What is your favorite part about the publishing process?

Working with the authors. I love being invited into an author’s world and asked to help mold an already amazing story into something magical. There is something truly special in taking something that somebody else loves and helping it to become something that everyone will love. Working side by side with an author, rather than dictator and peasant, is such a unique and gratifying experience that I purposefully go to great lengths to make sure that the author’s vision and my own match, or can at least be melded. I’m of the opinion that it is the author’s story, I’m just there to improve it, not change it; I acquired the novel because I have faith in the story and the author. If I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t have acquired the manuscript. So, sometimes, when we disagree, I have to trust my authors, and as long as they give me that same trust in return, it is always a beautiful partnership and, dare I say, friendship. And that, is the best part of the publishing process.

What are you most looking forward to at the cruise?

Talking story. Having a week to talk to a boat full of people who write? Are you kidding? I want to hear all the stories! There is something beautiful when you have a chance to look into the eyes of someone who is telling you about their book. That passion, that pleasure, that life. That is what I am looking forward to.

What industry trends are you most excited about?

This is something I’ll talk about in the Jolly Fish Press presentation I’ll be giving on the cruise. Look at the academy awards. Best Actor (Also nominated for Best Picture) – “The Theory of Everything” – Based on the book “Traveling to Infinity.” Best Actress – “Still Alice” – Based on a book. Best Sound Editing (Also nominated for Best Picture) – “American Sniper” – Book. Best Adapted Screenplay (Also nominated for Best Picture) – “Imitation Game” – Based on the book “Alan Turing: The Enigma.” Best Animated Feature – “Big Hero 6” – Based on a comic (as are all the superhero movies). Notice anything? Books dominated the Oscars, and that isn’t even all of them. If your publishing house has partnerships in Hollywood, and we do, who wouldn’t be excited?

Most importantly – are you more of a beach bum or a shore excursion / adventurer?

Beach bum. No. Shore excur-. No. adventurer. Hmmm. I like to mix it up. I am an introvert who likes to defy labels and generalizations. Be the unexpected. And I appreciate books that do the same.

Thanks for visiting with us today, TJ! TJ will be sailing with us on the December 13, 2015 Cruising Writers Writing Retreat. He’ll be accepting pitches and one-on-one sessions – if you don’t have anything to pitch, he’s willing just to talk shop too! 

More about TJ da Roza and JollyFish Press…

TJ da Roza is a Managing Editor for Jolly Fish Press, and he’ll take the seed of your manuscript and help it grow into a flower, or tree, or, yes, even a dragon. Stories are life, and TJ has made them his. Without giving you his life story, he has three degrees—English, Psychology, and Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Social Sciences—and has dedicated his life to the craft of spinning a tale. Many of his authors are award-winners; some of their accolades include: The Gold Quill for best young adult novel, the Susan P. Bloom award, Utah Writer of the Year, SCBWI Mentorship Award, and numerous Amazon Best-sellers.

Jolly Fish Press is a publishing house based in Provo, Utah, that publishes trade fiction and select nonfiction books in the national and international market. We excel with exceptional cover design, worldwide online and brick-and-mortar distribution, expansive publicity & marketing campaigns, subsidiary rights representation, and most of all, our drive and ability to find exceptional yet undiscovered authors, jumpstarting their careers with maximum exposure, sales, mentoring, and higher than industry average royalty rates.

Jolly Fish Press is a publishing house with guts. We find and gather the best authors, and we are constantly innovating our practice to stay ahead in the changing book market.