So a Writer, an Editor, and a Publisher walk into a bar


So a writer, an editor, and a publisher walk into a bar… Seriously, isn’t this a great title for a blog? It’s too bad I don’t have a joke to go along with it. I guess I’ll have to write one at some point but I’m not really all that good at jokes. I’m not even sure why I started this weeks blog in that manner, but those are the first words that popped into my head when I sat down to write this so I went with them. Going with random thoughts really is what writing is all about. Sometimes you follow the spontaneous words and they lead you down a path to a plot, and other times, like this one I suspect, they lead you nowhere.

I will say that several of my plots have originated with a book cover or a title and not with a plan or even an idea of what I wanted to write about. I recently published The Legend of Tabby Hollow. When I came up with the title, with the help of my friends on the Kathi Daley Books Group page, I did not have a plot in mind. I knew the book would be a Halloween book but that was as far as I had gotten. When I sat down to write the book I knew I had to incorporate the title, so I created a magical place on Madrona Island known as The Hollow.

The book starts out with the following passage:

The hollow is a mystical place located in the center of Madrona Island. Given the rocky cliffs that encircle the area, it is protected from the storms that ravage the shoreline. The hollow is uninhabited except for the cats who reside in the dark spaces within the rocks. While most of the island’s residents stop short of referring to the hollow as haunted, it is widely accepted that not everything that happens there can be explained.

From there I just kept writing until I had a book.

Tabby Hollow Paperback

Another example of starting a book from a point other than a plot idea can be explored by considering a cover. Often times I design a cover long before I ever sit down to write the book. Once I have a cover I then need to make sure that the content of the book matches the cover. This has been true with many covers, the most recent, Much Ado About Felines. I saw the graphic with the carriage and knew I had to have it. Jessica and I designed a cover, and then when I sat down to write I thought to myself, “Self, the plot needs to revolve around a ball.” I won’t say the entire plot evolved from the cover, but a lot of it did. And the story of the old man that everyone loved, originated with the cat which I’d already placed on the cover and not the man. I had designed the cover with two cats instead of one so I had to give the second cat something to do. Hence the side story of the old man and the cat who watched over him.


So back to my joke. A writer, an editor, and a publisher walked into a bar…

Nope I have nothing. Who wants to take a stab at it? Comment below with the conclusion to the joke and I will give the best answer a $25 Amazon gift card.

Not a joke teller (Yeah me neither). Comment anyway and I will pick a random winner to receive a paperback or Kindle copy of the Kathi Daley Book of their choice. Non US Kindle only.


78 thoughts on “So a Writer, an Editor, and a Publisher walk into a bar

  1. Debbie Hiemstra says:

    I am amazed at the means you use to write a book. It is a lot different than I would have thought (although I am not sure what I thought) Thanks for sharing

  2. Joyce C Moser says:

    I love that the covers are created first, and then you cleverly weave your story around each cover. Your intuition for beautiful covers and warm stories are spot on. No wonder I love your books! Now as for help with the unfinished joke, I can’t even retell a joke very well so I’m sorry, I am no help with writing one. 🙂

  3. Doward Wilson says:

    Thanks for the insight into your writing. Your rambling thoughts are fun and entertaining. This is one of the most enjoyable blogs that I follow.

  4. Mari Krampach says:

    I admire your ability to just start writing and end up with such great stories. I have written poetry but it has always been to an emotional tie with the subject. Never could just create as you do.

  5. Guillianne kolb says:

    Lol..they walked into the bar and everyone bowed down because after years of trying they finally got it right and produced a best seller..naw just joking..

    I like the ideas of stories revolving around covers..but with me not being artistic I would have problems there..sometimes I think about writing..I sometimes write my husband poetry and he always goes this is good you should do more but I just laugh at him and say I write for you..putting a story to paper is hard and I admire writers out there who can do it..great job kathi Daley..

  6. Peggy says:

    Not a good joke teller either and not sure this is even a joke but …
    So a writer, an editor, and a publisher walk into a bar…
    Writer: Remember that awesome book I wrote … the one my peers reviewed and loved?
    Editor: The one with all the clichés and colloquiums I told you to get rid of?
    Publisher: Is that the one we turned down because it wasn’t funny and didn’t reflect the personality of the locals?
    Writer To Self: I knew I should have self-published!

  7. I’m not very good at creating jokes but I sure do appreciate those that can.

    I enjoy learning about your writing process, I find it fascinating how every author approaches writing so differently. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Della Williamson says:

    That is so neat!! Reminds me of that old saw, which you just reminded us is so true. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I must admit I have loved your covers. I can’t see detail to clearly. But they are beautiful. And as many have mentioned, the stories within are great! So far I have only read one. But have several on the TBR list.

