Community, Local authors, Marketing, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing

An Interview with Roy I. Wilson

A retired ordained United Methodist clergyman and Cowlitz Tribal Elder, Roy Wilson has written more than 30 books, many printed by Gorham Printing. His role as a spiritual leader gives him a special insight into both Native and Western spirituality. His special-interest books encompass tribal history, language and Medicine Wheel wisdom. Roy has recently completed Bear Raven longhouse, a retreat and spiritual center for Native and non-Native people to join together and study Native American spiritual teachings.

We had the privilege of chatting with Roy in the shop one day when he stopped by to pick up an order of books.

Gorham Printing: When did you start writing about history?

Roy Wilson: I started writing history back in the early 1980s, thirty to forty years ago, when nobody had written a history on the Cowlitz tribe. I did what I call a simple ‘dateline history.’ It was a little booklet of only twenty-eight pages. It started off 1806 and then simply the statement, “Lewis and Clark land at the mouth of the Cowlitz river,” nothing more. Nothing about it. It was twenty-eight pages of just a date and a line of a few words.

That was my first start [writing history] but I was very busy at that time. I was still pastoring. I was on the Washington State Governor’s advisory council. I had two national offices in the Indian world. One year I made 62 cross country flights. It was a nightmare. I was living out of a suitcase. I didn’t have any time to write and so I’d just write little short things. I wrote a number of little booklets until I retired. I started taking those booklets and using them as a table of contents to write larger books. The twenty-eight page dateline history in the early 80s became a 243 page book on the history of the tribe in the 90s.

GP: How did you find Gorham Printing?

RW: It was a woman from up on Bainbridge Island who had followed my Indian teachings for a long time and she had a book printed by Gorham. And she had copies of my books and she sent me an email. She said I’m going to be down in Centralia in a few days to get my book that’s being printed. Sure would like to see you too! So I came up and met her here while she was getting her and books. Up until then I was having my books printed in Ohio. Prices were basically the same. The difference was shipping cost! I just pick up my books at Gorham now.DispossessedCover

GP: What are your thoughts on the purpose of preserving history, particularly in book form?

RW: Several different comments. One. History repeats itself. Quote-unquote. We are creating history with our actions today. Maybe we can do a better job of it if we study what’s happened in the past. History is important to create the dynamics of a powerful future.

The next thing is that we need to realize that history needs to be looked at from many different points of view. I recall an article that quoted, “There is no existing accurate historical record in existence.” Each writer has written history from their vantage point, their point of view.

I gave a lot of thought to that. It makes writing history more important because I need to look at the history of that event through as many different eyes as I can to come up with what might have really happened. The Indian history that’s taught in our schools and our universities is all written from the white man’s perspective. So it’s important for me to write it from an Indian’s point of view. What really happens when the Indian dies? There are several Indian historians now who’ve done this and I have copies of some of their works. It’s just a totally different story.

It’s important we see all the different views and then make up our own mind about what we think really happened.

 

To learn more about Roy Wilson’s work, or to order a copy of his book, visit his website: http://sundancemedicinewheel.com/

 

 

Reading, Self Publishing, Writing

Q&A with Local Author Mary Gentry

Mary Gentry is an Olympia-based writer whose books we’ve printed since the summer of 2014. Her first book, a collection of essays titled Quite Contrary, was released that September. She brought us her second title, Too Far from the Tree, to be printed the following spring. Mary’s essays and short stories have enjoyed healthy popularity locally. It is not hard to find Mary reading at bookstores in the Puget Sound region. Reading events with Mary are extra special because her cover artist, a well-known local print maker name Mimi Williams, will often join Mary for a demonstration of her lino-printing techniques.

Mary and I are practically neighbors, so when Mary orders a reprint, I like to bring her order up to Olympia so I have the chance to chat. When I delivered her reprint last week, I asked if she’d be willing to answer a few questions about books, writing, and the importance of storytelling.

Gentry_Quite-Contrary-Cover

Gorham Printing: What kind of books do you like to read?

Mary Gentry: I gravitate to books with well-developed characters. Motivation and character development are more important to me than action. I listen for the character’s ‘voice’ and if it rings ‘true’ then I keep reading.

I read a lot of procedural detective fiction – that would be my favorite escape reading, I guess. I’m also very fond of novels in which place is well developed, as if it were a character. I like to see and smell the locale. I am often inspired by characters, real or imagined, who manage to rise above themselves.

GP: When did you start writing? What do you like to write about?

MG: I have written on and off all my adult life. Once I started practicing law in the early 80’s, I realized how much I missed the creative environment I had experienced in teaching. In order to find the time to write, I routinely rose early in the mornings – very early – before anyone else got up and often before I went out for a 45 minute run.

Initially, I focused on short stories as well as children’s stories, the kind of books I was reading to my daughter. It was fun for me to put her into these stories. It was also a way to capture her ‘development’ and make a record of sorts.

