Growing up on military bases throughout the world, Andy Symonds always knew writing was in his blood. Creating poetry, short stories, and even a novel by the age of nine (The Adventures of Ricky and Jimmy, typed on an actual typewriter and still in existence today) consumed Andy in between hockey and baseball practice. In 2001, he graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism and a reporter job covering local politics for the second-largest daily newspaper in Maryland. He had fulfilled his dreams: He was a professional writer.

While Andy would leave journalism full time to enter corporate America, his passion for the written word didn’t wane, and he never stopped writing. It was the quest to publish his novel My Father’s Son that led him to the world of publishing, and he knew that’s where he belonged. After years of querying agents and failing to land a traditional deal while simultaneously researching every aspect of self-publishing, he discovered the hybrid model. This route eventually led to the release of his first book as well as his first job in publishing as the vice president of acquisitions and business development at the house that published his first two books.

In 2019, Andy decided to forge out on his own, opening Ballast Books and Blue Balloon Books shortly thereafter. In addition to running the companies, Andy still writes one book a year. He lives in Jupiter, Florida, with his wife, two young daughters, and very large dog.

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