Friday, July 22, 2011

Zumaya Birthday Bash with Guest Blogger M.D. Benoit, Author of Meter Parents

Today we're helping Zumaya Publications in "Celebrating Five Years of Irresponsible Reading!" We are featuring M. D. Benoit, author of the science-fiction mystery novel, Meter Parents.

Who can you trust? by M.D. Benoit

To my mind, part of a publisher’s job is to believe in its authors, not only for their market value but because of the quality of their writing. One goes with the other, you’ll say. True, in a way. If the quality isn’t there, the books won’t sell. But the opposite isn’t necessarily true. Many well-written books have never left the slush pile because the publisher believed they wouldn’t sell.

At Zumaya, quality of writing is the principal criterion for selection. Because of its business model, it can afford to publish books that are unusual, and that would sometimes have a hard time finding shelf-space in a bookstore. Zumaya has been taking risk after risk on authors who have something different to say and it has resulted in an amazing variety of high-quality storytellers. From the very beginning, Zumaya has been able to reach every corner of the world and has done so not only for its readers, but also by adding authors from almost all continents to its stable.

Several years ago, even before it was firmly established as a publisher in Texas, Zumaya took a chance on me with my first book, Metered Space. The book had several marketing challenges: it was a mixed genre, mystery and science-fiction combined, it was set in the very unsexy city of Ottawa, Canada, and it had previously been published by a now defunct publisher.

Yet Zumaya decided to take a chance on it—and me. And this month, Meter Parents, the fourth in the Jack Meter Case Files series that started with Metered Space, and my sixth novel, is coming out. I am thrilled about it, not only because I still get a kick out of seeing my name in print but because it has been published by a publisher I trust and who believes in me and my writing.

Zumaya publishes its books as ebooks—an increasingly popular medium—in formats compatible with most readers and on paper, through the on-demand printing system. This progressive business model, when Zumaya started using it, was at the vanguard of publishing, but was often reviled. Now many mid-size and large publishers are using it, seeing the wisdom in reducing our eco-footprint and minimizing unused inventory. And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.

M. D. Benoit was born in Montreal, Quebec (that’s in Canada, folks) but was raised in a small Quebec Laurentians town called Mont-Laurier. She didn’t stay there long, though, and studied and lived in Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax, where she obtained her Masters’ Degree in Psychology from Saint Mary’s University. Throughout the years, she has been a housekeeper, a telephone operator, a military officer, and a Human Resources consultant. But writing always was her first love and she gave up her paying job over fifteen years ago to make up stories. She’s been writing full-time since then. Metered Space was her first published novel (2004), introducing Private Investigator Jack Meter in this SF Mystery series.

The Jack Meter Case Files continued with Meter Made in November 2005. The third in the series, Meter Destiny, came out in 2008. She has also written two SF Thriller, Synergy, published in April 2007, and Catalyst out in 2010. Meter Parents, the fourth in The Jack Meter Case Files, is out July 2011.

Visit her website at or follow her on Twitter@mdbenoit2.