I am drawn to write about very ordinary things; sometimes it is something that strikes me as humorous, other times, poignant. I prefer a “light” touch whenever possible. I think that it is in the very ordinary, commonplace moments that we can relate to one another. We rarely share anyone’s full life experience, but we do have frustrations, mishaps and misadventures in common, and I enjoy exploring that.

Gentry_Too-Far-CoverGP: When and why did you decide to compile your writings into a book?

MG: I decided to create a book when I realized that I had all these stories and essays written that weren’t going anywhere and I wanted to see them in a collection. I had posted a number of essays on a blog for a few years, which was initially satisfying but ultimately not quite enough. I wanted something more permanent and at the same time, more tangible.

GP: How did you find Gorham Printing?

MG: A friend, Holly Harmon, with whom I initially consulted about publishing my stories, introduced me to Gorham. Earlier in my career, I suspect that I would have balked at the idea of ‘self publishing’ but at this point in my life, it seemed to me the best and most logical route to go. I have limited time to write and I didn’t want to spend what time I did have trying to get something published in a magazine or by a publishing company. Now I realize that I really appreciate the freedom and control that comes with being one’s own publisher. I have frequently turned to The Little Red Hen for inspiration and guidance – she led me to Gorham, and with your help, “I did it myself!”

Want to learn more about Mary and her books? Check out her website: http://marygentrywrites.com/

See more Mimi Williams prints at her website, http://www.mimiwilliamsprintmaker.com/

Alison of Gorham Printing, Mimi Williams, and Mary Gentry at a reading and print demo event this spring.
Alison of Gorham Printing, Mimi Williams, and Mary Gentry at a reading and print demo event this spring.
About Us, Design, Marketing, Self Publishing, Writing

Make Your Book Your New Business Card

In the state of Washington an injury lawyer has a simple free book on tips you should know if ever in a car accident. An accounting firm has a free book on hints for filing taxes. Books are a marketing commodity more business owners are tapping into, a tangible object people keep handy for reference or information. What better way to get a company’s name into the minds of potential customers than offering information they want and need in a pocket-size book.

More substantial than a leaflet or tri-fold brochure easily thrown away, a book represents quality experience and knowledge and is now being touted as a significant marketing tool for business owners and entrepreneurs as their new business card. For decades, the industry of personalized pens, can holders and such begged companies to attach their logo to just about anything plastic or metal. Yet a book not only touts a company name and logo but is filled with interesting fine points, proving an expert edge to any subject.

Whether a small business owner or service provider, imagine handing a potential customer a professionally designed book of your company or expertise. A guidebook of statistical data or fun how-to procedures for better living, a manual of making a better mousetrap will boost exposure for yourself and your company. A memoir of the company’s owner is another viable book idea creating a revenue source worldwide; people love to read about people – hence the popularity of the national magazine of the same name.Gorham_Printing_Banner

Today’s short-run book printing is a flexible process where you can easily start with fifty copies and see what helpful reviews and evaluations come back. Then simply make any changes, if needed, for a complete guidebook or how-to edition to start handing or mailing out to customers. Ordering in quantities of 500 books means not worrying about costly storage and still keep the cost per book down.

Learning how to write a book or books for your company is as easy as attending the Nonfiction Writers Conference May 6-8, 2015 with industry experts explaining the various steps and issues.

About Us, Page Layout, Pre Press, Self Publishing, Writing

Free Guidebook on Self Publishing

Not much is free anymore, yet here is a perfect-bound (trade paperback) book with pricing and information any writer could use. Who’s giving away a free guidebook? Gorham Printing is, tucked away in southwest Washington, they are a manufacturer of dreams. Real dreams from the heart of people who have wanted to write the great American novel, author a self-help book, or the poet with a collection of sonnets and verse. For over thirty years Gorham Printing, a short-run book printer, has been churning out soft cover and hard cover books, of all genres, for authors and small publishers across the country.

Free 2014 guidebook available at GorhamPrinting.com
Free 2014 guidebook available at GorhamPrinting.com

What is a short-run book printer?

At Gorham Printing the minimum order is 25 copies of a book up to 2,000. Small only in size, with ten people full-time employees, this dedicated staff produces giant size professional quality and customer service for their clients. Kurt Gorham, owner, has created an environment of knowledge and expertise in Centralia, Washington, where thousands of book are designed and printed every year. This is an all-digital shop, producing books in black and white and full color. An author can place an order for one hundred books to be used as gifts, advance review copies, or for immediate marketing and selling in various venues.

Order Your Free Guidebook!

On the Gorham Printing website, there are various click points for ordering a free copy of their informative guidebook which includes pricing and details about producing a book-industry standard book. The guidebook is also a sample of the standard text and copy stock used at Gorham Printing. Get your copy today.