As the year begins to come to a close, the Thanksgiving holiday reminds me of how much light there is in my life. I live in a community that reads, celebrates books, and supports literary artists and libraries. Books are something I feel passionately about and I’m grateful to have made them my calling, my livelihood, in this chapter of my life.
For her skills and talents as an editor, Jenna Goodman appears top of my gratitude list. The professionalism, support and enthusiasm Sharon Yntema, bookkeeper and blogger, brings to Swenson Book Development LLC is appreciated. I am tremendously grateful to Susan Tripp for the administrative and project support she gives to our clients and contacts. For two interns this year, Alanna Rieser and Samantha Kolb, I am fortunate. Chad Lieberman continues to provide excellent service in webhosting and website design/development for Swenson Book Development LLC and our clients.
Bringing books into the world is tremendously satisfying and I owe everything to my extraordinary clients. Four new book releases this fall and three publishing contracts for clients in 2017. Several clients with tremendously promising projects to pitch this coming spring. And for all of you who have shared your writing and stories with me as work-in-progress, I am humbled by my luck in finding fascinating people doing honorable work with words.
I am grateful to Linda J. Spielman, whose devotion to wildlife in upstate to New York I share. When she contacted me with an idea for a book—a book I had always wished for when I lived On Warren Pond Farm and had my New York State wildlife rehabilitator’s license. Like Linda, I had taken photographs of animal tracks on our land and studied them. When I saw the incredible illustrations for this guidebook, I got goosebumps. Thank you, Linda, for writing A Field Guide to Tracking Mammals in the Northeast, out from Countryman Press, an imprint of W.W. Norton on July 4, 2017.
For the long years of professional friendship with Cathryn Prince, journalist and author of historical nonfiction titles, most recently, American Daredevil: The Extraordinary Life of Richard Halliburton, the World’s First Celebrity Travel Writer (Chicago Review Press, 2016). I am so fortunate to work with Cathryn again on her forthcoming book, Queen of the Mountaineers: The True Story of Fanny Bullock Workman—Her Record-Breaking Climbs, Landmark Discoveries in Glacial Science, and Advocacy for Women’s Rights Around the World (Chicago Review Press, 2018).
I’m grateful to Diane Tober, who is a medical anthropologist. I’m so fortunate to be working on such fascinating editorial content as her writing coach and developmental editor while she completes her manuscript, Romancing the Sperm, for Rutledge (2018). She’s also working on a documentary, The Perfect Donor, about the complexities of commercial egg donation.
What deep gratitude I feel for Ann Marie Ackermann who is already well-prepared for the launch of her book, Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee from Kent State University Press in its True Crime History series in September 2017. I enjoy reading her historical true crime blog and am grateful for her friendship.
It’s no secret I love history. What a thrilling experience it has been to work with Elizabeth Rynecki on her new book, Chasing Portraits: A Great-granddaughter’s Quest for her Lost Art Legacy (Berkley/Penguin Random House, 2016). The lessons from WWII and the Holocaust have never seemed more salient to contemporary society. It has been an honor to be involved in her book and I look forward to seeing her documentary which is now in post-production.
When I first read Carolyn Porter’s story about the French Catholic metalworker conscripted under the Vichy regime to work in Berlin for the Nazis building Daimler panther tanks who wrote his wife and daughters letters sent to the French countryside, I knew immediately this history must be published. That she found the letters in an antique store in Stillwater where my sister lives and developed a cursive font based on the old fashioned penmanship on the letters hooked me. I am overjoyed her new book, Marcel’s Letter: A Moving Story about a Font and the Fate of One Man, will be released on June 1, 2017 from Skyhorse.
It has been a privilege to have represented Mauro Marinelli and see his exquisite new art photography book, Under Old Stars: Wanderings in Italian Hill Towns released by Kehrer Verlag on October 25, 2016. This is the second book project on which we have collaborated. If you are in Ithaca, please go see the current exhibition of art work in the Tompkins County Public Library where some of his prints from the book have been included in this curated collection of 10 local artists in conjunction with the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition on “Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean To Be Human?” The images will touch you.
Ira Rabois teaches the gratitude attitude and I am so thankful his new book, Compassionate Critical Thinking (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) has been released into the world. There has never been a more urgent need in our nation to reflect with critical self-awareness of our emotions, beliefs, and behaviors. The reason I gives thanks is I am a better person for trying to apply his recommended practices and imagination exercises to my personal and professional life. Lucky me, I had the opportunity to celebrate the release of Ira’s book in Ithaca and see the remodeling in Buffalo Street Books.
Ithaca is quirky. And Gorges. For more than 20 years I lived there and now that I’ve moved to Wisconsin, it’s my favorite travel destination. There’s so much to see and do in Ithaca. You can’t cram it all into one weekend. 365 Things to do in Ithaca, New York is a giant gratitude list Laurel Guy created to celebrate this a place she calls home. You’ve got to SEE this book! The photographs are incredible and most were taken by Laurel herself. What a thrill it’s been to work with her on the publication of her book, 365 Things to Do in Ithaca, New York (Schiffer Publications, 2016) which you can pre-order now. It’s the perfect holiday gift!
I hope you enjoy the holiday season and take the time to read more books. Thank you,