In college, Ana Castillo's plan had been to teach art in high school, but she veered from that more conventional path to become a self-taught poet and then a self-taught everything else literary, now with two New York Times Notable Books of the Year to her credit. Today, she is called one of the most powerful voices in contemporary Chicana literature.
Pelaud had always been an outsider. Born in 1965 to a French father and a Vietnamese mother who didn't speak much French, she grew up in rural France feeling isolated, both geographically and culturally. She had trouble making friends and didn't do well in school. No one believed that she would amount to much.
Specializing in gay titles, gothic and horror novels, as well as literary fiction, they founded Valancourt Books in 2005 to restore many of these works to a new generations of readers. It's an impressive and fascinating list. I got so lost in it, and had so much fun looking around at all the great books I've never even heard of, I just had to interview these guys.