Daddy's Christmas Angel

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

My Books Are Set Free

 During many years with Oak Tree Books, I have produced a wide array of books, starting with my reincarnation novel, Hearts Across Forever. Following publication of that book, my publisher, Billie Johnson, created the "Passenger to Paradise" series for me. A very talented lady, Billie produced many beautiful books, including five in that series. We also developed books set in the small fictitious town of Jefferson City that somewhat resembles the little Tidewater Virginia community where I live.

Through the years, Billie started a series of "Snapshot in Time" books that are spinoffs from my big coffee table book, Hotels to Remember. She took all the books I ever sent to her without my ever going through an acquisitions editor.

A few weeks ago, Billie Johnson passed away following a long illness associated with several strokes. The debilitating strokes forced her to move from her home in California, the place of her heart, back to be near family in Illinois. It was the second time she had left California. The first was because of problems with criminal activities that threatened her in the neighborhood where she lived. The story of her life would probably make quite a book.

Oak Tree is gone now. Losing a publisher is difficult in many ways. For a long time, I have been quite troubled by seeing my books disappear from normal sale sites. Since they are no longer returnable, my books mostly aren't available for signings.

Disappointing. That is true. However, for every negative, there is a positive.

Now, I realize, my books have been set free. I have control to make good things happen for them. I always regretted the title, Night Watch, for my story set in Trinidad. I can create a new title now for that book. Since many people believe Daddy's Christmas Angel is a children's book (it isn't), I'm considering changing the title back to the working one, Riding Carousel Horses.

The possibilities go on and on. Self-publish or something else? Choices to make. Positive decisions.

My books are set free.

12 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm so sorry she passed away.

Losing your publisher is difficult but it's good you have the rights back. Now you can make all the changes you want.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thank you, Diane. I am sorry, too.

Lorna Collins - Author said...

Billie was much-loved by many of us. We miss her very much.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Lost a publisher and a very good friend. I miss her too.

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

Well, I finally found the place to click to leave a comment. Billie gave each of us a lot of fond memories and she will always have a special place in her authors' hearts.

Nancy LiPetri said...

Nice post that tugs at my heartstrings re our publisher Billie. And I also appreciate hearing how you might breathe new life into existing books. I will make a fresh start on a new cover with a re-release myself. Onward, OTP authors.

Unknown said...

Billie was not just a good friend, she was a good person with a great, dry sense of humor, and a big heart. She gave many first time authors validation, especially those of us who had been querying our books and getting frustrated by responses or lack of responses. She also made many first-time authors second-time authors and more, by embracing series, giving validation to our characters' lives as well. She was a woman who made a positive difference in the lives of many, and you can't ask for much more than that when it's your time.

Unknown said...

That last comment was from me, Holli Castillo. I don't know why it is showing up as Unknown. I hope it's not a sign.

Eileen Obser said...

Lovely tribute to Billie that so many of us can understand and appreciate.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monti - so sad about Billie - may she rest in peace.

However your books have a new lease of life ... so good luck with those and whatever you decide to do ... cheers Hilary

Lesley A. Diehl said...

What a lovely way to phrase it. Like many authors from OTP, I have chosen to republish my books and recently added a third book to the series.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thank all of you so much for your heartfelt comments. As authors, we have great attachment to our books and to those who provide love and support for them. Billie did that, and for her care, we are grateful. All of us will miss her unique support.