Another Book Closes

When I took over this project at the end of spring term last year, I honestly could not imagine this end point: we have a finished book, reviews coming in, and several upcoming book events. It has been a long road, and yet it feels just like yesterday that my predecessor was graduating and handing me the reigns. And now, as we wrap up the marketing plan for Seven Stitches and celebrate the launch, we turn to a new manuscript. This is one of the most amazing aspects of our time at Ooligan Press. We have our hands in so many pieces of the process.

As one of the original team members from last year, I have watched Seven Stitches progress from the early editing stages to the cover design process to the finished product. This year’s team—which included two returning students and five new members—developed and implemented a marketing plan that showed a deep understanding of the book, its themes, and the world around it. Our first-year colleagues wasted no time in familiarizing themselves with not only Seven Stitches but Blue Thread and The Ninth Day, embracing the characters and worlds that Ruth Tenzer Feldman so lovingly crafted.

Our time with Seven Stitches, Meryem, and Feldman is quickly coming to a close. It’s a bittersweet time, marking another Ooligan success and showing what we can accomplish, but it signals the end of a special bond that we’ve all shared with this book and the author. And for many of us, it’s another milestone toward graduation. At the end of this term, a new manager will be selected; they will help me begin a new project and then take over once I transition out of the program. Ooligan Press is not unusual in this style of turnover, but it’s unique in that we feel a different connection to our books. (Perhaps this is just me.) I’ve developed a strong affection for this book, it’s author, and the group I’ve been working with. I will be forever grateful for the trust given to me and our team by both our publisher and Ruth Tenzer Feldman. I feel I couldn’t have asked for a better project to manage—with its triumphs and tribulations—to encapsulate my time at Ooligan. Thank you, Ruth. Thank you, Meryem. Thank you to the entire Seven Stitches team. We did it!

The Birth of a Book

The launch of The Ghosts Who Travel with Me was marked with the excitement and celebration befitting the hard work and creativity that went into it. The big event was held in Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Company and was attended by Ooligan students and fans of Allison Green’s work, both old and new. A few days later, attendees of the Village Books event in Fairhaven, Washington, had the special gift of an intimate reading where with the lingering excitement of the book’s launch mingled with the rising momentum of incoming mentions and praise.

We often think of publication as the birth of a book, but I think the birth begins much earlier in the process—with the author and the inspiration. For Green, it all started with one line six years ago: “This, too, is America: two middle-aged women, one North American and one Central American, eating cheese and apples in campsite #4 of the Mountain View Campground on Little Redfish Lake.”

Since June, Green has been up and down the West Coast on a new sort of pilgrimage: teaching workshops in Port Townsend, reading in San Francisco, answering Michael Silverblatt’s intelligent and provocative questions on the popular Bookworm podcast, and rounding up glowing reviews in publications like Hippocampus Magazine. Our intrepid author shows no signs of slowing down. With more readings, residencies, and conferences scheduled through January, we could not be prouder or more excited.

Along with the unwavering dedication of our author, we have to acknowledge the commitment and creativity of the recently graduated Oolies who brought this book to life, including our inspiring project manager Ariana Marquis. A new crop of students will join us in the fall as we continue to sell and celebrate the life of The Ghosts Who Travel with Me, which promises to be a long and fruitful one.