Eight writers met, many for the first time, on a windy day at an all-inclusive hotel in Cancun, Mexico on February 22, 2013 in a big ass hot tub. What began as a mere spark of an idea to join together to promote and market literally exploded into plans for yearly meetings in faraway lands, including a castle in Ireland. The possibilities were almost as limitless as the Mimosas consumed by Jane Graves.


Every writer in attendance, successful in their own right, had an opinion. Ideas were flowing and excitement building even before Denise Grover Swank talked Theresa Ragan into doing endless shots of tequila. Bonds were made and notes recorded while Colleen Gleason dropped to the floor and performed backbends, inversions, and restorative poses, in hopes that she could get this passionate group of writers to connect with their deeper selves.

Debra Holland was the only one who had her shit together, focusing on both body and mind and doing her best to help others attempt to glimpse the glass half full at any given moment. Liliana Hart, wearing colorful sundress, big sunglasses and giant hats, was the hostess with the mostess, inviting us all to her massive suite with its sprawling bathtub and endless food and drink. Poor sick Dorien Kelly coughed out legal advice over our five days of tropical bliss while Jana DeLeon became the leader in note taking, accountability, and snarky remarks.

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Just as the Declaration of Independence was conceived in liberty and justice for all, so was The Indie Voice created in a group effort formed without ego and with unparalleled team spirit.

Discussions about swag and anthologies abounded, and what could have easily become pandemonium amongst a sea of estrogen became instead a perfect blend of wit and intellectual genius. Our mission statement began as “a seamless, effective marketing group that adapts rapidly to change” and by the end of the week became a statement of principles that made much more sense: “Reaching Readers, Travel and Drinks.”

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Needless to say, bonds were made, friendships were forged, and the moment everyone got home, big ideas did not disappear within hectic work schedules, but instead became reality amongst a deluge of Facebook comments and emails. In hopes of realizing widespread results, two more writers, Jasinda Wilder and Tina Folsom, were suckered into joining The Indie Voice, completing this unique partnership.

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Crazy does not begin to describe this wild group of clever and passionate women, but it’s a great start.

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