Archive for the ‘Anene Tressler-Hauschultz’ category

Book Trailers


Much has been written about book trailers and I’m not sure they help, hinder, or don’t matter at all when it comes to book sales. What purpose do they really serve? Should they “tell the story” or just evoke the mood created by the storyteller? If they don’t drive sales are they a waste of time/energy/resources that could be better spent doing other sorts of promotions?

Whatever the verdict, BSP’s debut novels now both have book trailers. The trailer for our first book, The Samaritan by Fred Venturini was created by me (Kristina) and our fellow publisher Nancy, of Stonebrook Publishing. The trailer for our second book, Dancing with Gravity by Anene Tressler, was created by Anene and her husband Jim.

Give them a watch and let us know what you think. Check them out here:

The Samaritan Book Trailer


Dancing with Gravity Book Trailer


Almost there…


We are so close on getting our debut novels ready for release. Dancing with Gravity by Anene Tressler is in the final stages of editing/reviewing and The Samaritan by Fred Venturini is almost ready to go. ARCs for The Samaritan are getting printed this week or next, so if you’ve agreed to read and review, you should be getting your copy soon. If you’d like to review a copy, send an e-mail to and we’ll add you to our ARC mailing list.

It’s not set in stone yet, but we’re hoping for a February 1 release date for The Samaritan. Ladies, although I can guarantee you will love this book too, it will be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the man who loves to read…and even if you’ve got a man in your life that doesn’t love to read so much, he’ll love The Samaritan.

Thanks also to everyone who voted on our cover choices. We narrowed it down to two: one for hardback (because it was Fred’s favorite) and one for paperback.

the winner – paperback, and the runner up  – hardback











Please keep watching for more news and updates on The Samaritan and Dancing with Gravity and, remember, if you would like a review copy, just let us know.

– Kristy

Congratulations to Anene on a Second Emmy Win!


We’re pleased to announce BSP author Anene Tressler-Hauschultz garnered her second Emmy. Awarded by the Mid-American chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Emmy was for a telethon she wrote for the Humane Society of Missouri, called “Second Chances Telethon.” The program, which aired January 27, 2010, was produced and directed by John Stephens at Pulse Productions and filmed on location and at the HSMO headquarters in the city.  Anene’s first Emmy was for writing work done for a documentary on women living with HIV.

BSP and other new publishers featured in St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Book editor Jane Henderson wrote a piece in the Post-Dispatch on the new face of publishing in the St. Louis area. The region, blessed with great universities and many talented writers, is home to a new crop of publishers one of which is, ta da!, us. Here’s the link to the full article:

Here’s the excerpt about Blank Slate Press:

But some new publishers actively avoid the self-publishing model.

Kristina Blank Makansi wants to nurture up-and-coming writers for Blank Slate Press.

The press recently chose two manuscripts for its first books, novels that it hopes to publish by Christmas.

“We will pay authors stipends, promote their stories and help them get started with blogs. … Our idea is to be a writer’s advocate from the get-go.”

She and her partners, Jamey Stegmaier and husband Jason Makansi, are writers themselves.

“We are looking at it from the point of view of aspiring novelists. We talk to a lot of other writers, follow writers’ blogs, go to writers workshops. So much of the frustration of being a writer is getting someone to pay attention to your work.”

Blank Slate Press’ partners pay the authors out of their own pockets, but Makansi hopes other individuals will invest in the press.

She said, “We’re like a new tech start-up with the idea that if a book becomes a best-seller, or is picked up by a commercial press, investors might make some money.”

‘A great match’

One writer they signed, Anene Tressler-Hauschultz of Kirkwood, took the book contract to a lawyer, who assured her that having the publisher in town is helpful: “There are times you need to do a face-to-face.”

She likes that Blank Slate is new and energetic: “They are starting out as am I. It felt like a great match. … The scale was right. I wasn’t going to be one of 200 people coming on board.”

Makansi knows publishing is a difficult business. “We’re not out to build an empire. We don’t think we’ll get rich doing this.”

We don’t think we’re going to get rich or build and empire, but we’re pretty darn sure we’re going to have lots of fun, meet talented new writers, and play our small part in bringing  great stories to readers anxious for high quality, well written work.

