“One of my dogs is the wildest dog you can have next to a wolf. And I’ve always been inspired by wolves—anything that’s kind of wild I guess,” says Alexandra Leggat, the author who, this spring, made the jump to become a publisher. “Their freedom, their instinct their intuition, just their very natural way of communicating and being, that’s the impetus of the press to me.”
Two Wolves Press, which is run out of Leggat’s home, in Rouge Valley, on Toronto’s outskirts, plans a modest schedule of two titles per year. Its first book, Aileen Santos’s debut novel, Someone Like You, was published in May. Nine Wire Road, a novella by Joe Vermaire, will follow this winter. “I was feeling at a stage in my writing career where putting out my own work wasn’t enough,” says Leggat, who, since 2000, has published a book of poetry, three short-story collections and, most recently, a novel, The Incomparables.
Leggat also plans to use Two Wolves to make good on a promise she made to herself after the death of her brother, Graham, in 2011. She will re-release his first and only novel next fall, based on his original manuscript—a manuscript she says was so altered by its publisher that the finished product left her brother extremely dissatisfied.
Two Wolves will not be accepting unsolicited submissions. “I guess I need to know the person in a sense,” Leggat says. “If I come across somebody who has a story to tell and I have a sense of what they’re doing, I’ll ask them to submit.”
Leggat’s learning curve has been steep, but not unexpected. “I guess I could have planned more,” she says, “but the way I do things, I just have to do it and then work things out after.” So far, Two Wolves seems to be coping just fine. Santos’s novel paid for itself through its two launch parties, and has gone to a second printing. “I don’t know how publishers who put out four or five books in one season do it,” Leggat says. “That’s insane.”