Interview with Rhonda Penders Fall 2021

Read about Rhonda and The Wild Rose Press in this interview by OBSESSED, an award-winning self-help podcast hosted by Tristin Hodges, LMHC, Tia Morell, IIN Nutritionist, Julie Lokun, JD, and Mika Altidor.

Interview with Rhonda Penders

Read about Rhonda and The Wild Rose Press in this interview by the Romantic Novelists' Association

2021 Interview with Rhonda Penders

Out on a Limb with Gabby Allan Interviews Rhonda Penders (2021)

Who we are...

The Wild Rose Press was founded in 2006 by RJ Morris and Rhonda Penders.  Both published authors, these women were disheartened by the way publishers treated authors.  They believed there should be a better, friendlier way to get books published. At this same time, publishing was just entering the digital world with ebooks.

Many small presses popped up around the same time believing that this type of publishing was low cost and easy to do.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Morris and Penders held their course, building their business and their author base.  They focused their attention not on the bottom line but rather on keeping a balance with author satisfaction and customer expectation – believing that creating a quality product and taking care of their authors was the only way to publish. Their mission was to create a “garden” where writers would grow. 

Over 500 authors and 3500 titles later this motto has proven to be solid.  When other small presses have come and gone, The Wild Rose Press has never wavered. It truly is a publishing house for authors, founded by authors with customer satisfaction being their number one priority.

Penders, it is said, is the face of the company.  She is the one you will see shaking hands and hugging writers at conferences.  Stories of her “talking authors off the bridge” are rampant, as her strength lies in the personal touch of making sure writers are listened to, helped, and advised.  As Editor-in-Chief she is a hands-off boss over a team of 30 editors.  Only when an issue has escalated to her desk does she get involved believing that a good boss allows her staff to do their job with minimal interference.  Penders’ workshops on “Where Does the Story Start” and “How to Lose an Editor in 10 days” are well received at writers’ conferences across the country.  She believes firmly in being accessible and open to authors and personally responds to her own emails. She has a keen understanding of market trends and has seen the successful launch of multiple series throughout her tenure with the company. She has spearheaded groundbreaking efforts to give authors more control over their work from author voice, cover art, promotion and price point. For Penders and The Wild Rose Press, publishing will always be a partnership between the author and publisher.

While Penders may very well be the most visible part of the company, she is the first to remind all that without RJ Morris there would be no publishing house.  Morris is the “wizard behind the curtain”.  An IT professional by trade, she has the tools and experience to customize the computer needs of the company. For an online company this is crucial in order to adapt with the changing ways authors produce their work and customers purchase.  She is an expert at graphic design, file conversion and file delivery systems, website creation and management as well as technical support for the company and its authors.  Whether it is a new chat room or the need for a customized website, Morris is able to apply her technical expertise.  As Penders has said often, “I’m the one who comes up with the crazy insane ideas, RJ tells me how insane they are and that they can’t be done and then a few days later – poof!  Like magic, exactly what I came up with is activated and working on the site. She can make a computer do whatever she wants it to do.”

Penders and Morris make a solid team bringing over 20 years of knowledge to the business.  Behind them, a team of editors, artists, marketing experts, and production staff, all with their own strengths, keep all aspects of the process running seamlessly. 

Whether you are an author who has been with The Wild Rose Press since the early years or are new to the company, you will instantly feel at home with this special publishing house that caters to writers. 

Rhonda Penders


RJ Morris

Co-Founder/Vice President