View Full Version : CD Staff Introductions

Dan Hocker
05-10-2011, 03:38 PM
Hi everyone! We thought it was about time we all introduced ourselves. So in this thread you will see posts by all of our staff members, about all of our staff members. Also below is a little bit about CD, for anyone who's new!

(staff image coming soon)

Dan Hocker
05-10-2011, 03:46 PM
http://www.cemeterydance.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/tmplte_design/cd_pub_logo.jpgFounded by Richard Chizmar in 1988, these days Cemetery Dance Publications is widely-considered the world's leading specialty press publisher of horror and dark suspense.

Over the years, we have received press coverage in The New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, Time, GQ, Fangoria, PerezHilton.com, The Washington Post, LA Times, The Miami Herald, The Boston Herald, The Independent (UK), The Guardian (UK), Reuters, The Associated Press, Variety, and many other publications.

Our flagship magazine, Cemetery Dance (http://www.cemeterydance.com/page/CDP/CTGY/mags), has won every major genre award and is healthier than ever with a higher newsstand and subscriber circulation than ever before, ever-increasing advertiser support, and a continuing reputation for superb content and design. We're well-known for publishing the biggest and the brightest stars in the genre, often before they're discovered by the big New York publishers.

In the book world, the Cemetery Dance Publications book imprint (http://www.cemeterydance.com/page/CDP/CTGY/books) releases affordable and collectible Limited Editions from the genre's most acclaimed authors including Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub, William Peter Blatty, Justin Cronin, Frank Darabont, Mick Garris, Joe R. Lansdale, Norman Partridge, Richard Laymon, Michael Slade, Graham Masterton, Douglas Clegg, Jack Ketchum, William F. Nolan, Nancy A. Collins, Al Sarrantonio, John Skipp, and many others.

And don't forget Grave Tales (http://www.cemeterydance.com/page/CDP/CTGY/comics), our entry into the comic book industry where we feature authors such as Joe Hill, Ed Gorman, and Ray Garton, and artists such as Chris Odgers, Glenn Chadbourne, and William Renfro.

For more information about our company, please read A Very Brief History of Cemetery Dance. (http://www.cemeterydance.com/page/CDP/History)

Dan Hocker
05-10-2011, 07:06 PM
Well, I guess I'll kick it off here.

My name is Dan (duh?) and I've only been working at CD since August, but have known about CD since Brian started working here years ago. Kate is my sister and Brian my brother in-law. I'm not a huge collector, although I am starting a bit. Also I know it's a bit weird given where I work, but I'm not really all that into this genre. Robert Jordan, may he rest in peace, has been one of my favorite authors for years, and I just generally love the fantasy genre. I love working at CD and all the experiences I get to have here. Like working on these forums, helping with the new web site, and coming up with some pretty cool ideas (well I think they're cool), some of which hopefully I'll get to show / share with you guys through this forum here soon. It's great meeting you all, and I hope you enjoy these forums, I've put a lot of work into them, and will continue to make them.


Brian James Freeman
05-11-2011, 05:07 AM
Brian Freeman here! I've probably run into you on other boards before or via email, but if not, "Hi!"

I've worked for Cemetery Dance since 2002, right out of college. I think I tricked Rich into hiring me. It's all a little fuzzy now. ;)

Everyone here does a bunch of different jobs, and no project could get finished without the help of someone else. It's very much a collaborative workplace in the best sense of the phrase.

I started by packing orders in the basement of Rich's house, and soon I was helping with the email newsletters and the website and selling ads in the magazine. Before too long, the newsletters and website were all mine, and I was helping Mindy with customer service, too.

Soon after, Rich gave me my first project to take through the production process. The small press isn't like a New York publisher where a bunch of people each have one important role to play during the publication of a book. In the small press, when you manage the production of a book, you might handle ALL of the steps: negotiating and issuing contracts; editing, copyediting, and proofreading; working with the artists and the designers; sending the signature sheets to the contributors; getting review copies printed and sent out; creating the "spec sheets" that tell the printer what materials to use; working with the media to get coverage for the project, etc.

Basically, you take the manuscript and make sure everything gets done to turn it into a real book. It's a ton of work and extremely rewarding when you hold the final product in your hands. I passed the 100 book mark some time ago (30 of them were last year alone, with 30 more on my plate right now!), and I've worked on projects by many of my literary heroes, which has been an awesome experience.

The other year I was promoted to Managing Editor of the magazine and we completely revamped the magazine's look and feel. We're laying the ground work now to get the magazine back on a real schedule. We have some very cool new people onboard and we'll be telling you all about them soon.

