Welcome to Grim Oak Press!

Welcome to Grim Oak Press, a tiny publishing press with a big dream.

In 2011, I was diagnosed with Stage III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in both sides of my neck, chest and spleen. While a cancer diagnosis and its treatment is not an ideal situation, I also did not have health insurance.

I had a lot to deal with in a short amount of time.  Luckily, I am a tough bastard.  Tests.  Surgery to remove a lymph node to diagnose the cancer properly.  Surgery to install a port-a-cath into the left side of my chest to receive the chemotherapy—and make me bionic, of course!  Six months of treatment to kill what was trying to kill me. And eventually the port-a-cath removal.

I received great care and have slowly recovered.  That said, while I am currently in remission, I have not rid myself of the medical bills that quickly grew to be almost $200,000.

I am in a unique situation though.  Where most people would have to declare medical bankruptcy, I have a group of unique skill sets that just might save me—skill sets that have joined together to form Grim Oak Press.

The purpose of Grim Oak Press is two-fold:

  • Publication of The Dark Thorn:

    I have written an urban/high fantasy novel titled The Dark Thorn. I’ve been largely ignored by traditional publishing houses but I’ve had too many fantasy fans want to read it. The diagnosis reaffirmed in my mind that life is too short to not fulfill dreams. Since readers are who truly matter when it comes to the success of a writer, I’m going to let readers judge my viability as an author by publishing The Dark Thorn and its sequels through Grim Oak Press. Click HERE to learn more about the novel!

  • Publication of Unfettered:

    Unfettered is my silver bullet in this medical madness. It is a fantasy short story anthology by some of the best writers in the genre. Due to my work with Random House and The Signed Page, I have befriended two dozen bestselling authors over the years who have come together to donate short stories for Unfettered. I will be eternally grateful to them. With their generosity, Unfettered will contribute the bulk of my debt removal. To learn who is contributing, click HERE!

The combination of sales between The Dark Thorn and Unfettered should—fingers crossed—reduce my medical debt considerably if not destroy it entirely. That is my goal.

Thank all of the writers who have contributed out of the nicety of their hearts. I do. And thank you to all fantasy fans who purchase these books. You will also forever be in my debt!

Best Wishes,
Shawn Speakman

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