I wear many hats, as an author, artist, teacher, musician and more. I love variety, which is just as well. Although I have written about how my clairvoyant abilities awoke when I was little, I realized, very recently, that when I first began to clairvoyantly see fairies and nature spirits, I also began to write little stories. My experience was that as one skill awoke, so did several others. I would write my little stories and then illustrate them with my pictures (all with wax crayons!) In fact I wrote my first “book” at age eleven.
My “stories” were always read out at school and my pictures/illustrations usually pined up on the wall. The teachers and other children seemed to enjoy my tales and I was soon labelled the little girl with “imagination” as it was politely put in those dark days of the 1950s.
Years later, as a journalist, I made “story” writing a whole new adventure. My goal was to put into words what I had experienced at certain events but make it interesting, lively and fun to read. Of course, years after that, I began to pull these events into books and magazine articles. Then in the early 90s I entered the treacherous field of book publishing. As you all know, I now have seven book titles to my name and continue to write for magazines, blogs and newspapers. (Please see my bookstore for further details)
It has not been an easy journey. My very first book is not available and you cannot read it... ever! This is because I foolishly signed a contract giving total copyright to the publisher (it was all in the tiny writing and I was just excited about getting my book published so I didn’t negotiate it!!!)
This is, I am afraid, standard practice for many publishers. The book in question was a “Journalism 101” for students offering my insights, hints and tips on news gathering and newspaper writing. It has been used as a text book in several journalism schools right across the world for a number of years. I am glad to have helped many of these young journos make their way in the world, but despite having sold thousands of copies I hardly made a penny from it. In addition, I cannot update it, or offer it to you in any new form for another ten years, when it falls into the “public domain” and then anyone (yes... anyone!) can use it, copy it, and make it their own.
Welcome to the world of publishing!
Getting a book published is never easy. No doubt you have heard all the many tales about now famous books such as the Harry Potter and the Celestine Prophecy were rejected by dozens of publishers before becoming an “overnight success”. You can be sure that thousands of books filled with priceless information/wisdom will never see the light of day.
When I began on my second book: Sacred Circle, Ocean of Stars, I was a lot more careful about contracts but found that unless I agreed to hand-over copyright or printing rights I could not get published. Other publishers wanted to change the book totally. Others wanted to make it into a “workbook” on the Medicine Wheel, written like a shopping list. I won’t bore you with all the details, other than to say I felt utterly stymied at every turn. Then, just when I was about to give it all away, I received a donation from two people who had attended my workshops down in Melbourne. Their contributions made Sacred Circle a reality as I then proceeded to self publish.
I could literally write a book about writing a book and the journey of self publishing but it would end up being a surreal “night mare” kind of tale, filled with reptilian overlords and defrocked priests. Suffice it to say that the publishing pathway is filled with potholes, self-interested energy vampires who want to make money out of your dream, and some quite nefarious characters who will happily sell you a “package” that benefits them and ties you in red tape.
Over the years, many of you have written/emailed me asking for more books. You have even asked me to write more about my experiences on the Native American Indian reservations (where I lived for 8 years), or my experiences in North Africa, or how I missed getting on the Lockerbie plane (by the hairs of my chiny chin chin!!) but in all cases, it is NOT the writing of it, but the red tape of it, that has held me back.
And that brings me to Sacred Tree Books.
A few years ago, I managed to get some of my books published in India. It was a lengthy operation but reasonably priced. At the same time, POD (Print on Demand) organizations started to pop up, and so I began to explore. Sadly, the same nefarious characters, using the same snake-oil, slick salesmanship, flattery and ego-tactics had moved into this field. In many cases, the small print in the contracts removed many of your rights. Then, through trial error, and angelic luck, I discovered a system that allows me to publish at a reasonable cost and (very importantly!!!) maintain full control of my materials as well as full copyright... bingo!
Sacred Tree Books is the fulfilment of a vision I had, many years ago on the reservation. I wrote about it back in the early 1990s in Sacred Circle. At the time I really couldn’t see how it could work, but now, thanks to computers and digital printing, it is! I happily offer my services, and the services of Sacred Tree Books to anyone who wishes to safely publish their own book(s). The services suits print books rather than picture books, although illustrations are possible. Most importantly, I know how to safeguard your copyright and ensure you never lose control of your “intellectual property.”
If you are a writer, or if you feel you only have a short book inside you, please go to my new website (see link below) and join the email newsletter. I also have a PDF outlining the basics. My dream is that fiercely independent writers and free-thinkers will support one another to get our messages and wisdom out there.
And... in the meantime, I am finally writing my very long book on my life on the Indian reservations of northern Canada.. it will be a little while, because in the end... you have to actually write the darned thing before you even think about publishing....Oh well... back to my keyboard!
Please click the link on the picture above, to go straight to Sacred Tree Books. Feel free to contact me via that website if you have questions or queries on publishing......