About Chrism Press

Chrism Press is an imprint of WhiteFire Publishing dedicated to stories informed by Catholic and Orthodox Christianity that may not be able to find a home in either mainstream secular or Christian (Evangelical) presses. These two ancient faiths share a sacramental and incarnational vision that illuminates the imagination, as well as a centuries-old literary tradition spanning from Dante to Dostoevsky and beyond.

Whether Christian themes are presented overtly, subtly, or symbolically, Chrism Press seeks Spirit-filled fiction in all genres. We are not afraid of darkness; we enjoy the strange and the weird, as well as humor, romance, adventure, and fun. We strongly believe that fiction should never be boringWe invite readers to “Anoint Your Imagination” with a wide array of stories that enlighten while they entertain.

Meet Our Editors 

Karen Ullo

Karen Ullo

Editorial Director

Karen Ullo the award-winning author of Jennifer the Damned, Cinder Allia, and To Crown with Liberty. She holds a MFA in screenwriting from the University of Southern California and served for more than three years as managing editor of the Catholic literary journal Dappled ThingsShe has been featured as a speaker at venues across the country including The Louisiana Book Festival, The Catholic Writers Guild Conferences (both live and online), the Trying to Say God conference at Notre Dame University, and Doxacon in Washington, D.C.

Karen lives in Louisiana with her husband and two sons. You can find her on the web at karenullo.com.

Marisa Deshaies Stokley

Marisa Deshaies Stokley

Founding Editor, Associate Publisher, WhiteFire Publishing

Marisa Deshaies Stokley is an editor of Christian historical and contemporary fiction and nonfiction as well as general market fiction. A lover of all-things bookish and publishing, she revels in the literary musings of authors who write of the past and present through faith-driven stories. She holds a B.A. in English (concentration in professional writing), an M.A. in professional writing, and is certified in editing through the Christian PEN. Novels she’s edited have been nominated for the Selah, INSPY, and Cascade Awards.

Marisa has worked at all levels of editing—from managing editor of a contemporary romance imprint, to developmental editor, to line and copy editor. She has coached new and experienced authors to craft their writing to deliver memorable characters, deeply moving stories, thought-provoking themes, and beautiful words. She believes in a firm, gentle, and encouraging approach to the editor-author relationship and enjoys forming those relationships with whom she works. 

When she’s not editing, Marisa can be found among the numerous piles of books crowding her apartment. She and her husband and daughter live in northern Virginia and are active parishioners at their Catholic church.

William Gonch, Ph.D.

William Gonch, Ph.D.

Assistant Editor

William Gonch is a writer, editor, and Assistant Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University. A lifelong book-lover, he received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his M.A. in Creative Writing from Temple University. He is a scholar of American fiction and religion; he is also a longtime fan of science fiction and fantasy, and he has taught university courses in ancient, medieval, and modern literature. His writing has appeared in publications including The Hedgehog Review, Public Discourse, The European Conservative, and the Claremont Review of Books, and he has been featured as a speaker at the American Literature Association, the Conference on Christianity and Literature, the Catholic Imagination Conference, and other scholarly organizations devoted to the study of literature. Check out his writing and sign up for his newsletter at HowGreatBooksWork.com.

Rebecca W. Martin

Rebecca W. Martin

Assistant Editor

Rebecca W. Martin is a trade book Acquisitions Editor for Our Sunday Visitor and Assistant Editor at Chrism Press. She lives in Michigan with her husband and too many cats. She is a perpetually professed Lay Dominican, and also serves as editor for Veritas, a quarterly Lay Dominican publication. Out of the home office, you can usually find her reading, writing, or singing in a concert choir. Her children’s book, Meet Sister Mary Margaret, will release in fall 2023 from OSV Kids.

Rhonda Ortiz

Rhonda Ortiz

Editor

Rhonda Franklin Ortiz is an award-winning novelist, nonfiction writer, publicist, and graphic designer with experience in both print design and web development. Prior to her work for Chrism, she was Director of Communications for the Saint Benedict Institute, and she has served as art director and webmaster of Dappled Things.

Her debut novel In Pieces, the first installment of her Molly Chase series, was the recipient of the ACFW-VA Crown Award, the ACFW Genesis Award, and the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval, and was a finalist in the Catholic Media Association Book Awards and the Oregon Christian Writer’s Cascade Award. Her articles on spirituality, family life, and arts and culture have been published by a variety of popular media outlets, and she was a contributor to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections.

Rhonda is a fully professed lay member of the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans). A native Oregonian, she attended St. John’s College in historic Annapolis, Maryland and now lives in Michigan with her husband and six children. Find her online at rhondaortiz.com.

Roseanna M. White

Roseanna M. White

Creative director, WhiteFire Publishing

Roseanna M. White is the bestselling, Christy Award-winning author of dozens of historical novels, a book cover designer, and was the managing editor of the WhiteFire Publishing Group since its founding in 2005 until she turned over the red pen and focused on her stylus in 2021. A graduate of St. John’s College, she has been living and breathing the publishing industry since her graduation (don’t ask how long ago), and loves nothing more than talking about how stories change the world. She and her family live and homeschool in the gorgeous mountains of West Virginia, where her kids regularly ask about the etymology of words and every single flat surface in their house has become a bookshelf (seriously…). Find out more at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

David J. White

David J. White

Publisher, WhiteFire Publishing

David J. White is the publisher and founder of the WhiteFire Publishing family of imprints. Story has always been one of his passions, whether they’re contained in a book or on a screen. This appreciation for the power of words led him quite naturally to St. John’s College, the Great Books School, where working in the print shop also created a love for the production of books. He founded WhiteFire Publishing in his early twenties and, in the years since, has found joy in growing the line and working with the amazing authors whose stories he and the editorial team fell in love with. Above all, David believes in dreaming big and then backing those dreams up with careful plans and a community of faith. You can frequently find him dissecting a film or a book, musing about the intersection of the Spirit and the world, and wishing he was on an airplane to somewhere in pursuit of his next idea. Learn more about WhiteFire Publishing at www.whitefire-publishing.com.

Zilla the T-Rex

Zilla the T-Rex

Mascot

At the end of a long day, Zilla loves nothing better than curling up with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book. She especially enjoys science fiction, thrillers, and rom-coms. Zilla also spends time playing with children and eating other dinosaurs. Gold like chrism and named for Godzilla, she cheers us on while reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously.