When submissions editor Allie Maldonado read the query letter from writer Dean Poppe, she figured it would be a fast and simple rejection: “I am 65 years old and this is my first novel. I have been interested in writing all my life and I look forward to continuing my passion now that I have retired.”
No previous publishing experience. Writing a novel in retirement. 125,000 words. Passion is golf. It didn’t look promising. Until she began the sample chapters.
At first, Allie wasn’t sure that Dean Poppe would sign with WiDo. “He seemed reluctant and hesitant about it, like we were going to charge him for services. It was obvious he’d had a bad experience or two elsewhere.”
According to Poppe, “Initially I submitted my novel to a number of publishers and received an enthusiastic response from several, unfortunately most wanted me to pay for the publication and I could not do that. When WiDo answered me I had already done a lot of research on publishers and had become apprehensive about the entire process. WiDo seems to me to be a very serious small publisher with a good record. I was encouraged further by their sincere interest in my manuscript and their desire to publish. Their contract is simple and straightforward and can be understood without counsel and that convinced me that they are honest and forthright and I am so pleased to be working with them.”
Dean Poppe, writing under the pen name of Michael Pope, grew up in the Midwest on a dairy farm, with conservative upbringing. He served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and was discharged honorably in 1971. He attended the University of California at Irvine and graduated in 1976 with a Bachelors Degree in Studio Art. He painted professionally for many years and has paintings in many private collections, primarily in the western U.S. Married for twelve years, he and his wife live in Southwestern New Mexico.