I've also just taken on the role of editor of Grave Tales with the same goal -- more content on a real schedule. Watch for details by the end of the year.

I'm still running the website and the newsletters and writing all of the product sales copy and announcements, so any problems you see with those are all my fault. Feel free to email me about them. :)

If I ever have free time (I don't), I try to write stories of my own (http://www.BrianJamesFreeman.com) and somewhere along the way I got the bright idea to start Lonely Road Books (http://www.LonelyRoadBooks.com), which I run on the side while taking advantage of my resources here at work. ;)

My wife, Kate, also works at CD. She started as a book designer and does a ton of other things now. I'll let her tell you all about that. :)


Kate Freeman
05-12-2011, 05:57 PM
Hi I'm Kate! I came to work at CD through my husband Brian. I started as a freelance designer back in 2003. In the fall of 2006 I came to work at CD full time.

Currently my two main jobs here are to manage our warehouse and to design Cemetery Dance magazine and many of the books in the book line. I also handle the customer service for our retailers and distributors. Being a small company, we all wear so many hats, which make things much more interesting.

On a more personal note, when I'm not working I can usually be found playing with our two German Shorthaired Pointers, Maya and Sasha, or our two cats, Smokie and Jasmine.

Mindy Jarusek
05-25-2011, 07:17 PM
Mindy here. Or Minday or Minda or Wendy as many folks call me from time to time in emails! Ha! No worries...it's happened all my life for some reason. I'm sure I've called some of our customers by the wrong name before as well!

To put any recent rumors to bed, I'm still here at Cemetery Dance!

I've been with CD since 1994 (yeah, I know, wow). I've known Richard since I was 14 years old and his wife, Kara, since I was 3 years old. We all grew up together. When I moved back to Maryland in 1994 I started helping CD out at their apartment packing books, while at the same time going back to school to become an art teacher. I got a job teaching, they moved into a house and I continued to help them in the evenings and on the weekends, working in the basement, lugging all of your packed orders up a flight of stairs daily (stepping over a dog and two children along the way, smile) when UPS came to pick them up in the garage. Then as CD grew, my part-time help wasn't enough so I made a choice to quit teaching and take the full-time position that was made available to me by Richard and I've been here ever since... through the good and the bad.

We are now in an office/warehouse space... we've come a long way since that apartment back on Paula Place. We've weathered a lot through the years as well, but at the heart of this company are really good people who work really hard. We may be the leading horror small press in the world (which always sounds surrealistic to me considering I'm just a gal who lives in a small community, working for her friend), but we are a small company and not everyone realizes that. It's not a glamorous job... and we certainly aren't getting rich off this business like some people think, but we do care and we do want our company to get better each and every year. This is what we strive to do and I hope folks have seen that, especially over the last several years. I think you all have seen it, I hope you have anyway... some of you have told us so and your support makes our office a happier place, so thank you.

Richard Chizmar
05-25-2011, 08:47 PM
I never believed I would see the day when I would post on a message board...much less an official CEMETERY DANCE message board. My thanks to Brian and Kate and Dan and Mindy for making that happen. And my thanks to all of you readers for almost 25 years of support and patience (LOTS of patience!) and enthusiasm! I wouldn't be here without all of you.

Norman Prentiss
05-26-2011, 03:34 PM
For me, It all started out with a bit of proofreading. I met Rich Chizmar at the first Borderlands Bootcamp, where he was one of the instructors, and I offered to help out with the books or the magazine—I figured, Hey, I love the stuff CD puts out, and would want to read it anyway! Eventually the proofing grew into some mild copyediting, then I got asked to format some electronic files for the designer, and things kind of grew from there. In the summer of 2006 I got the job as Associate Editor for Cemetery Dance magazine, which meant that I read unsolicited fiction (overflowing bins of envelopes that I'd pack into the trunk of my VW beetle about once a month when I visited the CD offices). I did that for about 2 years, when Rich and Brian decided to revamp the magazine for issue 61, with new design from Kate, and at that point I ended up coordinating the regular non-fiction columns. This was an amazing chance to work with so many of my genre heroes, and I've loved being able to play a small role in shaping the current incarnation of my all-time favorite publication.

I should also mention that it's been a huge honor to have my first book, Invisible Fences, published as part of the CD novella series. That is a real dream come true for me, and I've been lucky to appear in 3 installments of the Shivers anthology series as well.


