A Mediocre Origin Story Not Fit for a Movie

Here at Nat 1 Publishing, we like the strange, quirky, and unique. Our origins were the product of a string of jokes and shitposts that went too far; they went so far that half a dozen novellas later we thought, “Well, damn. Might as well legitimize this monstrosity.”

The first paragraph that you likely just skimmed over is the honest truth. One of Nat 1 Publishing’s three founders, Brandan Roberts, acts as the DM for his Dungeons & Dragons group and when one of the players asked if his PC could find any “smutty romance books,” (because if you’ve ever played any RPG, there’s always one), his response was “You’ve found The Wizard’s Staff by Macy Blush.” (Thank you Terry Pratchett for the inspiration.) In between sessions he drew up a crappy cover as a joke. The cover got posted to Reddit’s DnD community where it got bigger than a bard in a brothel and the overwhelming consensus was that it just had to be written. Between too much Covid-induced free time, an insatiable need for fake internet points, and some brand-spanking-new anxiety medications, Brandan took those encouragements to heart and wrote it.

Then the next one.

And the one after that.

And the one after that…

What about the “Nat 1” part? That was born from the need to put something in the corner of The Wizard’s Staff audiobook cover which could be cropped out if necessary during promotions. “What could possibly fit there? This is a DnD parody, so how about a D20? That landed on a natural one, because this book obviously failed successfully!” It fit, people liked it, and so it became incorporated on the cover of every Macy Blush book (some retroactively) and made an appearance in the copyright page with the tagline, “A fake publishing house for an independently released book.” Well, in addition to moving civilization one more step towards annihilation, the Macy Blush books also broke some tax brackets—enough so that Nat 1 was incorporated as an LLC. Two years of growth later, with a bunch of ups and downs, Nat 1 restructured as a literary non-profit focusing on providing a platform for new and established science fiction and fantasy authors—particularly those who are underrepresented in the genre—a chance to publish their own wacky stories and help spread the chaos.

Like hell does Brandan want to take full credit for the monstrosities he creates and their part in bringing the world a little closer to the edge. It also wouldn’t be true. Several critique partners, dozens of beta readers, and an audible narrator are just as guilty. The same can be said about Nat 1 Publishing’s official staff—there are three of us running the shenanigans (or rather, two teaming up on Brandan in an attempt to keep him reeled in) as well as several non-voting member attempting to weasel their way into the board, and a strange collection of volunteer officers and editors. We’re all pretty awesome, and I swear there’s no bias in that statement whatsoever despite one of us having written this blurb. Nope, none at all. Click here to meet the team and know exactly who to blame!