Person: Lauren Wood, founder
Thing: Paradisiac Publishing, an independent publishing company based in Davenport
Brendan caught up with Lauren to chat about her publishing company.
[BI] First things first: I'm curious about the name of your company. I mean, I created a company with "alt" in the name so who am I to judge? But I'm curious.
[LW] LOL, I love the name of your company actually. I chose the name Paradisiac because I want to build a corporation that is paradise compared to the traditional corporate environment, i.e. the opposite. Bad idea? I guess we’ll see! By opposite I don’t mean LITERAL opposite, I just mean maybe everyone be cool to each other. That has not been my previous experience.
[BI] Is there a specific type of writing that you enjoy the most?
[LW] Comedy. I crack myself up. I realize that sounds extremely self-absorbed and I own that. I have been writing comedy for years in my daily life. Most recently I’ve been chronicling my pretty crazy weight loss adventure on my blog.
[BI] Have you written a book of your own?
[LW] The very first book that I ever published was self-published. It was one that I wrote myself based on a blog I wrote based on a lawn ornament I saw while jogging and crying about losing a corporate job in 2009. I mean seriously, what even is this. I then nominated it for a Pulitzer Prize. I wanted to get experience as a publisher and then see if I could replicate it into a business model. I also recently released my first children's book called "Something's Missing" illustrated by Johnnie Cluney. It was written for my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and my niece who joined us last fall. Writing a book about them was the most over-the-top baby shower gift I could think of. Full disclosure, I still think that lawn ornament garbage is hilarious and that is something I need to live with.
[BI] How has being based in the Quad Cities impacted your business?
[LW] It’s been a hugely positive influence. This is my hometown and I am very happy to be back. I’ve lived in a few big cities and I’M OVER IT!
[BI] On that note, if someone asked you for a recommendation on what to do in the area, what would you tell them?
[LW] I really appreciate the music scene here. My favorite place, hands down, is the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel (because the name makes me laugh) and they have great shows, most of the time. It’s also just really cool. The Raccoon Motel and other venues like Daytrotter, Rozz-Tox, and R.M.E. and The Redstone Room (among so many others I’m just not cool enough to know about!) make this place really special and I love getting to live here and want to add to it. It's amazing how much talent comes through the Quad Cities. It’s also amazing how much everyone supports each other here, it’s truly a special place.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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