Anene & Fred Write


We’re delighted that both of our authors, Anene Tressler-Hauschultz and Fred Venturini, are hard at work creating awesome literary works. And we’re also delighted that they’re going to share insights into the writing process through their new blogs. Anene and Fred–while both extremely talented writers–have, shall we say, different styles. Take a look for yourself:

Fred’s blog (lits of pubs and an excerpt from The Samaritan are up. The first blog post is percolating in Fred’s brain)

Anene’s blog (first post is up)

Did I mention we’re delighted?

BSP Announces our Flagship Authors


Here’s our “official” press release:

Blank Slate Press Announces Flagship Authors
Anene Tressler-Hauschultz and Fred Venturini Selected by Editorial Review Board

ST LOUIS, Missouri, July 6, 2010—After an open application process and three-month search for authors in the greater Saint Louis area, Blank Slate Press is pleased to announce Anene Tressler-Hauschultz and Fred Venturini as its flagship authors. Founded in February by three  St. Louis residents with experience with writing and publishing, Kristina Blank Makansi, Jason Makansi, and Jamey Stegmaier, the Blank Slate Press’ goal is to “discover, nurture, publish, and promote” new voices from among the many talented writers in our area. The selection process was aided by an Editorial Review Board comprised of nine diverse area readers

Ms. Tressler-Hauschultz’s novel is a character-driven work focusing on a St. Louis priest and hospital counselor whose already beleaguered life begins to unravel after he is tapped to minister to a small South American circus bequeathed to an order of aging nuns in St. Louis. Ms. Tressler-Hauschultz, is an award-winning fiction and poetry writer whose work has appeared in Best of Writers at Work anthology, The Distillery, Treasure House, Currents, River Blossom and Word Wright’s. While at UMSL, she won the English Department’s  annual prizes for fiction and for poetry and she has studied with Richard Bausch at Johns Hopkins, Nicholas Delbanco at Breadloaf, Claire Messud at Sewanee, Lorrie Moore at Vermont Studio Center, and Robert Olmstead at Rappahannnock. She also attended two workshops at the University of Iowa’s summer program and spent a month at Wellspring House in Massachusetts.  Most recently, she has taken two semester-long poetry classes with David Clewell, poet laureate of Missouri. She holds undergraduate degrees in Communications and Nursing from Saint Louis University, Masters Degrees from Washington University and the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and she teaches scriptwriting and media writing as an adjunct professor in the School of Communications at Webster University.

Mr.  Venturini’s novel examines the dark side of human nature as it follows a bright but outcast young man who, after he discovers he can regrow limbs and organs, becomes the star of The Samaritan,  a television reality show on which injured or dying patients literally win a piece of him. Mr. Venturini, received a B.S. in English from MacMurray College in 2002, and an MFA from Lindenwood University in 2009. He has 19 short stories published or due to be published. From tightly woven horror and unmitigated creepiness, to literary fiction, Fred’s gift for pacing and clarity—and for getting under your skin—is beyond powerful. Best-selling novelist Chuck Palahniuk called “Gasoline,” one of Mr. Venturini’s short stories, “solid gold fantastic.” Fatally Yours, a book review blog, called his story “Detail,” included in Death Panel, a collection of short stories published by Comet Press, “My absolute favorite of the collection …. Precise and perfect, this short story had me by the short hairs,” while another reviewer described it as “where CSI meets Car and Driver.”

“Although Anene and Fred were the clear choices of everyone on the Editorial Review Board, we were delighted at both the number and quality of the author applications we received,” said Kristina Blank Makansi, Blank Slate Press’ CEO. “Now, we are excited to work with both Anene and Fred and to promote and showcase two of the talented writers from our region.”

About Blank Slate Press

Blank Slate Press is a newly formed literary arts incubator and publishing company focusing exclusively on discovering, nurturing, publishing and promoting authors from the greater Saint Louis region. Blank Slate Press acts as a partner to its selected authors and works with them to build the author’s brand, adhere to milestones to complete their work, and create and implement an innovative, customized marketing plan for the author and his/her work. Blank Slate Press brings the latest technologies and social networking ideas to bear on the writing, publishing, delivery and promotion of literary works, and seeks to apply a venture capitalist sensibility to publishing. For more information on how to help Blank Slate Press support area writers, please visit,

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