Turning the Tables

I love working with independent authors. There’s nothing better than the look on an author’s face when they see their book in print for the first time. Their excitement and pride are palpable.

I just never expected to be in that position myself. But today the tables are turned, as my own book went live on Amazon. I confess it’s a little overwhelming.

The book, Through an Open Door: A Life and a Ministry, is the culmination of an extraordinary journey more than three years in the making. But the many hours of Zoom meetings, conference calls, research, and writing have finally come to fruition.

I am profoundly grateful to Bishop Peter Elder Hickman and the Ecumenical Catholic Communion for entrusting me with their story as they approach the twentieth anniversary of the ECC’s founding. It was a genuine privilege to be able to gather the memories and visions of so many faithful, Spirit-filled people. I’m inspired by their story so far, and eager to see where the next stage of their journey leads.

Tiptoeing into a Post-Pandemic World

What a long, strange trip it’s been! It’s a cliche, but it’s never been more true than in this COVID-plagued world of ours. So many losses, so much suffering … we will find some kind of new normal, but the normal we once knew is never coming back.

Along with everyone else, Pilgrim Spirit Communications is moving ahead and looking for that new normal. Work here continued throughout the pandemic shutdown – one of the advantages of remote work – and the fruits of that work are beginning to appear.

In hindsight, perhaps one of the year’s least surprising developments was an increased interest in memoirs. Pandemic isolation seems to have sparked an interest in personal reflection and storytelling.

In November 2020, Pilgrim Spirit Communications published Speak Your Truth, by Emma Anne. This powerful firsthand account of one young woman’s struggle with mental illness is not to be missed. Pilgrim Spirit has also provided manuscript evaluation and editing services for several other memoirs in various stages of development. One of those memoirs will be published in the next few weeks; watch this space for the big announcement!

In other news, fans of Paul W. Martin’s Adepts and Demons series will be happy to learn that Book Four, The Mad God, is currently in editing and expected to publish by the end of the year. Time to start rereading Books One through Three!

What has this strange year been like for you? Maybe it’s time for you to tell your pandemic story!

What’s new at Pilgrim Spirit?

The past few months have been a very busy time at Pilgrim Spirit, so there’s plenty of catching up to do. The last quarter of 2018 saw the publication of three new books from three Pilgrim Spirit authors. There’s a little something for everyone here; I hope you’ll check these out.

Finding Grace Within cover

Author and chaplain Shannon O’Donnell draws on nearly 20 years of ministry in jail and prison for her new collection, Finding Grace Within. As she tells it, this is sacred ground, and the people inside are human beings with all the hopes, fears, loves, despairs, and trials of the human condition. Every one of them has a story that deserves to be told. The stories and observations Shannon shares here run the gamut—they are powerful, poignant, heartbreaking, wry, and even occasionally hilarious. This is a must-read; it will challenge any preconceptions you have about the criminal justice system and the people caught within it.

Master of Rage cover

Fans of epic fantasy can celebrate the publication of Paul W. Martin’s latest novel, Master of Rage, which is volume three in his Adepts and Demons series. And if you’ve already read the book, you’ll be happy to know Paul reports that he’s making great progress on volume four, with its working title of The Mad God.

Last Communion cover

Pilgrim Spirit’s newest author is Anna Clark De Foe, whose first novel, Last Communion was published in December. This engaging mystery is set in a small Florida community, where English professor turned amateur sleuth George Ellerton seeks to solve a series of murders that shock his local parish family and friends.  

Call the midwife

When I tell people that I’m a freelance writer and editor, I’m often met with a quizzical expression. Sometimes I get a polite smile that masks the question; sometimes a braver soul will ask what that is or why I do what I do.

Here’s why.

I spent many years working in public relations and media relations. I’ve also worked as a freelance reporter and writer. I’ve written and edited news briefs, book-length fiction and nonfiction and everything in between: news articles, press releases, press kits, marketing materials, newsletters, annual reports, brochures, web content, blogs, academic papers and more. For eight years I also edited and published a monthly community newspaper.

It took me a long time to realize it, but what I have learned about myself from all of those experiences is how much I love storytelling.

