I received the e-mail sometime in the wee sma's of the morning (probably not all that early but I live on the West coast).
Due to health concerns, the owners will be closing Dark Eden Press on 1 April 2008 and will give back all book rights and make all last royalty payments by the end of May.
I'm very sad to see another small press closing but wish the owner the best of luck in her fight with cancer.
The Letter from Debra is below:
I don't often share much personal stuff about myself or what is going on
with me, so I never thought I would be coming to any of you with this but
sometimes life comes at you and you have to deal with it, and this is one of
those times for me.
I could beat around the bush here but that's not me. You deserve the truth
even if it is painful for me to talk about.
I have found out recently, very recently, that my cancer has returned. For
those of you who do not know, this is my 6th time around with this in a
little over 10 years. It started as cervical cancer 10 years ago and each
time has gotten worse and spread to other places. I will be starting
chemotherapy and radiation treatments shortly and as I have been through
these same treatments twice already, I can honestly say it isn't pretty.
After discussing the issues and options with Susan and Billi, and then
Gretchen and Brenda, it was decided for a few reasons that I will discuss
below, that the only option was to close Dark Eden as of April 1st. I have
to devote my energies and my time to getting better, and to my daughter.
One reason for closing is the treatment plan itself. I will be in no shape
to run a company, much less take care of anything else. Another reason is
with Brenda having gone back to work fulltime, that would leave just
Gretchen to do it all and as great as she is, she can't do it by herself.
Billi works fulltime and does her part of the business in the evenings and
on weekends. Susan has health problems that she didn't have when we started this company and wouldn't be able to do the things that I do. It was hard enough after the house fire to keep things running smoothly and even then they were getting some help from me. They pitched in and ran things beautifully after the fire but that was only for a few months, this would be for the next 6 months at the very least.
The last reason is all of you. All of you deserve an owner who is going to
be here, who is able to get the things done that need to be done. I don't
want my authors trying to figure out why I haven't answered emails for a
couple of days, or why royalties are late, or wondering when the things that
need to be taken care of are going to get done, when the reality is that I
will be too sick to do it.
I will spend the next two weeks preparing letters to release your book rights to you, doing March royalties, and closing the readers group. I will then begin shutting down all the DEP email addresses except for my own and forwarding all mail from that to my personal email address. By May 1st, I would hope all payments have cleared the bank, and on that date I will also close the author group.
On a personal level, I feel horrible that this has to be done to all of you.
I have come to know almost every one of you personally and I feel as if I
have let you all down when you trusted me with your stories, and I am so
sorry for that. You trusted in the fact that DEP would be around for a long
while and I am truly sorry that we are not going to be.
If you have any questions or problems, please don't hesitate to email me as
I will be working to get last minute things tied up over the next several
Please feel free to post this on your blogs or websites as you see fit. I would rather have the truth out about why we are closing, even if part of it is a personal issue, than to have DEP's name trashed across the blog universe. Lord knows some of those people do not have enough to do but sit around and pick their next victim. I do not want it to be this company.
If I have not told all of you lately, it is and has been, a pleasure working
with all of you gifted writers and DEP's fantastic staff.
I'm over at The Hot Spot blogging today about why reading romance novels is like eating dessert. And there's a little surprise at the end of that blog, my Easter gift to you!