Have you hear of Tulip & Hound? It’s a new and exciting publishing company here on Whidbey Island! This past Tuesday afternoon Tom and I had the absolute pleasure of spending time (via e-meeting, because Corona) with owner and visionary Pavel Soukenik.
Pavel and his wife, Angela, have joined us here on Whidbey for a number of years — and Pavel himself has joined us here in The United States originally from the Czech Republic. Given his background, Pavel supports translation from English into Czech — but what makes Tulip & Hound unique doesn’t stop there!
Tulip & Hound is a small and promising publishing company potentially filling a niche here on the island — there are no publishing company (or distributors for that matter). Pavel’s books are traditionally printed here in the United States using print runs instead of print-on-demand. Books printed in volume through Tulip & Hound can then be offered at lower prices with better terms for both bookstores and authors. Pavel also believes in giving back and is donating 10% of profits from all book sales to preservation of the environment.
The debut book being offered by Tulip & Hound is titled “Siren and the Serenade” by Angela Cummings. She’s a Pacific Northwest author located right here on Whidbey — so local she’s Pavel’s wife. This is convenient for Pavel because he never has a problem reaching his client.
I found our time with Pavel interesting and thought provoking — and I believe you will too when you listen to the podcast. He is pleasant, has a great sense of humor, and all around … he’s just a neat guy! It will be exciting to watch what happens for Tulip & Hound and his company continues to develop. With any luck, it is my hope Tom and I can visit again with Pavel in a year or so to learn about everything that has transpired with Tulip & Hound!
Accidents happen and sometimes they turn out as happy accidents! A few months ago I responded to a comment online from a delightful lady in England — Claire Buss. She was looking for people who produce podcasts — I didn’t think that what Tom and I offer with WOWI was quite her thing, but it never hurts to try … right? To my surprise Clair sent me a personal message soon after, asking that Tom and I each fill out a written interview for her site PenToPrint.org. We took to our trusty keyboards and — not so long story made even shorter — have been featured this month.
Often when Tom and I book WOWI guests one of us knows the guest — and Tom knows just about everyone. For this session … it was my turn.
I know sci-fi & fantasy author William Boulanger through the veterans’ community here on Whidbey Island. Being a member of the SAMS (Scottish-American Military Society), a few years ago I got myself paired-up to march with the local VFW Hall in the annual City of Oak Harbor‘s 4th of July parade. They carried U.S. and military branch flags at the beginning of the parade and I play my Highland bagpipes. Apparently I presented myself as a decent guy because later they invited me to a Hall picnic and to play at a bell ringing ceremony. While at the picnic Will and I happened to start chatting — and it was one of those times where you meet someone and you instantly hit it off, talking about all sorts of things like boon companions…
Will and I talked about everything from electronic recording equipment, our veterans’ organizations, to kilts and kiltmaking. Eventually we fell upon the topic of our writing and I was soon able to tell that I had to get him on WOWI! Here’s the thing … Will is a hugely bright guy and well humored, I wanted to hear what he had to say and I knew WOWI listeners would be equally interested.
This past weekend Tom and I had the pleasure of e-meeting with William — Tom in his spare bedroom, Will in his fancy guest shed, and I in the cab of my truck … you have to understand, it’s Whidbey Island. When it comes to writing and publishing our guest revealed that he works between traditional and self-publishing, writing short and full-length stories, working chiefly in the genres of sci-fi and fantasy. Will was amusing and engaging — and quickly blew Tom’s and my minds talking about how the traditional-publishing industry is affected by COVID-19 and slowed-down due to a lack of paper supply …. WHOA!
More than that, he has a private detective in a sci-fi setting that you’re going to want to know about… no, really!
William was an outstanding guest. I want to talk with him even more about his writing — with any luck …. we’ll get to have him on the show again.
Writers don’t have to have grey hair. Some start young, like John Del Prete’s class that recently published “Invisible Pollution”, a book and presentation about ocean acidification and how it is affecting life in and around the Salish Sea. That’s an impressive start to any writer’s career. This was a significant project, partly funded by NOAA and in partnership with Oak Harbor as well as Port Townsend schools.
Their work was divided among the entire class:, illustrations, writing, and the necessary research to back up their observations about the sources of ocean acidification, the consequences like weakened shells for shellfish and the impacts of the rest of the food chain – a food chain that we are a part of.
It will be interesting watching these students as they progress, seeing what this work inspires in their lives. For now, listen to the podcast to hear six young voices, their teacher and mentor, and of course interruptions by Don and Tom. You might eventually be able to say, “I knew about them back when they were young and just getting started.”
(By the way, keep in mind that these podcasts are live, so don’t be surprised if there’s a factual error or two. Everyone involved is human. Imperfections are part of the reality.)