I firmly believe that everyone has a story, and I have found my passion in helping individuals and organizations tell their stories. One of my regular clients, the director of a small nonprofit organization, tells me that she really appreciates my ability to channel the organization’s voice.

Another client handed me his first manuscript with great trepidation; he hadn’t shared his novel-in-progress with anyone else. When he received my sample edit, he said happily, “It’s still my voice. It’s just better!” And now we’re working on his third book.

Lately I’ve been working with authors seeking to self-publish. I provide them with editing services (anything from developmental editing to proofreading, depending on the project), book design, and coaching throughout the publishing process. There’s nothing like the look on a first-time author’s face upon seeing his or her words in print. I tell my clients to think of me as the midwife, helping them to bring their project into the world.

What’s your story? Are you ready to share it? I hope you’ll think about calling the midwife.

Now Available: Tower of Destiny

Tower of Destiny coverIf you love epic fantasy, as I do, and you’re tired of waiting for George R.R. Martin to get his act together and finish The Winds of Winter, I’ve got something to keep you busy. I’m delighted to announce that Tower of Destiny, Book Two in Paul W. Martin’s Adepts and Demons series, is now available in print and e-book. Find it here. (And if you haven’t yet read Book One, Path of the Chosen, what are you waiting for?)

For me as an editor, it’s a real treat to handle material that is so engaging. I look forward to every new installment, and am so glad to know that Book Three is well underway. I can’t wait to see where these characters go next!

And the winner is . . .

PNWA award 20160730_200308_resizedPilgrim Spirit Communications had a big night at the annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association in July. Nick Briejer, author of The Sweet Dell, received the 2016 Nancy Pearl Book Award for Best Book–Memoir at the organization’s awards dinner. Congratulations, Nick, the honor is well deserved!

The Sweet Dell was edited and published by Pilgrim Spirit. Since the award announcement, we have begun production on an e-book version of The Sweet Dell, and it will be available soon for your favorite e-reader.

Congratulations are in order!

The Sweet Dell coverBig congratulations go to author Nicholas Briejer, whose memoir The Sweet Dell: The True Story of One Family’s Fight to Save Jews in Nazi-Occupied Holland, published by Pilgrim Spirit Communications, has been named a finalist for the 2016 Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s Nancy Pearl Book Awards. The first-place winners will be announced on July 30 at the Awards Celebration during the PNWA annual conference in Seattle. So delighted for you, Nick!

In The Sweet Dell, Nick tells not only the story of his maternal grandparents, who were part of the Dutch Resistance during World War II, but also his own quest to uncover this piece of his family’s history. If you haven’t yet read Nick’s powerful narrative, you can find it here.

Newly published: Save the Bones

STB-front-webPilgrim Spirit Communications is delighted to announce the publication of Shannon O’Donnell’s Save the Bones in a new, expanded edition. Originally published in 2013, this second edition includes new material that adds a final chapter.

Save the Bones is one woman’s story of walking with her mother through the twisting, turning, maddening journey that is Alzheimer’s. It’s a journey filled not just with the major life changes that the disease imposes but also the small, intimate moments that mark the slipping away of memory and personality. In prose and poetry that is both honest and poignant, the author shares her own experiences, finding grace and even humor along the way.

If Alzheimer’s has affected you or someone you love, you owe it to yourself to read this book. If you have a friend or relative dealing with Alzheimer’s, give them a copy. Find the print version of Save the Bones on Amazon; second edition ebook coming soon.

Coming soon: Tower of Destiny

Coming soon to a bookstore or e-reader near you: Tower of Destiny, Book Two in Paul W. Martin’s Adepts and Demons series. Amazon reviewers described Book One, Path of the Chosen, as “imaginative and rich … engaging … a rollicking adventure set in a well-crafted world.” Book Two follows the further adventures of the Chosen as they seek to learn how to harness and utilize their new-found powers in preparation for the coming war.

Path of the Chosen - coverTower of Destiny is now in the final stages of prep for publication, with editing and book design by Pilgrim Spirit Communications. Haven’t yet read Book One, Path of the Chosen? Find it at or your favorite e-tailer.