The publishing industry seems to have become split lately, with authors dividing into those that clamor self-publishing is the way of the future, and those that say quality can only be produced by traditional methods. But what if there was a middle way?

Husband-and-wife duo Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris, popular speakers at the 2013 James River Writers conference, are returning to Richmond for the Writing Show to examine the emerging “hybrid author,” adept at combining the flexibility of indie with the exposure of traditional publishing. Bill Blume, author of Tales of a 10th Grade Vampire Hunter, will moderate the discussion about how writers can find this middle ground and leverage the benefits of both. The second half of the panel welcomes questions from the audience.

Recap by Melissa Scott Sinclair

The Hybrid Author: Combining Traditional and Self-publishing
Thursday, March 27, 2014
6:30-8:30 p.m., with complimentary hors d’oeuvres
The Camel
1621 W. Broad St., Richmond
Ample parking available in the Lowe’s parking lot across the street (Lowe’s and the Camel have a parking sharing agreement).
$10 in advance, $12 at the door, $5 students




2013PipBallantine125“In this day and age very few authors can afford to just write,” says Philippa (Pip) Ballantine, a New Zealand-born fantasy writer and podcaster. She is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels with her husband, Tee Morris. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, the Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice, and a Sir Julius Vogel. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and a furry clowder of cats.


“To survive as an author, you need to change with the times,” says Richmond native Tee Morris, who podcasts award-winning steampunk from their home in Manassas. “The publishing industry is changing and to continue to write in it you have to move like water.” He writes The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with his wife, Philippa Ballantine. The third in the series, Dawns Early Light, was described by Romantic Times Magazine as “raising the bar for the series, and the Urban Fantasy as a genre.” 


Bill BlumeBill Blume is the treasurer for JRW’s Board of Directors and also served as chair for the board in 2013. His young adult novel, Tales of a 10th Grade Vampire Hunter, was released last year. His short stories have appeared in various fantasy anthologies and online magazines. Bill works as a 911 dispatcher for Henrico County and is a former television news producer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of South Carolina.

The following day, March 28, Morris and Ballantine will lead a Master Class on how social media can be used to shape and advance your writing career. Learn more about the Master Class.

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