February 20, 2012
Rhonda Hughes is the powerhouse behind indie publishing sensation Hawthorne Books. More than a decade old and located in the Pacific Northwest, I had heard of Hawthorne only vaguely until a couple of years ago, when suddenly they seemed to burst as a force to be reckoned with onto the publishing scene, with highly assertive and competent marketing, beautifully designed books, and the kind of wider distribution that seems, to many small indie presses, only a tantalizing dream. They’ve also developed a stable of writers from whom they put out more than one title in fairly close succession, in an old-school publishing model that favors loyalty and cultivating talent/brand above constantly trying to throw All Things New against a wall to see what sticks. Plus, they have a whiff of Chuck Palahniuk cool about them, which doesn’t hurt! Amidst her busy schedule, Rhonda was able to talk with me about what makes Hawthorne tick—and thrive—and some future exciting projects on their list.