Recently I announced that Tom and I were set to meet with award-winning local poet and 3-time published author, Daniel Edward Moore, for our next WOWI session. What neither of us knew then was that we were about to meet a fascinating gentleman who proved to be — frankly — a POWERHOUSE!
Daniel met us today at a delightful new shop in downtown Oak Harbor — Whidbey Made — which features a splendid array of local-only artisan goods and keepsakes. If you haven’t dropped by yet, I’m tellin’ ya, GO NOW! In the back of the Whidbey Made mercantile is a cozy space available to rent for small meetings and workshops. It proved to be perfect for WOWI — I think partly due to proprietors, Catherine & Brian, seeing their shop in-part as highlighting all the local talent. But I wonderfully digress . . . . (Please follow @WhidbeyMade on Twitter)
Daniel shared his story of how he made his personal discovery of poetry — picking up a well-loved Sylvia Plath copy at a garage sale — and beginning to write. His insights and experiences with developing his craft and submitting to national journals had Tom and myself chomping at the opportunity to ask more questions. Easily this was a conversation that could have gone into ‘the wee hours’ — but, alas, Whidbey Made did need to close up!
As said — Daniel was a powerhouse in conversation. His passion about expression through the written word is clearly merely unabashed on a slow day — and you’ll hear this in the recording session. He is also no-holds-barred when it comes to the poetry community on Whidbey Island. For three years he and his wife, Laura, have managed the Oak Harbor Poetry Project, a group that both features established poets, supports upcoming poets with writing workshops, and holds an open mic. Saturday (14Mar2020) Daniel will be giving a poetry reading from 7 to 830PM at Unity of Whidbey (free admission, refreshments and book signing at intermission). With a “Writing Poetry Inside Out Workshop” at the Freeland Library 29Apr2020 from 2 to 4PM . . . . Daniel is one to watch. (Take a look at the Readings & Events page on his website — note that he’s already booked out into next year!)
Once our session concluded, Daniel kindly pulled out copies of his book “BOYS” (Nov2019), inscribed and signed them, and gave copies to Tom and myself. He also gave a copy to Catherine, who apparently observed most of our recording from the doorway to the workshop room — our first WOWI audience member!
I have no doubt that you too will be impressed with Daniel Edward Moore and our latest WOWI podcast!
Tom and I have had a few dates lined up before with Meg for this interview. Unfortunately those went through a series of reschedules because She’s A BUSY Lady! So we were pleased to finally get a date nailed down with Meg earlier this week. Since Kingfisher is closed until 28Feb2020 for renovations* the three of us were able to sit down and talk. Meg shared with us how she engages Whidbey Island authors, being a bookseller in the modern market, the books she enjoys, her experiences taking ownership of the Kingfisher Bookstore, and the new layout for her shop. (*You can hear some of the work going on in the background of the podcast … along with the creaking rocking chair Meg sat in for the session.)
I’ve known Meg for the past year — since getting my debut book “Make Your Own Darn Good Cookies“ placed in Kingfisher. During our interview I got to comment on my first impression of her, and I’ve been absolutely pleased not only that she carries Whidbey Island authors’ books but how she relates to our books and us individuals. My impression from day-one is that Meg is enthusiastic about books and high-energy — through our interview I’m updating that to being passionate about books and a DYNAMO!
Meg spoke about the history of Kingfisher along with her plans for the future — and if you’re a Whidbey Island author, I’m telling you now … you need to get ready! Ready to meet your readers, ready to do readings, ready for EVERYTHING! Kingfisher will be getting stairs into the basement and when it reopens around February 28th the floor space will be expanded — used books in the basement, new books on the ground floor …. and with that much more space for new books, We Are Going To Need To Write MORE BOOKS!
This is another one of those interviews where I think Tom and I could have sat with our guest and talked all day — so this session ran around 50 minutes (Good Stuff!). Reality is that we’re all busy folks, so Tom and I got out of Meg’s hair / way / renovations. I’m excited not only to see the new shop space in another week, I’m also EXCITED to see everything that’s to come in Meg’s future with Kingfisher Bookshop!
Enjoy! ~ Don
UPDATE 27Feb2020 — I stopped in at Kingfisher yesterday, a lot of nice work has gone on there. I was told that there is a good bit of work yet to go, and they are predicting being back in service in time for Musselsfest March 7th/8th. It’s going to be exciting to see the grand re-opening!
Today Tom and I trekked out into some wild western Washington winter weather to interview David Gregor — musician, author, and proprietor of Gregor Rare Books — and what a day it was!
A little backstory here… Shortly after Tom and I recorded and posted the first few WOWI episodes, Tom forwarded an e-mail he had received from the owner of Gregor Rare Books. These were introduced with how Tom knows David, and that he has a cozy and unique shop located in Langley on First Street. This baffled me — I used to live at the south end of the island and would typically romp through Langley twice a week — and yet I had no idea where this “Gregor bookshop” was! I looked it up on GoogleMaps and sure-enough there it was!
