The publishing world has changed. For the artist, it has changed for the worse, or the better, depending upon your view. Agents and publishers, for years nearly inaccessible behind their watchdog towers, are now almost impossible to reach now that those towers have grown walls, battlements, and minefield emplacements. Only commercially successful artists may pass to enlist the services of publishers and their vassals. Of course, commercially successful artists don’t need them.

For all others, the talented first-time artist included, the world has become an every-man-for-himself proposition. Of course, thanks to the Internet, Print on Demand, and self-publishing web sites, the possibility exists to get your art into the hands of readers.

There is a caveat, though. You can publish, but your work is immediately lost in a sea of competing stories, with no clear means of differentiating the few pristine literary droplets from the millions making up the stagnant pool that has become self-publishing. As a self-published author (or any kind of author, for that matter), you now must be not only creator, but promoter, maybe even designer.

Yes, it’s every man for himself, but not every man alone.

Mid-World Arts is an artists’ studio  founded by

James L. Wilber and Stephan Loy. Our purpose here is to aid and promote our members in their efforts to become published authors.

We read and critique one another’s work, help each other in the preparation of presentation materials such as query letters and synopses, and perform the grunt work of formatting, cover design, and testing for self-publishing.

We partner with talented artists who have a compulsion for detail, quality and perseverance. You can’t join the co-op, you must be selected. We’re picky as hell. You can, however, benefit from our experiences and the lessons learned in our quest for commercial literary success.

Stick around. It’ll be fun, and you might learn something.

James L. Wilber describes himself as Anne Rice and Chuck Palahniuk’s bastard love child. He’s a pretentious prick who claims to pen “literary genre fiction.” Which means he writes smarmy shit about wizards and vampires, doing a poor job at hiding his symbolism and metaphor. He’s turned to self-publishing on the correct assumption his stories are just too fucking weird for mass consumption.

Mr. Wilber also assumes the roles of husband, hotel manager, owner of a 100-lb Alaskan Malamute, and ceremonial magician.

You can read his thoughts on politics, culture, and what he calls pagan chaos magick at

He lives in Indianapolis, a dreary place built by masons obsessed with circles.

Find out more about his current writings at

“A lonely beacon of restraint, lost in a world of car-crazies.” Ed Harris voiced those words to describe his character in The Right Stuff (movie version). Steve Loy believes quite arrogantly that those words describe him as well. He lives in a world where any decent writer must write, pay a publicist to promote his work, pay an editor to look over his work, pay a cover artist to prettify his work and pay a designer to develop it. No. Any artist worth his copy paper must also tweet endlessly, live on Facebook, hold everlasting court on Google +, podcast, blog, comment, and spend great gobs of money going to cons. No!

The author’s job is to get paid for his work, not to support the Publishing Industrial Complex.

Maybe Steve might visit twitter on occasion. He has a Facebook page he rarely visits. He has a blog he writes in maybe once every few months. He wouldn’t touch Google + with a cattle prod. What Steve does instead is write.

Stephan Loy has ten books in various stages of completion. He has self-published Last Days and Times, a gritty urban fantasy on the dangers of religious fanaticism, and Harmonic RES, a collection of short fiction in various genres. He has also completed an ancient Egyptian high fantasy, Isis Wept; a space fantasy on the evils of theocracy, Shining Star; and a futuristic political thriller, Conqueror’s Realm. Along with these novels, Steve has published five novellas and is currently working on two new novels at once. Steve Loy is busy.

But not so busy that he doesn’t have time for his angel of a wife, Amy, his Big Ol’ Sweetie Petra the Prissy Greyhound, and his two grown-up sons, Mike and Joe. Because almost nobody makes a living as an author, Steve makes his as an art teacher in an Indianapolis elementary school.

Dick Thomas is a seminary-trained, overeducated, underemployed, devout agnostic who is fascinated with the religious beliefs of others. The four pillars of his intellectual formation are Star Wars, the DC Comics of the Seventies, the truly horrific radio-friendly pop and metal of the Eighties, and the King James Version of the Bible. Ghostvision is Dick's first novel, kicking off Nightfall, a thirteen-volume series of urban fantasy and paranormal suspense which will ultimately chronicle the collapse of human civilization.


If Anne Rice, Tom Clancy, and Christopher Moore all got high and wrote stories together, you might find something like Dick's fiction in the trash the next morning. You can visit Dick's website at where you'll also find movie and book reviews, exclusive pieces of his fiction, and random other material of dubious interest to anyone. Email him at and he'll email you back.