road, in Cleveland’s Murray Hill neighborhood, also known as Little Italy. He has got to know many of the locals, especially the restaurant and bar owners. Along with the help of the Little Italy Merchant Association we put out a 16-month calendar in 2015/2016. Dave did most of the work on this one, including some great photography.

Life of Illusion

My old fraternity brother Bruce Graham had written his first novel but was unsuccessful when he sent it around to the big publishing companies. He decided to publish it himself, but he knew it needed some work. He sent it to us and we line edited it, and proofed it several times. We also did the complete design of the final product, including the interior and the cover, and also formatted it for e-readers. You can purchase a copy of Life of Illusion by William Bruce Graham on amazon.com.