I believe unbeknownst to David, his e-mails couldn’t have reached Tom and myself any better. In short, he said that he liked what we had started doing with the show and if there was anything he could do to help support it to let him know. Well THANKS — that’s a fast way to get on our radar! Why — we appreciate that sort of reception and because most of the year Tom and I need to find indoor places to record our shows. Anyway, a few more e-mails went back & forth and I easily formed the opinion that this Gregor was a nice guy!
Entering David’s shop you see shelves, books, display cases, a guitar and amp — normal bookstore stuff, right? Until you look closer at his offerings…. Major books, major authors, valuable copies, signed copies, books that David has expertly assessed for their condition. Yeah, when you realize that you’re looking at a Hemingway tome worth more than your checking account, you take notice! These are the books that David has a passion to bring to his customers.
Tom and I got to spend the better part of an hour with David today. To say that he is a pleasant and fascinating gentleman would be putting it lightly. He is an accomplished blues musician and composer. He has five book titles to his own name. He is the owner of a bookshop that caters to customers with particular tastes, whom he connects with rare books both in his store and online. David talked with us about travel, music, his writing, his writing process, the Whidbey writing community, the books he deals in, the customers he meets — I wanted this WOWI session to never end!
But alas, all good things must come to a close, and now you too may enjoy this interview with David Gregor — along with visiting his shop “Gregor Rare Books”, located at 220 1st Street in Langley, WA.
I took one of the Island Transit buses today — far more efficient than my truck and requires hardly more time. Upon reaching the bus stop to make my way one, one of the other riders asked if I had been taking some photos today. “Uhh, huh?!?” He pointed at my mic stand. I clarified that I’d been recording a podcast and that it was a mic stand — then joked that it shoots SM-58 microphones.
This past weekend Tom and I had the absolute joy of interviewing an author-friend of ours –PJ Beaven!
PJ has a most remarkable collection of creative ideas an insights combining health, fitness, and conservation. But where do these come from?!?
As a former zookeeper, PJ saw that she and her peers could take better care of the animals by taking better care of themselves. She took to making fitness a fun and enriching game, and connected healthy habits to conservation. This has turned into a number of PJ’s books, videos, and presentations … like the one Tom and I participated in just before recording WOWI podcast #9.
Prior to the recording session, PJ presented her ZooFit approach at the Langley Library on south Whidbey Island. Tom and I got to sit in as PJ shared her ideas on how to make simple shifts in your life that have an impact on the environment and species we share this planet with. She believe that each person can — not necessarily be perfect but — take on at least the things in our lives that we can to have the best impact on the world.
PJ’s presentation style is down-to-earth, fun, and engaging. She rolled right from the library and brought that same attitude directly to the interview Tom and I held with her at The Commons Cafe & Books. Talking with PJ was an absolute ball, and I know you’re going to enjoy our latest podcast!
This Wednesday Tom and I will be interviewing south Whidbey author and blogger, Dan Pedersen!
Dan is a former Pacific northwest journalist and magazine manager. When he broke away from city life and joined us here on Whidbey Island he made the personal discovery of writing — and having fun with it! He started with the topics of nature and rural living and evolved to writing mysteries.
Dan has an impressive list of titles to his name. Six of these focus on his Whidbey Island detective character, Shane Lindstrom … who occasionally leaves the island to further fight crime!
Our podcast with Dan should be posted by the end of this week — watch for it!
This past Monday afternoon Tom and I previewed the future expanded floor space at Kingerfisher Bookstore. Proprietor and all-around-awesome-lady, Meg, gave us permission to record our first indoor-off-season at-a-business podcast in the basement of her historic building in Coupeville, WA.
The upcoming additional space is going to double the display space for Meg and Kingfisher — and as a fellow book-lover I couldn’t be more EXCITED! Meg also has vision of using this space for author readings. There is a giant door that opens to the cove on the back wall of the basement, and Meg has even imagined these readings to include audience members listening in on the bows of their boats.
So why were Tom and I spending time in the basement? To record the latest podcast, of course!
This past Monday Tom and I returned to our roots — just as with our first two WOWI episodes it was a discussion between Tom and myself. Our focus was around my experiences now being one year into being a self-published author. I’ve learned much — largely based on Tom’s knowledgeable coaching — and this is a topic that could easily supply a number of episodes …. which might explain why this turned out to be our longest recording to date (oops). Maybe it wouldn’t have been as long had I been operating on a full night’s sleep and didn’t keep repeating myself …
Looking further into the future … it appears that Tom and I will be interviewing author and blogger Dan Pedersen. With a new book soon to be released, talking with Dan promises to be interesting indeed! Location TBA, recording on November 20th.