Inspired by the feminist movement, HerBooks Feminist Press published groundbreaking feminist and lesbian titles from 1984 to 2001. For me, publishing was a form of cultural and political activism in which we envision and create a better world, book by book.
The rise of the chain bookstores in the late 1990s posed distribution challenges for HerBooks. I turned my focus to other endeavors. But now online bookselling, print on demand technologies, and e-books offer new and potentially powerful ways to help books find their audience. I woke up one morning and once again felt the call of book publishing in my blood. It seems that once a publisher, always a publisher!
What books do we need in the first decade of the 21st century? I still hunger for high quality creative lesbian and/or feminist literature and want to publish more books in that vein. But I am an environmentalist and a progressive Jew with strong roots in Jewish Renewal. Now I also want to publish creative works that are infused with these perspectives. Can a press contain that big a vision? I believe it can, and so I am founding Juniper Lake Press.
Why Juniper Lake? My mother, Ingrid Reti, was a writer, a feminist, and an environmentalist with a passion for the landscape of the West. She died in 2007. One of her most treasured places was Juniper Lake, a deep blue volcanic lake in Lassen National Park. I name this reborn press for her.
Our first release is my novel Kabbalah of Stone, a suspenseful historical novel that takes place on the eve of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, and offers a feminist reinterpretation of Huldah, an intriguing Hebrew prophet. The scope of the book is as broad as the vision for this press; the themes are Jewish, ecological, and queer.
Juniper Lake Press will publish literary works of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. I have several books I already know I'd like to publish, so Juniper Lake Press won't be ready for submissions until late in 2012. Keep visiting this website for more details!
—Irene Reti, Publisher, Juniper Lake Press