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Dougherty: Playing and writing about roller derby

Denver Business Journal, Friday, October 30, 2009. 

Meghan Dougherty can punch out a press release. Or your face, if necessary.

The public relations pro (Dougherty Relations) not only is a member of the Sugar Kill Gang of the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls roller derby league, but also is publishing a fictional book about the sport.

It’s titled “The Dorothy’s Derby Chronicles,” about one girl’s quest to start her own junior league. It’s aimed at tweens, those ages 9-14, who “follow the story about Dorothy’s personal blog where she vigorously chats about her crushes, new friends and love of roller derby,” sayeth the news release.

“We’re marketing it in a unique way,” says Dougherty, 43, whose player name is The Undertaker’s Daughter (her father was a mortician) and whose jersey number is “DOA.”

"We have decided that instead of trying to get it published as a first book, we'll release it chapter by chapter on sponsor websites." You can find the first chapter at www.dorothysderby.com. She and artist Alece Birnbach won't rely on sponsor money for the first four of the book's 12 chapters.

"We're not looking to make a lot of revenue, just to cover expenses," Dougherty says, who the league chose for its 10-person travel team. "We'll give away the first book in order to get other books written. We're looking at this as a series."

She's already secured a licensing contract for the book's four main characters.

"Roller derby does, for some women, change their lives," Dougherty says. "It provides a level of confidence; it's a self-awareness builder... It's a very empowering sport for women.

"I got to thinking: If it does so much for women 20 to 40, from different socio-economic levels, just think what it could do for young girls, at a time in their lives when they're trying to figure out who they are as they enter the high school years."