NEW!  WORKSHOPS for WRITERS :

Over the course of several years, Gary W. Goldstein had accumulated various presentations and webinars he'd done and copious notes on advice he had given to aspiring writers and actors looking to make it in Hollywood.  After he decided that he wanted to turn this material inito a book, he was (happily) referred to me.

The initial working material I received was comprised of ten separate documents representing those webinars, notes, etc., plus the transcripts of a dozen or so interviews done with working actors, casting agents, voiceover experts, and others.  I organized the material into a workable structure, connecting one chapter to the next, and creating an overall flow to make the book extremely accessible for any aspiring actor, no matter where they are located - in the real Hollywood or its dreamscape companion.  That initial draft was then reviewed page by page with the author.  After the actors' guide was completed, I notated that manuscript for adaptation to the writers' guide, providing extensive notes for the author on where material needed to be added to make the book equally useful and accessible to aspiring writers.

The screenwriter's book is the first to be published, and I hope the actor's book will soon follow.

 

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Secret Storms  This is the story of a Main Line Philadelphia debutante (Julie), pregnant at 19 and unmarried, who was committed to a mental institution and forced to give her baby up for adoption. That baby was Kathy, who didn't know she was adopted until she was in her mid-teens. Secret Storms tells the story of both life journeys and the reunion that began when Kathy decided to seek out her birth parents some forty-three years after she was adopted.

This book holds a special place in my heart, since I was privileged to be the first editor to work on Julie and Kathy's manuscripts in the autumn of 2009.  While the combined manuscript has been through many hands as it made its way through the publishing process, I still feel a personal thrill at the success the book is enjoying: just before Mother's Day, it made its way onto a few of the lists at Amazon and B&N (a huge achievement for a self-published book), and the authors have made appearances on two (at last count) nationally televised talk shows.  Secret Storms has also won accolades from the independent book world, becoming a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and a category winner in the Indie Excellence Book Awards.  The outstanding job done by the publishing team behind Secret Storms is establishing a new template on how to launch a self-published book.

A heartbreaking but ultimately life-affirming mother-daughter story that defies fiction. Every plot twist, every emotion touches a chord, even for those of us who have not had to endure such a brutal separation. Read it and weep-and then finally rejoice. An ode to the enduring power of family ties.  - Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, author of A Woman of Independent Means

In my writers' workshops, the greatest gospel I can preach is the obvious one - to tell the truth, whatever form it takes. This amazing mother-daughter writing team exemplifies the concept to the max. The plot is Dickensian, rife with villains and struggle, the revealing of it, breathtaking in its simplicity and heartbreaking in its courage. What a story. - Ernest Thompson, Academy Award-winning writer of On Golden Pond

Both authors have gripping stories to tell...compulsive reading. - Publishers Weekly

Shining through both narratives is goodness and the power of the human spirit. A dually narrated, uplifting tale on overcoming profound adversity. - Kirkus Reviews

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Edited by Jeanne McCafferty
Book Design by Irish Cabrini Creative
Original cover design by Liz Lyons

Loves, Life, and Laughter Bill Eddy's story captures California in the second half of the 20th century like few others do. From a childhood shaped by World War II (he was born six months before Pearl Harbor), to an adolescence flavored by the boom of post-war America, Bill's account begins in a simpler time: Extended family lived nearby, divorce was all but unknown, and optimism was in the air. Bill came to know divorce, both from his parents' and two failed early marriages of his own, and his optimism faded with a few stumbles as he sought his way in the business world. But this child of California rediscovered himself and his zest for life on the beaches of Hawaii, where he encountered the Aloha way of life.

The treatment I developed for this design I refer to as a Contemporary Classic, with a highly readable font and a chapter header that distinguished it from the run of the mill. Bill Eddy's story is a classic in its own way, and since he's also quite contemporary, the design is a perfect match.

Most people believe they lead fascinating lives, but sadly few actually do. For years, and over several beers, I've told my friend Bill he should chronicle his life's stories. Now, guys like me have the ultimate how-to-guide for living a truly fascinating life. - Russ Knocke, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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It was an honor to work with Karen Wyatt on this important book.  As our population ages, and as we move to a mature discussion of health care in this country, hospice care will have a larger and larger role in our national conversation.  The stories Dr.Wyatt tells in What Really Matters are uplifting, thought-provoking, and deeply touching. 

As to my editorial contribution: while this manuscript was quite clean when it came to me, I was able to help Dr. Wyatt with some structural changes, all of which helped present her message in the clearest possible way.

What Really Matters chronicles the life transformations experienced by Dr. Karen Wyatt, her patients and their family members during hospice care. This book of beautiful and uplifting stories about the lessons learned from the dying is also a guidebook for those who are feeling lost or hopeless about their lives in this contemporary world.


Edited by Jeanne McCafferty
Cover Design and Book Design
by Irish Cabrini Creative

Editing and designing the original edition of this book was a thrill - and not just because we went from rough manuscript to finished books in three weeks! Bibi Angola's enthusiasn for her subject shines through on every page - and that enthusiasm is contagious.

The manuscript was delivered to me as a list of 101 tips; I organized those into five categories and put them into a sequence that built the flow of the text. The original cover design captured the teacher theme of the book, and the clean look echoed the interior pages, which had a spacious layout, one tip to a page, in a contemporary sans-serif font.

Veteran teacher Bibi Angola distills her decades of teaching experience into 101 practical, informative, and inspiring tips. These tips, divided into five practical categories, will be a source of information for beginning teachers and a source of inspiration for experienced educators in need of a reminder as to why they became a teacher.  The Gentle Red Pen: 101 Tips on Becoming the Teacher Who Makes a Difference is the perfect book to help someone discover or rediscover the joy, meaning, challenges, and rewards the teaching profession offers.