  9. And wound up putting the bartender on contract because he produced the best Manhattans they’d ever tasted. Unfortunately, the bartender was unaware of the contract with the devil he’d just signed!

  10. Kathleen Costa says:

    Kathi Daley really knows how to celebrate and we fans get the cake! Not only does she offer a peek into her world with her “Random Thoughts and Meaningful Musings,” but she makes sure her literary work is readily available through reasonable pricing and giveaway opportunities. I have become such a fan with many paperbacks and downloads to enjoy for the upcoming months. Happy Authorversary!

  11. MaryAnn Forbes says:

    Definitely not a joke creator or even a good teller–looking forward to the others efforts. Would love to win another of your great books. Have a good weekend.📖📚

  12. Pamela Woodfield says:

    Yeah, I’ve got nothing on the joke. 😜 I’m horrible at telling them. It’s amazing that you can make a cover & then write the story. I’ve never bought an author’s entire body of work with having only read a few so far. I know the rest will be great so I buy them to keep up. I love knowing every bit of it is your work & you are successful all on your own. That is truly amazing. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you thru your blog & FB pages & interviews with other blogs. Congratulations on 2 years & I hope there are many more to come!

  13. sallycootie says:

    Telling a joke well is an art. Even remembering the punch line is a skill. Since I can’t do it, I am impressed with everyone’s suggestions.

    The cover for Much Ado About Felines is so terrific, had to be a story in there somewhere, didn’t there?

  14. Debbie S says:

    They looked at each other and said “are we in the write place?” …groaner…I love how you come up with your ideas. Cover first then write a book around it, I love it!

  15. Elaine N Robinson says:

    A writer, an editor and a publisher walk into a bar. They are stunned to see that the bartender is Bigfoot. The big ape cleverly mixes exotic drinks and juggles various garnish for the martinis. The publisher who is impressed, explains to Bigfoot that she is a publisher and would be interested in publishing Bigfoot’s memoir. Bigfoot grunts and continues to make drinks. The writer states to the publisher and editor, obviously writing is not a big, hairy deal for North America’s most popular ape.

    Awful, I know. Jokes are not the easiest to create. I think creating a story from a book cover is a wonderful way to come up with plot and character development. I am often inspired to write a poem from a picture or another work of art. I can relate to writing just flowing out and not knowing where the story is heading. I think of it as my muse is active.

  16. donnadurnell2013 says:

    A writer, an editor, and a publisher walk into a bar. The writer says “I’ll have a coke.” The editor corrects the writer by saying, “Shouldn’t that be a Coca-Cola, not just coke?” And the publisher chimes in with “Must have all the copyright makes and frills on that!” The bartender just looks at them, and shakes his head. “I only serve Pepsi products, ladies.”

    Not much of a joke, but I just had to try. lol

    Kathi, however you come up with your stories is ok by me. I haven’t read a bad one yet.

  17. Marilyn Watson says:

    Your Covers keep getting better and better so if two Cats inspired you I say kudos to that sort of creativity. I love to sit down and go with the flow too…Not much of a joke teller that way…but it was a great title…

  18. Vickie gardner says:

    Sadly I can’t think of a line for the joke either, but I love reading about your process! I love your books, that take me away to another life! Very enjoyable!! Thank you

  19. You amaze me Kathi, the way you write and none of your posts are ever boring! I enjoy them all! Your covers are always SO adorable as well and make me want to rush out and buy the books right then. I appreciate all the thought you put in to them as they give the reader that magical first impression of the book that gets them hooked every time!! Thanks for another fun Giveaway!!

  20. Nancy Roessner says:

    Okay, I’ve been wracking my mind trying to concoct a joke. Nothing! I can’t even remember punch lines to already made up jokes. I do like your writing and hope to win a book.

  21. Glenda Hefty says:

    Not too many are doing the joke and I won’t either. I’m terrible at telling existing ones…making one up, nope! But have to say I love the covers of your books and it was wonderful getting an insight on how your writing goes. Thanks for the giveaway. Very nice of you!

  22. Thank you to everyone who took a stab at the joke. You are braver than me. And thank you to everyone who commented. I love to have a chance to interact one on one with my fans.

    The winners of todays contest are:
    Peggy for her joke about self publishing and Deana Dick for reading 500 books in a year. Wow.

    Please email me at and I will get Peggy her gift card and Deana her book.

    You are all so AWESOME!

    • Peggy Hyndman says:

      This is wonderful … thank you SO much for this AWESOME and GENEROUS gift, Kathi. I didn’t think I had a chance of winning but had a lot of fun writing it!

      Congratulations Deana … you truly are an avid reader! 🙂

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