Millions of people dream of being a published author. Periodisa Publishing, then, makes dreams come true. Co-founders James Harris sat down to share more about empowering the pen.

Millions of people dream of being a published author. Periodisa Publishing, then, makes dreams come true. Founders James Harris and Lori Gum have already brought one local author to the public and have worked with scores of others since opening shop last year. Harris sat down to share more about empowering the pen.

I probably started writing when I was 11. To be honest, I think it stemmed from poetry for the cute little schoolgirls that I knew. I realized I kind of had a knack for it, and I enjoyed it. It developed as I got older. I'd get out of it, then get back into it.

Seven months ago, the company I worked for went under. I said, "I'm going to pursue writing full time." It was probably the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Publishing wasn't anything I'd ever thought about. It wasn't even something that entered a conversation with anybody. There's some exceptional talent in Columbus, but nobody has the business sense to really back anything up. Lori and I said we needed to figure out a way to help those people out.

With writers in particular, there's nowhere for them to go. To take a writer who has a manuscript - and be able to read it and give them immediate feedback - is something completely different than any other publisher would do. We've had 100-plus submissions by now and can honestly say that we've sat down with 95 percent of them.

For me, getting some thing in Esquire was the crowning achievement of my life. To be a part of that was so exciting - just to see it, to see something with your name on it. Even though it's on a tiny, little smidgen of that scale, I think it's nice to lend that opportunity to someone.

Three things I can 't live without are Scotch, books and Lori.

F irst of all, we have to believe in the product. We have to have full faith in it. As far as judging the actual material, it's usually pretty cut and dry. You know if something's good or not.

In five years, I want to be known for publishing real literature.

The best advice I've ever received came from my old boss when I lived in Florida. I was getting ready to call this guy and get absolutely reamed, and my boss was like, "Well, he can only yell at you. He can't eat you."

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at jross@columbusalive.com.