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Edited by Jeanne McCafferty
Book Design  by Irish Cabrini Creative
Click the image above for a detailed view.

Leonie - A Woman Ahead of Her Time was a unusual project, one that presented a unique challenge: editing the manuscript of an author who had passed away almost 70 years ago. But Leonie von Zesch was a talented writer, and she had a compelling life story to tell, beginning with her account of the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. She also details her adventures serving the Hopi and Navajo peoples in Arizona, her 15-year 'visit' to post gold-rush Alaska, a Grand Tour of Europe in the early 1920s, and life in Oakland during the Great Depression.

This was a lengthy manuscript, and the space requirement did not allow for a decorative treatment, but the classic typeface and straightforward chapter headings seemed appropriate for this book. Several historic photographs from the author's collection were incorporated into the book, including the striking cover image of Leonie von Zesch.

Dr. von Zesch was recently inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. [Click here] for more information and to read the citation.


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Edited by Jeanne McCafferty
Book Design  by Irish Cabrini Creative
Cover art by Wally Runnels
Click the image above for a detailed view.

Wally Runnels is a first-time author, and it was a treat to work with him on his first book The In-Ko-Pah Spirit. This supernatural thriller was intended as an original Kindle release, so we were able to make it available on Kindle not long after the editing process was finished. Since it was intended for eBooks, a fairly simple page design was warranted, and the same simple design was used for a short-run print version to accommodate some reviewers.

The excellent - and scary! - underlying art was done by the author and perfectly captures the mythological beast of the tale. The emphatic font was used to make sure the title was clear in the reduced size format in which many Kindle icons appear.

A mercenary is paid to track down a rebellious member of a Mexicali drug cartel. The search leads to the In-Ko-Pah Mountains, an isolated region on the Mexican/American Border. Both the hunter and the hunted soon confront the ominous presence that inhabits the In-Ko-Pahs.

A very realistic story, but it had just shades of the supernatural...like hints of magical realism...a step outside our normal conscious realm. I enjoyed this story and would recommend it to my friends. (5 stars). Mark Williams; Goodreads, Librarything, Shelfari


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Book Design  by Irish Cabrini Creative
Cover Photo by Syndey Byrd
Click the image above for a detailed view.

War of the Pews presents a compelling story of the struggle of a congregation to keep their church open in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This was a lengthy manuscript, so an economical, tight page design was in order. I wanted the book to reflect the history of the church, however, and after conversations with the publisher, who told me about the historic ironworking tradition of the African-American community of New Orleans, I designed a decorative element for the chapter headings that evokes that tradition.

Although I was not on the editorial side of this project, I was able to offer some insight and advice as to how to handle the extensive front and back matter of the book, making it a bit more accessible for readers.

In the spring of 2006 the archdiocese of New Orleans declared that St. Augustine Church, which had stood in the Tremé section of New Orleans for over 170 years, would have to be closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Fr. Jerome LeDoux, the beloved pastor of the parish since 1990, was reassigned to a congregation in Texas. But the parishioners, inspired by their pastor-in-exile, faced off with the archbishop, forcing an unprecedented mediation to keep the church's doors open and its future secure. Fr. LeDoux tells this fascinating story with candor and humor, and he tells it in detail, going back into the church's founding in 1841 through the Civil War, segregation, Civil Rights and ultimately Hurricane Katrina to show how its predominantly African-American population weathered each of four battles in the War of the Pews.

 

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I was one of a few editors on this beautiful book, and my main contribution was that, although I'm interested in both feng shui and gardening, I know very little about either! That made me an ideal editor for reviewing the initial draft - bringing a clear 'beginner's mind' helped illuminate the passages that needed further explanation.

Secrets of the Land offers countless ways to learn about your garden. It encourages people to plan and design your own garden by teaching the basics of garden design, the basis for feng shui, and how to use the tools of trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, colors, rocks, water and art to implement your design.


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Book Design  by Irish Cabrini Creative
Cover art by James A. Packard
Click the image above for a detailed view.

The dramatic tone of Humanus Diabolicus - described on the cover as "A Postmodern Prophecy" - is announced by the striking cover art selected by the author. Both the subject and the art seemed to call for a dramatic font treatment, and I selected a modern interpretation of a classic look.

This is also a lengthy manuscript, and some accommodations had to be made to the length. Yet again, the subject matter was so distinct that I was pleased to find a text element that could function as a design element on chapter pages: in this case, the text elements evoke all-seeing eyes - an appropriate element for such a dystopian tale.

Dr. James Houk presents a dark gospel: the manuscript Humanus Diabolicus has been entrusted to him with an urgent plea to publish it as a warning of the end of humankind on this earth. Powerful imagery makes the characters -- both real and imagined-- come alive in disturbing ways.


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Book Design  by Irish Cabrini Creative
Cover art by Nicole deLaunay Harris
Click the image above for a detailed view.

Floating Souls: The Canal Murders is a novella-length mystery novel, the first fiction from a distinguished forensic anthropologist, Mary L. Manhein.

The shorter length of this manuscript allowed for a more expansive page treatment. Once again, I was able to find a text element to distinguish the chapter headings - this one reflecting the watery setting of the title, which was so perfectly captured in the outstanding cover art created by Nicole deLaunay Harris.

Manhein takes the reader by both hands and thrusts them into the canals of New Orleans and Venice. They come out dripping with a stark knowledge of one murder after another. Forensic anthropologist Maggie Andrepont thrusts her hands into the corpses themselves to resurrect the details of their lives and deaths. Scientist and literary artist Manhein knows how to activate the reader's emotions, imagination and intellect to make her fiction as real as the reader can endure, right on through the shocking revelations at the end. -- David Madden, author of Abducted by Circumstance


 
NEW!  WORKSHOPS for WRITERS :