All posts by Sonja Hakala

I have been a professional writer since 1987. I've written for newspapers, magazines, worked in the book publishing industry, and published novels and non-fiction books. In addition, I've guided numerous authors through the process of independent publishing, and offer workshops in that same vein. I'm the founder of the Parkinson's Comfort Project and over the course of six years, we gathered and gave away over 500 handmade quilts to people with Parkinson's disease.

Center for Cartoon Studies

The Schulz Library (as in Charles Schulz) is one of the many assets of the Center for Cartoon Studies

I spent this morning at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction. Great place, the first of its kind in the U.S., dedicated to comics and the graphic novel.

The students listened to me jabber about independent publishing and why, as writers and artists, it’s good for them. They asked great questions, we learned from one another (as in comic book stores are all served by only one distributor—yikes!), and I hope I get to go back.

My morning visit was the result of one of those serendipitous series of connections that happen more often than we notice. It begins many years ago when I met a fellow Vermont author named Joe Citro at a conference put on by the League of Vermont Writers. We kept in touch.

Joe knows writer and cartoonist Steve Bissette who now teaches at CCS. When I published Your Book, Your Way last May, I asked Joe if he would read it and, if the spirit moved, to review it on Amazon. He did. He liked it.

And as luck would have it, Joe had been contemplating indie publishing for his own work for some time. He brought my book to Steve’s attention. That yielded a getting-to-know-you period that culminated with my morning visit with a group that sure draws a whole lot better than I do.

Now that’s a win-win-win, eh?