T. HarRiMaN

It was a core memory for Rebecca Bailey, now better known under the pen name of T. HarRiMaN. She knew she wanted to become an author ever since she read The Little Engine That Could on her mother’s lap at the age of 4, but it wasn’t until much later in life that her dream became a reality.

“T” is the author of Burn This Book: The 10,000 Year Plan, which was published in 2021, as well as a teen paranormal romance called All Hail, the Queen of the Freaks (2023). T writes for young thinkers and wants to give her readers a “mental vacation” when they read her books. The Chicago Tribune called her latest work “a thrilling must read for anyone who loves Harry Potter and Hunger Games!”

In 2023, T was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in the fiction category. She was also recently named one of the four Remarkable Women finalists by Nexstar Media Group as well as among the Top 20 Women in Business by the Junior League – the only artist on the list!

Years of hard work, helpful mentors, and focused determination helped her get where she is today. At the age of 15, she got her first job with the Courier and Press, and in college worked hard to earn two bachelor’s degrees in four years at Indiana University Bloomington. For the past 12 years, she has been working as an editor, and has achieved great success – earning jobs for A-list celebrities, heads of state, the Louvre, and other big names.

T’s journey to becoming an author has not always been easy, though. She had four kids in four years, and 11 years ago, a divorce left her at rock bottom and struggling financially. Thanks to her stable job, she kept working and writing, and is now at the point where she hopes to transition into writing full time.

Two years ago, T called the Southwest Indiana SBDC and has been working with her business advisor, Julie Folz. As a new author, she admits that her formal training prepared her for the creative writing, but not for the actual business work involved. She requested help from the SBDC to enhance her marketing and sales efforts. Julie helped her set up an online presence using free tools such as a Google Business Page, social media accounts, press releases, and a website. T is currently leveraging SBDC’s services to update her website. T says she spends half of her time writing and the other half on the business side of work.

“I want to give credit to Julie because she has sent so many wonderful opportunities my way,” T said. “As a writer, my native language is not business. Julie has been my go-to person to explain these things to me, and I don’t know what I’d do without her. The amount of help I’ve gotten for free or extremely low cost would have cost tons of money elsewhere. The SBDC has been such a blessing to me, and I recommend you guys to every writer. Most people don’t realize artists are half businesspeople.”

Looking to the future, T hopes to turn her writing into a full-time business. She is looking for opportunities to support other artists through community groups, speaking engagements, and maybe even one day an artist’s incubator. Her advice to others is to “Never give up, and write every day!”

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