Leaves from the Valley Oaks

My Review:

This is an eclectic collection of short stories, poetry and articles, most with the flavor of the Central Valley.

Winnie Enloe Furrer contributed true stories about the Huckababy family, a pioneering family complete with photographs. John Noel added a bit of non-fiction an some poetry. Mary Benton's short stories have their roots in the valley--and well-worth the read.

There is something for everyone in this anthology. Art Wallace Neeson's tales contain a wry sense of humor and Gloria Getman's stories often end with an ironic twist.

This review would be far too long if I listed every author and described every piece, so I'll conclude with anyone who has the opportunity to read this book will enjoy him/herself. Highly recommended and I give it 5 Stars.

From Gloria Getman:

Thanks, Marilyn, for inviting me to tell a bit about how Leaves from the Valley Oak came about. 

Last April I suggested to the Visalia & Exeter Writers that we publish an anthology. Each member had written some outstanding pieces and it seemed like they deserved to be published.  But the market for them is small and the competition is great. They agreed that they liked the idea—if it would be done economically. CreatsSpace seemed to be the best option, and Mary Benton and I volunteered to be the editors. 

Editing and organizing the pieces was the easy part. Formatting a book with twelve contributors was the hard part. Word is a wonderful program, but tricking it into the desired format is a challenge. Each header needed to reflect the contributing author. 

I downloaded the CreateSpace template and loaded the book into it. Each time I put in a page break everything in the book moved, fouling up the header and footers. To say I learned a lot is an understatement.
In the meantime, we decided we wanted to make our own cover. Mary and I took out trusty cameras and went looking for an oak tree to photograph. A dozen pictures later, we settled on the ones we liked best. Fortunately, Sylvia Ross, one of our members, is a whiz with Photo Shop. She made all our pictures better, so much better that the cover picture file was too big. She put a nice frame around it and then the people at CreateSpace accepted it.

By September I had the entire manuscript fixed in place and made it into a pdf. But when I scrolled through, I saw that somehow page breaks had moved and page numbers were incorrect after page 150. Back to the drawing board. It took three times before I had it laid out right and sent it off for CreateSpace approval.
Getting the first proof back was a thrill—until we found all the mistakes. I took the book down at the site to make the corrections, sent it again and ordered another proof. We were satisfied and gave our approval. It was the middle of November when we ordered our author’s copies. Expense wise, the books cost us a tad over $5 per copy. Not bad. Another plus for CreateSpace is that the books they publish are printed in the good old USA; South Carolina, to be specific. 

DIY publishing has been made so easier with all the new on-line avenues. If anyone has questions, I can be reached  at ggetman5592@verizon.net. Also check out my blog: gloriagetman.blogspot.com and meet some of the contributors to Leaves from the Valley Oak.


Mary Benton said…
Thanks, Marilyn, for the terrific review and post on our anthology, "Leaves from the Valley Oak." This "shot in the arm" is greatly appreciated. I also liked your post on editing. Most beginning writers don't realize the tremendous amount of work that goes into rewrites and editing. Gloria did an amazing job with our book. I don't think any of us realize the amount of time she put into this endeavor. Thanks Gloria.
Mary Benton
It is amazing that this group put together this super anthology.

Mary, I loved reading everyone's contribution to this anthology. Good job all around.

Sylvia Ross said…
Well, Marilyn as to your comment: "It is amazing that this group put together this super anthology," we are a pretty amazing writing group!

Thanks for you good comments. They are very appreciated. Sylvia Ross
I didn't mean it was amazing that they were able to put together the anthology, but that it was an amazing anthology from some amazing authors.

I'm sorry I gave Arthur a new middle name, I've changed it now--Arthur Wallace Neeson--great job, old friend.

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