Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Lives Well Spent"

Ernest Peter
I was saddened to hear the news of the death of Mr. Ernest Peter last week. Ernest left this earth after 93 well spent years, quite an envious accomplishment in my book.  
Ernest, along with his wife Judith, have been the driving force behind Stemmer House Publishers since 2003. It was also that same year that Stemmer House agreed to publish my first book entitled "I Hear the Wind", it would be the first book for the new ownership. 
Craig Thorn IV

The editor-in-chief at that time was Mr. Craig Thorn IV. It was Craig who first showed interest in my work. Every other publishing house I submitted "I Hear the Wind" to sent me rejection letters, but Craig saw something in those black and white illustrations that he liked.  
Not only was he the acting editor at Stemmer House, he was also a member of the English department at Phillips Academy in Andover. 
The e-mails and phone conversations we shared while editing this book were an exciting learning experience for me. He made me feel like my words were actually worth reading. He made me feel like maybe, just maybe, I could be a writer. 
It was after the editing process was finished and the book was in production that Craig informed me that due to health issues he wouldn't be active in the day to day operations anymore, that was in late April...he died of cancer in June.

Both these men gave me an opportunity at something I had only dreamed of, a chance to be published and a chance to share my words and pictures with the world. 

After Craig died, Ernest believed enough in my work to publish two more of my books, with the prospect of doing a fourth. Now with his passing, his wife Judith seems poised to carry on. I haven't heard any definite plans, but they are moving forward with my newest book entitled "At the End of the Day".  Time will tell as to what will be the future of Stemmer House, I can always speculate...but that would be a waste of time.

For now, I take time to salute these two men who believed in me and decided to give me a chance. 

For this...I am forever grateful. 

Thank you.

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