I established Mayhaven Publishing (Now Mayhaven Publishing, Inc.) in 1990 after long talks with Jeff Groteboer, a writer and editor of magazine articles who was a friend of my second son, Todd.
Several years later I had been a visiting teaching associate at the University of Illinois, and taught at Parkland Jr. College and Lincoln College, but it became clear teaching with a Masters' Degree simply wasn't going to earn me enough to take care of my family and, at that time, I had no interest in remarrying. But in November of 1986, I met Harry Wenzel. Two weeks later, he asked me to marry him. I deferred until May, and then took the leap. I kept teaching for two more years, and then, on the way home from a speaking engagement on Mary Todd Lincoln, I told my husband that I would like to start a publishing company. I had written all my life, beginning when I wrote articles for the Charleston high school paper (printed in the Courier, the hometown paper). And the play I wrote on Mary Todd Lincoln, Without Discretion won the Lincoln Academy Award when I was a senior (at the age of 42, at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.) North Central also produced the play and I directed. Students and townspeople were featured.
So, from 1990 to the present I have been publishing other people's books and a significant book with my 9 sisters: Ten Sisters, A True Story. Each of us wrote our own chapter. That allowed me to have the experience of a lifetime in getting to know the women who I so resembled. And to further share our story with others, in 2004 PBS (WILL in Champaign, IL) wrote and produced a short documentary (which won the Gracie Allen Award in that category) and in 2007 a full-length docu-drama "10 Sisters: A True Story" followed. It continues to play from time to time throughout the United States.
~ Doris Wenzel
My aim, perhaps, was because I had married at 17 and then 7 lively, talented, and very funny children followed. Not one of them ever failed to interest and intrigue me. Or maybe my aim was because I was born the youngest of 12 children, a mysterious aspect of my life from the time I was two years old when I was adopted by a childless couple. All of that offered variety to my life. Or maybe it was because I have just been curious about most things and my adoptive parents encouraged me to be, never censoring what I read, or the movies I saw, or the friends I made. So the aim to embrace variety has never changed. And it has been helpful in my work.
A note from the Mayhaven Team:
Sadly, Doris passed away in August 2018. She is greatly missed by her family, friends, and employees. For nearly three decades, she dedicated herself to producing quality literature. She loved her work, and she enjoyed the people with whom it brought her into contact. While we miss her laughter, wisdom, and kindness, we find comfort in the memories and in continuing her legacy.