Sitting in her entrepreneurship elective at Temple University, Christina Sledge knew she wanted to start her own business one day but never imagined she would go into publishing with her husband.
“It’s definitely been fun, we enjoy learning from each other as we go through this journey,” said Christina, a 2002 computer and information sciences alumna.
After being married for 21 years, Christina and Edward Sledge, a 2013 social sciences alumnus from Towson University and Army veteran, founded Sledge House Media, a Maryland-based publishing company, in January 2021 to self-publish “The Story of Christina and I,” a memoir about their relationship. They started writing and publishing fiction with the romance-suspense “Desire Family” trilogy, and their second book in the series, “Andre’s Confessions,” will be released on April 29.
“Andre’s Confessions” is about former police officer Andre Brown who goes on the run after being accused of murdering Ricardo Desire, a fictional character in the book.
The first book in the series, “Ricardo’s Collisions,” was meant to be a standalone novel with roughly 200 pages, but Christina and Edward decided to make it a trilogy when they realized they had a larger story to tell, Christina said.
Their books usually focus on romantic relationships based on their own love story, Edward said.
“The main theme is always going to be relationships either between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, family,” Edward said.
Christina and Edward met at Canarsie High School in Brooklyn, New York, in 1992, and dated until their senior year but stayed in touch before getting back together, Christina said. They got married in 2000 and have been a team ever since.
Christina and Edward work well together and are almost always on the same page despite coming from different backgrounds – Christina grew up in a multigenerational household in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, that prioritized academics, whereas Edward was raised by a single father in Canarsie, Brooklyn, an area surrounded by crime at the time, she said.
Growing up in Crown Heights, surrounded by Caribbean, Hasidic Jewish and Latino communities, Christina wants their books to reflect that diversity in their characters and tell stories for everyone, she said.
Because of his difficult upbringing, Edward writes grittier stories and Christina likes to write more lighthearted and family-oriented books, like cookbooks, he said.
Edward’s favorite part of writing is when he watches Christina react to his drafts and measures the quality by whether or not she smiles while reading, he said.
He trusts her to give him honest feedback if his writing is not up to their standards, and she works with him to figure out what needs to be changed in a story, Edward said.
“Even if it’s a stabbing or a shooting or a love scene or romance or something like that, seeing her reaction when she proofreads it, that’s how I know I got something good,” Edward said.
Before working in publishing, Christina worked in various managerial roles at companies like A-G Associates, a consulting service, and currently works as a senior meeting manager at the Bizzell Group, also a consulting firm.
Christina knows how to balance two jobs because she learned time management skills at Temple from balancing classes and her part time jobs as a projectionist and usher at the Reel, she said.
Edward handles the writing and Christina manages the business operations, like promoting the books on social media, she said.
Brandon Madeam always knew his sister Christina was going to do something great but was shocked when she and Edward created Sledge House Media because neither of them expressed interest in publishing before. Now, he couldn’t be prouder and reads every book they write, he said.
“When she says she’s going to do something, even at a young age, even as a pre-teen and a teengaer, going to college, going to Temple, she went out and she did it,” he said.
Christina and Edward want to expand their company to include TV shows, short films and feature-length films, starting with a movie adaptation of their memoir, Christina said.
“We want to keep progressively growing each year, raising the bar for what we want to do in terms of production,” Christina said.