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Tuesdays Aren’t Just For Tacos Anymore
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 
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Back when I started Vital Narrative, I wanted to buck several trends such as providing authors with a bigger royalty share, being transparent about processes and contracts, among other things. I also designated release days for Fridays, because (if I’m being honest) it just made more sense to me at the time.

However, as we continue to evolve as a company, I’ve changed my mind on a few things in lieu of being a little more traditional. I still believe in transparency and giving authors four times the average royalty share. But release days on Fridays? Ehhhhh

Traditional release days for books are on Tuesdays, mostly because the NYT bestseller list is based on sales from Tuesday to Monday and then tallied on Wednesday, which is when the list is actually compiled.


I still believe in transparency and giving authors four times the average royalty share.
— Gregory Hedgepeth

That being said, our release dates will now be set on Tuesdays to align with traditional publishing days, beginning with Small Nights Gospel, which will release on Tuesday, February 19th.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

Cover Reveal For 'Summer Camp Is Cancelled'

Darlene Campos' second novel, Summer Camp Is Cancelled, will be released on August 3rd, but today, we officially reveal the cover. Pre-orders will begin Friday, June 22nd.

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Summer Camp Is Cancelled is a young adult novel about Lyndon, a Mexican boy from Bat Springs, Texas who is enamored with his best friend Melody, a deaf girl who uses a whiteboard as her voice. Pre-orders will begin Friday, June 22nd.

We Are The Lions
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

About a month after our third anniversary, I lost someone close to me and it took a while for me to get over. Coincidentally, she was incredibly vital to Vital Narrative since the very beginning and I would be remiss not to mention her contributions to the company. Her name was Panda, and back when I was still sleeping on my grandmother's couch, she allowed me to create and share my talents with the world.

That's because Panda was my 21-inch iMac computer and she was where every Vital Narrative document lived.

This is NOT Panda.

This is NOT Panda.

Unfortunately, old age caught up with her and despite my best efforts, she still ended up joining that old Apple graveyard in the sky. So after I grieved an appropriate amount of time,  I found a suitable replacement named Simba and immediately got back to work.

If there was a silver lining to the whole ordeal, it was that everything had to be transferred over and it gave me a chance to go through our archives. I went on a wild trip down memory lane and came across some of our old logos from WAAAAAY back.


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The

OG

(2014)


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The Sequel

(2015)


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The Panda

(2016)


Looking at where we came from made me even prouder of what we've become and where we are headed in the future. But in doing that, I knew it was time for the company itself to evolve into something more representative of what's to come.

When we first began, the bear was the key element of our brand, meant to represent how multi-faceted people of color are despite mainstream media's obsession with pigeonholing our experiences.

Not long after Panda died, we posted this on our Facebook page:

To the casual observer, this was probably just another post - but it was really the mark of our new identity: we are the lions who learned to write.

With fake news running rampant these days, it's imperative that we write and share authentic experiences with the world. It's easy to complain about how we are portrayed in media, but now, more than ever, we have the ability to control these narratives.

The hunters have told tall tales of their journeys for centuries - but now that the lion has the pen, we have a duty to honor all that came before us.

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We are the lions who learned to write - and writing is what we will do.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.

Campos To Donate Royalties to Hurricane Relief

BY: DARLENE P. CAMPOS

 

Floods aren’t anything new in Houston. We’ve gone through hurricanes before. We knew the neighborhoods most prone to flooding before Harvey paid us his visit. We prepared ourselves with full hoards of food, bottled water, and gas. We thought we were ready.

Harvey showed us we were wrong the minute he arrived.

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Yet, unlike thousands of fellow Houstonians and Texans in other cities, I didn’t lose anything.

I didn’t lose power.

I didn’t lose water.

I didn’t lose my car.

I didn’t lose my house.

I didn’t lose my life.

The only physical loss I had was a couple of pounds because I was so petrified, I could barely eat. Harvey made me lose weight. That’s it.

Harvey also made me lose pieces of my heart. The neighborhood where I grew up is in shambles. A beloved bakery my fiancé and I visited whenever we wanted a good dessert is gone. The libraries I practically lived in during my college years are severely damaged. Watching your city, the place you call home, conquered by floodwaters is agonizing. Yet, Harvey did not take Houston’s hope. We Houstonians watched our city be ravaged by Harvey. We Houstonians have come together to rebuild.

After Harvey, I was overjoyed to be unharmed, but I felt so guilty to be spared. Why didn’t Harvey come for me? He tried. He flooded my entire street and then the water crept up to the rear of my car. By morning, the water receded. Harvey came close. For others, he came full force and showed no mercy.

I pledge to donate my royalties from September 15th through October 15th to the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. For the next month, all of my royalties will go directly to helping Houstonians rebuild their lives. Please visit https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/ for more info or to donate.

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“And so there are claims forgiven

And so there are things that are gone

Houston is filled with promise…”

  • R.E.M., “Houston,” 2008
Full Cover Release Date For 'Behind Mount Rushmore'

BY: STAFF

 

Earlier this month, we revealed a sneak preview of the cover for Behind Mount Rushmore when Darlene Campos dropped her Spotify playlist, which featured that infamous blue-and-white truck (if you haven't had a chance to check out her amazing playlist, be sure to listen below).

Tomorrow, March 31st, we will finally reveal the full cover for her debut novel which is set to release on May 19th. A description for the novel is posted below:


‘Behind Mount Rushmore’ is a story of survival, family, love and humor on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Nimo Thunderclap is a young boy living there where life is tough, but wonderful. No matter what life throws at him, he can take it - or can he?
 

Pre-orders will begin on April 14th.

Debut Novel for Darlene Campos Gets Release Date

BY: STAFF

Vital Narrative's newest signee Darlene Campos will finally release her much anticipated debut, Behind Mount Rushmore on May 19.

I remember learning about Mount Rushmore when I was in fifth grade. I learned it was in South Dakota, specifically in the Black Hills, and of course I learned about the faces that make Mount Rushmore – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. However, it wasn’t until my freshman year in college that I learned about Pine Ridge Indian Reservation from one of my history professors. He showed us a presentation about the reservation and told us about the poverty, the alcoholism, the teacher turnover rate, etc. Until then, I had no idea Pine Ridge Indian Reservation even existed, but I knew a lot about Mount Rushmore. How could this be possible when Pine Ridge is located, in my professor’s words, “just behind Mount Rushmore?” Since many have heard about Mount Rushmore, I knew using its name in the title would make the book stand out. The word “behind” lets the reader know the book is focusing not on Mount Rushmore, but what’s going on behind it.
— Darlene Campos

Behind Mount Rushmore follows the life of Geronimo "Nimo" Thunderclap as he grows up on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. "It was important to me for Vital Narrative Press to be the company that brings this novel to light," Founder & CEO Gregory Hedgepeth II said. "The very first time I read it, I was completely blown away. I literally stopped everything I was doing, cancelled all the appointments I had scheduled for that day and spent it reading her book. It's THAT good. We really can't wait to share this project with you." Pre-orders for Behind Mount Rushmore will begin on April 14.

Vital Narrative Press Announces Entire 2019 Release Schedule Will Be Filled By Women Authors

BY: STAFF

First announced on Instagram Wednesday for International Women's Day, Vital Narrative Press will dedicate its entire release slate for 2019 to women authors, "specifically women of color." 

The announcement states that the all-woman release schedule "aligns with our WWORD Initiative committed to encourage and empower women and girls through literature." The Initiative also looks to hold writing workshops for women, donate books to shelters and allow teenage girls the opportunity to become published authors. Although, the releases are still a little under two years away, Founder & CEO Gregory Hedgepeth II is very excited to push the pillars of the Initiative out quicker, as early as this year. "It's important to recognize women's contributions to the literary arts and continue to build on that legacy by empowering even more women authors to share our stories," he said. The post also states that the company plans to publish "between twelve and twenty-five new books" in 2019.

What's Next For Gregory Hedgepeth?
 

BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH

 

Soooooooo, the other day someone asked me if I had retired from writing.

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The answer is simple: of course not. In fact, I'm just getting started out here in these literary streets. I know it's been well over a year since I put out something new, but trust, I've been writing every single day since I dropped A Collection of Echoes last spring.

So I know what you're thinking - if I've been writing every day, what's the hold up? Let's just say I've just been busy with... ummm... various activities that have been taking up a lot more time than I imagined they would.

But anyway, I'm working on several different projects all scheduled to drop within the next 12-16 months.

First is my long-awaited spoken word album, Smudge. I've been putting that off for at least 3-4 years now and it's time to put it out. The pieces are all written - it's just a matter of getting in the booth and getting all the vocals together. The plan is to put it out before the end of 2016, but it could easily stretch to early 2017. I just want to make sure I'm happy with it.

In addition to that, I've been working diligently on my second novel, A Very Strange Fascination With Violence. It's going to be the first book of a trilogy and I'm really excited to put that out. I really think the fans will dig it. It's got romance, murder, government conspiracies and all that good stuff that people love.

I'm also working on a web series called Kush & Corinthians. As of right now, I'll be writing and directing. I haven't decided if I'm going to succumb to the acting bug that's been digging at me for the past year or so, but I'm definitely open to challenging myself and doing something completely out of my comfort zone. It's shaping up to be a stoner dramedy, but I'm really, really excited about it. The script is still very early in development, but I'm shooting for next spring to get that out.

My good friend Q. Vergara and I have been kicking around ideas for a book project called Down The Rabbit Hole which should be out by next summer. There's also going to be a documentary included with that project that we'll be shooting out in Cali, so expect a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff when that project is about to drop.

And last, but certainly not least, The Dirty Dozen: Volume 3 will be releasing on December 12. If you were a fan of the first two, you're going to love the third (and possibly final) installment.

So there's your update. I hope you're as excited as I am for all these projects to come to fruition. I'll be dropping more and more info as these projects reach completion.

That being said, if someone comes up to you and asks if you've heard about Garvey Hemisphere dropping anything new, you already know what to say.


Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.