Two years ago in September, my first poetry book, Tapestry, made its debut on Amazon, followed by my memoir, Daughter of the Mountains, and my first children’s book, Herman, the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black, Shiny Thing — all out there for the whole world to see in December, 2016. By December, 2017, a new children’s book, Revolt of the Teacups, and Captured Moments, a poetry anthology, published with my James City Poets group, joined the growing list of titles under my name on my website. I was thrilled to have an author website and blog and teared up every time a new book got listed there.
This week, we added two more children’s books to my list…Buddy and Ballerina Save the Library, about a couple of bookworms who would rather read the books than eat them, illustrated by my granddaughters, Adaline, age 11 and Emma, age 7; and a second bookworm book, Buddy, the Bookworm Rescues the Doomed Books; the first and second in what we hope will be a series of bookworm books. I used the word, “we” earlier because none of this would have been possible without my amazingly creative publisher, Jeanne Johansen, her husband/partner, and their company, High Tide Publications. Jeanne has been my publishing fairy godmother, complete with magic wand, computer and belief.
I’ve been writing since high school…fiction, non-fiction and poetry. I was in my twenties when my first non-fiction article was published, in McCalls magazine. If you remember that publication, you’re probably in your 70’s like me. I received a check for $1000 for that story and thought I was on my way to fame and fortune. If you’re also a writer, you know how naïve I was. Most of us wind up with more rejection slips than checks. But the checks did come, enough to keep me writing. Even without them, I would have kept writing. It is a life force for me, as essential as the air I breathe. But I never dared to dream that I could publish a book.
In 2016, a friend told me about his publisher, the aforementioned fairy godmother. Gathering all the courage I could muster, I dialed the number and told the pleasant voice on the other end that I had a story I thought would be a good children’s book. Would High Tide be interested? I was in the right place at the right time. They were looking for good children’s books to publish. We met, Jeanne liked the story; my talented artist/friend, Vivien Mann, illustrated it; and Herman was High Tide’s first children’s book! While we were waiting for the illustrations to be completed, I told Jeanne I had a nearly-complete memoir and also a book of poetry. She read them, loved them — to my amazement – and the rest, as the cliché says, is history.
Thank you, Jeanne, for your vision of a publishing company that focuses on authors over fifty, and brings our stories to the world. Thank you, also, for your hard work, long hours, patience and belief. Keep waving that magic wand and helping authors like me realize our dreams.
SHARON CANFIELD DORSEY is an award-winning author whose work has been published in magazines, journals, and anthologies. She was a 2017 winner of the Art Lit project to display poetry on the streets of the City of Williamsburg, VA. She was a columnist for the Ashland Oil Newsletter and the editor of Expats International. She is a member of Pen Women International.