Who the ham sandwich is Lise Marinelli?

My Story (in a nutshell)

I was born and raised in a barn in Michigan and attended my first college immediately upon graduating from high school.  I met husband numero uno there and left after my sophomore year to start a family.  A couple of years later, I fell into the catering business (I had no business experience, but I could make a mean potato salad) and ran it successfully for several years before selling it to a local restaurant. 

My warm and fuzzy personality garnered me an invitation to head the Food and Beverage department at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek and I jumped on that ship for a while.  Over the next couple of years, I catered, literally, to the host of celebrities, bands, and acts that made their way across the midwest.  (Metallica was extremely polite, REO Speedwagon—not so much, and George Burns liked his martinis dry).  I loved the business and wanted to continue climbing the ladder, but found that my lack of a degree was holding me back.  

Divorce, American Style

I bid farewell to the marriage and looking for a new start, closed the door on that chapter of my bio.  Moving my kids into the closet they call family housing, I enrolled at Michigan State University to study business.  A special friend advised that accounting was the wave of the future, so I entered the bizarro world of numbers and auditing.  I managed to graduate with a head chock full of financial information and re-entered the entertainment industry, hoping to pick up where I had left off.  A food service company hired me and shipped me off to Miami for Super Bowl XXVIII, where I wrote the playbook for the concession company that employed me and found out what the NFL Experience really means.  But the hours in that industry are crazy, and as a single parent with small children I felt it was time for me to do the nine-to-five thing. 

 Chi-Town, here I come!

It was 1995, when I moved to Chicago.  I slept in a friend’s basement until I could find employment and buy a car then transferred my small family there to start the next new chapter.  I found an accounting job, got a Saturn and worked steadily until I met my new and improved husband.  He managed to convince me that my life would be more exciting if I married him and had more children.  I agreed because he had more money than I did and soon found myself the overworked mother of two more boys, born just a year apart.  Last year, I put my youngest in school full-time and began to think about where I was headed.  As much as I like numbers, I found accounting boring (high-pitched voice), confining and laborious (no offense to all those fine number crunchers out there) and realized that it was not for me.  My whole adult life had been spent working to support my family in jobs I was good at but didn’t love.  Now, I was in a position to choose what I wanted to do.  I was always a reader and a writer and I had a small portfolio of short stories so I thought, why can’t I write a book?

The Real Deal

I couldn’t get my novel Falling from the Moon on paper fast enough.  I worked on my laptop during the kids’ tennis and swimming lessons; at night when everyone slept; and whenever else I had the chance, sometimes with kids fighting, a crazy dog barking, and piles of laundry and dishes waiting for me.  It’s funny, but now it seems like writing was the easy part.  Getting on Oprah’s Book List might be a bit tougher, but I’m working at it . . .

So I did tons of research, looking to get published the way I wanted (more control and a better quality product) and found it was not an option.  As I began thinking about the science of publishing, it occurred to me that I could build a better mousetrap.  So I conned and threatened my really smart friends into joining the crazy party.  I’ve got marketing experts, creative directors, web-designers, editors, printers and strippers (okay not strippers) who have incredible input and direction, and we jumped right in.  The snowball kept getting bigger and bigger until out popped Windy City Publishing.  Now, we’re rolling in the dough, hanging with the stars, making all our dreams come true!  Well – almost. 

I’d love to hear from all my fans (thanks in advance Claudia and Larry) so feel free to blog back telling me your thoughts on my thoughts.  I’m pretty good with criticism, no wait, that’s not true. I’m horrible with it, so unless you have something nice to say . . .

Also, if you’re looking into the world of publishing, check out Windy City Publishers. We’re all that and a bag of chips (as my eight-year old would say).  And hey, have I got a deal for you!

Call me!