Dan Hocker
05-26-2011, 03:41 PM
This one's been in the works for a little while as you can probably tell by the post dates, but it's finally done.

05-26-2011, 03:54 PM
Great idea guys (and Wendy!!! Sorry Mindy, couldn't help it!!). It's very interesting to see how you all got pulled into the dark too!! I love the whole CD story. I think it's one of the classic stories of America...how one person can have such a passion for something and then to be able to share that passion with so many others who love the same thing and watch it grow into what CD is today. I can only imagine what tomorrow holds for CD and those of us who love CD, but I know it's gonna be something great!!!

05-26-2011, 10:10 PM
You were an art teacher Mindy? So was I! That explains the crush I've had on you all these years!

05-27-2011, 04:15 AM
LOVE this thread! Makes CD even more approachable than it already is.


05-27-2011, 02:59 PM
As a longtime customer (first drawn to CD for (or by) Stephen King exotica but now a consumer of many a volume of quaint and curious etc.), I would just like to say for the record that Mindy has been simply extraordinary to deal with all of these years. All questions answered, all issues dealt with -- and always with grace and good cheer.

Many years ago I wrote my first -- and until today, only -- mash note to a business. It was also to Cemetery Dance. (I've never registered for a forum until today, either.) I was inspired for the same reason: I have never been so satisfied as a customer or treated so well by a business. I love books, I love good stories and I treasure good writing. This company provides on all three levels and does so with verve and class.

Thank you all.

05-27-2011, 03:02 PM
You guys are the best. I was honored to be in Shivers VI, and I've been a CD and King fan for as long as I can remember. That's what first brought me to CD, being a fan of King and Straub and Ketchum. I know that a lot of my collection has been built by ordering through CD. I wish you all the best of luck and I'll always be a fan and customer first. Thanks to all of you for your hard work and support. You are one of the best presses out there, and I am always excited to get an email from you guys, you NEVER know what is coming down the standpipe.

05-27-2011, 06:01 PM
Love this thread!

Had many emails with you and know you had many problems with CD's new computer systems.

The Up and Down of Office Life with Mindy, Keeps Us Informed with Our Orders!

Haven't stated that I values the jobs done by CD's staff, but I am sure WE all do.

You can guess who I am by... ~AY

05-28-2011, 04:32 PM
Nice to see you all are around. Thanks for all these wonderful years!

05-28-2011, 11:24 PM
I have been buying from Cemetery Dance since 1998. Although all my direct communication has been with Mindy, Brian and once upon a time Kelly Laymon, I am aware of the art of the small business enough to understand that it takes everyone involved to take care of the customer as well as I have been taken care of by the folks at CD. I thank you all for taking such good care of me, your customer over the years. On a side note, I would like more fiction from Norm Prentiss and Brian. Invisible Fences and The Painted Darkness are two of the best books I have read! You may be staff of CD but you are also talented story tellers. Thanks!

05-29-2011, 03:25 PM
On a side note, I would like more fiction from Norm Prentiss and Brian. Invisible Fences and The Painted Darkness are two of the best books I have read! You may be staff of CD but you are also talented story tellers.

I absolutely agree, 100%!

Ben Staad
05-29-2011, 06:16 PM
I absolutely agree, 100%!

Me too! Need more stories from these talented folks.

Norman Prentiss
05-30-2011, 02:17 PM
On a side note, I would like more fiction from Norm Prentiss and Brian. Invisible Fences and The Painted Darkness are two of the best books I have read! You may be staff of CD but you are also talented story tellers. Thanks!

Thanks for the kind words, Martin and RJK and copefiend! Brian and I keep plugging away at our own stuff, too (one of my many benefits from working with CD is that I get a sneak peek at some of Brian's great upcoming fiction!).


01-21-2012, 04:39 AM
I never believed I would see the day when I would post on a message board...much less an official CEMETERY DANCE message board. My thanks to Brian and Kate and Dan and Mindy for making that happen. And my thanks to all of you readers for almost 25 years of support and patience (LOTS of patience!) and enthusiasm! I wouldn't be here without all of you.

Wow! Never believed i'd ever see it either (LOL). Rich posting on a message board (even if it is yours). It's not so bad, is it?

You guys do a great job and thanks for the all the great books and magazine issues over the years. Thanks for your support and encouragement as well!

- James

09-02-2012, 05:23 AM
what is this?

Dan Hocker
09-04-2012, 02:25 PM
what is this?

Not sure what you mean?

09-09-2012, 03:37 PM
Probably nothing. He posted that the day he posted on EVERYTHING