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TARA BAILEY began Bailey Publishing House in 2016. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)

When writer Tara Bailey couldn’t find any traditional publishing houses in the City of Pittsburgh, she knew she had to rectify the situation.

The solution? Bailey Publishing House.

“When I was helping out other writers, you didn’t know what to do next. It was like, do we send it out? I would tell people that the process is long and you may not hear back from them, I started to look for a traditional publishing house in the city that was accessible and I couldn’t find one,” explained Bailey.

Bailey vowed to only have one client, but that soon snowballed into what is now six authors on her roster and six books. She predicts that by spring 2019 Bailey Publishing House will have about 20 books.

“That’s frightening and exciting at the same time. I like a good challenge and this has been a great experience,” she said. “I enjoy talking to other writers and lending help. I want to bridge the gap in our literary community. We can only go up if we work together. This is a beautiful thing. You have a book and you want it published, let me help you. Even if you don’t choose me, let me help you.”

Bailey is a Pittsburgh product, through and through. Born, raised and still lives in the West End. She started her publishing company in 2016, and just last week (May 21), her debut book, “Deadbeat,” was made into a one-act play at the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater.

“Deadbeat” is a dark comedy with very strong language that tells the story of James, the neighborhood marijuana dealer and a self-proclaimed deadbeat dad with a dozen children by seven different women. James referred to each woman by number because he didn’t care for them.

“I know guys like this and I didn’t want to become this character,” said Lamar Darnell Fields, who portrayed James in the theatrical reading of “Deadbeat.” “I read this and realized I could’ve become him if I didn’t have a father figure in my life to show me how to be a good father.” Fields has three children and is raising two of them as a single father.

In addition to Fields, “Deadbeat” starred Cherish Morgan, Shakara Wright and Saige Smith. It was directed by Kim El.

TARA BAILEY, right, with the cast of “Deadbeat” from the May 21 theatrical reading of the play, Downtown. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)

Bailey used her own experience as a single mother of two boys to write “Deadbeat” in about two hours. It was like a weight lifted off her shoulders to get her thoughts and feelings down on paper. The short story morphed into the book and subsequent play.

“’Deadbeat’ is my story. It’s funny and it’s sad. I kept my suffering private because I was a fool. I was young and dumb and I was morphing into a person I didn’t know. Writing this was therapeutic and it brought me closure. I wanted women to know that being beaten by a man is not a rite of passage,” Bailey said.

“Deadbeat” seemed to be a hit with the audience.

“I thought it was very well-written and it provides awareness for women and men,” said Jerome Jenkins of Wilkinsburg. “It’s good for this generation today because they think they’re grown and they have a lot of outside influences.”

Lincoln-Lemington resident Melinda Adams enjoyed the play because of its message to young women.

“I think every woman can relate to multiple characters in this play,” she said. “A lot of young girls think they can change a guy.”

Bailey is grateful for the positive response “Deadbeat” has received. She hopes to see it on screen as a movie or mini-series.

“I enjoy putting my imagination on paper. It’s exhilarating to be able to paint pictures with words. I tell people not to micromanage their imagination and while you’re writing, don’t worry about the logistics, just let it flow free and work about the logistics later,” she said.

For now, Bailey, who graduated from Penn State with a degree in psychology, is focusing on her authors and building her publishing house.

“My goal is to be a powerhouse. This is a lot of long nights and weekends. It’s 24/7. I come home from work (at an assisted living facility), do the single mom thing, then work on this,” Bailey said. “Nothing is guaranteed with me, but I pride myself on customer service.”

 

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