Patricia Flaherty Pagan writes, edits and facilitates writing workshops in Texas. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Spider Road Press, an independent press specializing in short fiction. Today she joins us to discuss a passion very close to her heart. Learn more about Patricia at her website.
Heroines Reading Heroines
Lots of us like to read books about strong women. I know that I enjoy reading about clever sleuths like Cordelia Gray, gritty truth seekers like Tess Monaghan, adventurers like Elizabeth Gilbert, and helpful optimists like L. M. Montgomery’s Anne. While revising my mystery novel, I fell into the intense and exciting practice of writing flash fiction. Precision rules. Every word must prove its merit. When I recently began assembling a collection of flash fiction by strong women, I had an idea. I could do more than marry these very short tales of suspense to literary explorations and entertaining Sci-Fi stories. There were real heroines out there, making a difference in women’s lives every day. Why not donate part of the proceeds from the collection to these women helping women? In that way, those who purchased the book could become heroines as well.
But how to best help women? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, affects 7.7 million American adults, and women are more likely to suffer from this serious health issue. Brave servicewomen, reliable first responders, and strong survivors of the private wars of rape and domestic violence can all face this disorder. Yet hope exists. Across America, counselors at rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and veterans’ organizations are making a difference. Personally, I count as friends a couple of women who counsel those with PTSD, and a couple of women who live with it every day.
So, I decided to donate five percent of the proceeds from the anthology that I edited, Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers, to rape crisis and veteran’s services. Giving back felt great! I selected agencies and groups in the states where I have lived and traveled, as I have seen the impact that these organizations have on their communities. In my adopted city of Houston, the Houston Area Women’s Center offers an array of vital services, including helping survivors of sexual assault. Both the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and SARSSM of Maine have supported rape survivors in cities that I know and love. In addition, Disabled American Veterans helps returning female (and male) vets access many forms of concrete and emotional support.
I am proud to announce that through initial sales of the Up, Do anthology, my small press, Spider Road, has been able to make small donations to each of these important charities. If sales continue at the same rate, I hope to donate to rape crisis services in Rhode Island and Vermont, as well as to other veterans’ groups. Furthermore, I am so excited by the process that I have decided to give five percent of the proceeds from every title that Spider Road Press publishes to charity from this point onward!
Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers
A collection of thirty-three intriguing, very short stories by talented women. It includes surprising tales by award-winning short fiction writer Kathryn Kulpa, popular romance novelist Donna Hill, suspense writer Eden Royce, award-winning science fiction writer Melissa J. Lytton and many others. A part of the proceeds from each sale is donated to rape crisis and veteran’s services.