My Book About Inca Life, Unpacking The Box of Author’s Copies

November 25, 2013



My arms were open, waiting to hold THE BOOK, “Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Folk Tales and Stories of Inca Life” the book I’d been working on for so long—the book that in one form or another, I’d sent off as submissions too many times. Finally, my book had been accepted by Thrums Books in Colorado, a small press that really cares about multicultural and textile-arts themes. I finished my work of writing, rewriting, revising. With all the editorial and book design work at Thrums and vivid art of Angel Callañaupa finally assembled, the project went to press.

It’s a dog-waiting-for-supper time when a dream comes so close to being realized. I could hardly wait to get my stories of Inca rituals and stages of life out into the world, to share what I had seen and learned with those here who would vicariously travel to Andean villages still endowed with the spirit of the old Inca Empire.

I had rejoiced at my first glimpses of proofs and page layouts, astonished by the book designer’s creative ideas. Now I craved the object itself. Thrums specializes in book design and I knew even the paper would be a pleasure to touch (with a good “handle” as they say in the textile biz, especially about Oriental rug.)

“Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu” was to be released on December 1. Alas, it seemed that date would be too late to arrange talks and presentations before Christmas. The publisher, Linda Ligon, didn’t have an exact date as to when the book would arrive. But I was full of delight when she sent me one author’s advance copy.

Then my friends became a little eager too. “When’s the book coming out so I can get a copy?” Luck came like a unicorn walking out of the woods. The distributor received the book almost a month sooner than expected. “Beyond the Stones” popped up on Amazon early in November, no longer just for pre-order. Even though I’m a believer in independent bookstores and all they contribute to our communities, the Amazon posting was kind of a birth announcement, deliciously satisfying.

Thanks to Thrums Books, “Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Folk Tales and Stories of Inca Life” has exceeded my expectations and is available now. I hope you will take a look and embark on a lively journey to the land of the Incas, to the high altitude villages where few visitors venture. It’s a great Christmas gift for anyone interested in folk art, story telling, an intriguing coffee table book, and of course an inside look at Inca art and culture, a different look at Machu Picchu, and lives of our neighbors to the South with a 3,000 year heritage of powerful cultures that have all been deeply attuned to the natural world.

Friends have been telling me that the book is a bargain: $19.95 with its 80 colored plates–vivid folk paintings by the Inca folk artist, Angel Callañaupa. How did this happen? Linda, the publisher, wanted to make the book so reasonable that many could afford to experience that special South American world of wonder and wisdom that most of us missed in our education.