“Every writer has only one story to tell”

James Baldwin
In my case, I wouldn’t even have been a writer if telling my story hadn’t compelled me; after I became an immigrant twenty-two years ago, I simply hadto write about it. So now, on this first day of June, the start of the sixth Annual Immigrant Heritage Month, I am launching a seasonal newsletter—summer, fall, winter, spring—and you are receiving it because our paths have crossed in some way, which makes you part of my extended community. Please know that you can opt out at any time, although I do hope you will stay to share the countdown to the launch date of Old New Worlds, which intertwines two immigrant stories—mine from Africa to America, and my great-great grandmother, Sarah Barker’s, from England to Africa two hundred years before.
This painting is the second from a collection of eight watercolors by my mother, Joan Krummeck née Barker—Sarah’s great granddaughterand it inspired the cover for Old New Worlds. The original paintings were commissioned for a one-man play “Red George,” adapted and performed by my brother, Peter Krummeck, from the diaries of Sarah’s missionary husband, Rev. George Barker (1789-1861). These diaries were also one of my primary sources—and the whole network of serendipitous connections has extended well beyond my immediate family in the search for my ancestral soul mate. It really has been, and continues to be, a journey, and I hope that you’ll share it with me and follow along by signing up for my seasonal newsletter or following me on my website. As an incentive, I plan to give away a framed print of this painting to one follower, whom I will select on Sunday, August 25, three weeks before my book’s launch date.
As I write this, the layout of the pages is being designed and I’m thinking ahead to recording the audiobook. My publisher, Green Place Books, is considering using paper made from hemp for the printed hardcover—an idea I love, as I blogged about here. The official launch of the book will be at The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore at 5pm on Sunday, September 15—more about that in my Fall Newsletter, but please mark your calendar if you will be in the region—and meanwhile I am on a perpendicular learning curve about the whole publishing process. Even though I had a kind of practice run when I self-published my immigrant essay collection Beyond the Baobab as part of my MFA thesis, I didn’t fully understand the myriad pieces that have to come together—the editing, the bibliography, the designing, the printing, the marketing, and on and on—and this is just for one book with one indie publisher! I see now why it’s called “the publishing industry.”

It is exciting. Thank you for being part of it with me. Until my Fall Newsletter, take care!


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