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Interest in Doris Day Grows. . .

Mary Anne Barothy, our author of Day at a Time: An Indiana Girl’s Sentimental Journey to Doris Day’s Hollywood and Beyond

In the past three months since the passing of Doris Day on May 13, 2019, interest in this movie star among devoted fans has grown. Case in point—I recently spoke with Cindy Nevin, Administrator for the Doris Day Fan Club on Facebook, and asked her about the growing interest in membership.

Cindy, a DD fan since age 8, said when she first joined the Doris Day Fan Club on Facebook, in 2014, there were around 4,200 members worldwide. She was eager to step up and help “co-administer” the group when the then sole administrator, John McKenzie, put out a notice asking for someone to help. Cindy had been a big DD fan since seeing Doris in With Six You Get Eggroll in 1968. On September 9, 2015, Cindy became co-administrator for the Doris Day Fan Club and soon moved up to administrator, having full reign over the growing fan club.

Currently there are 14,877 members worldwide, an amazing growth since those first days. There are there are members from the USA, Philippines, the UK, Canada, Russia and some other places. Here are some stats on the international distribution:

Top countries:
United States: 10,632
United Kingdom: 1,371
Canada: 742
Australia: 496
Germany: 232

Top Cities:
New York: 336
Los Angeles: 177
London, England: 107
Sydney, Australia: 104
Toronto, Canada: 93

I asked Cindy if she was surprised that more members were joining after Doris’s passing.  “Yes and No. It was shocking the amount of member requests we received.  A constant flow the first few days after her death. There were 400 plus new members added during this time.  I think interest piqued after her death.  It didn’t surprise me that there was so much interest because of who Doris was. I am sure people were reading all over the internet and hearing on TV about her life. Doris is widely cherished and loved…no question about that.”

Cindy added membership is approximately 70% women, 30% men and with a growing interest of young people who are joining on a daily basis.  If you would like to join this interesting group, go to Facebook and look up Doris Day Fan Club where you can request membership. Among some interesting members are Jackie Joseph Lawrence who starred with Doris on “The Doris Day Show”; Scott Drier who does the “Doris and Me” shows; and Paul Peterson from “The Donna Reed Show.” Over the years I have had the privilege of getting to know several members of the original Doris Day Society, several of whom came here to live here in the USA. I have also made friends with some of the members on Cindy’s DD Facebook page.   We all share a deep love for Doris Day! I remember when I first joined the Doris Day Society, as that particular group was called in those days, in the late 1950s in London England, we had to wait for the quarterly DD Journal which was sent out via regular mail. How wonderful that today you get the news and stories instantly.  My, how times have changed!!!!!

You can order Mary Anne’s Hawthorne Best-seller Day at a Time: An Indiana Girl’s Sentimental Journey to Doris Day’s Hollywood and Beyond by clicking back to the website, softcover.

Posted in Doris Day |

Doris Day: What we have taken for granted in her movies is Illuminated by a new generation’s perspective.

By Mary Anne Barothy, author of Day at a Time: An Indiana Girl’s Sentimental Journey to Hollywood and Beyond.

Guess we don’t always realize what we take for granted until we hear it discussed with the fresh insights of a younger person.  Case in point: a good friend of mine, Joy, who is also an avid Doris Day fan, just turned 60 in June.  She was born in 1959—the year Pillow Talk was released.  I remember going to see Pillow Talk at the Keith’s Theater in downtown Indianapolis when I was 15 in 1959.  AND, I also remember very well going to see Calamity Jane with my mother in 1953 when I was just 9 years old!  The old Emerson Theater in Indianapolis used to show many of Doris Day’s movies in the late 1950s and 1960s.  Yes, I was there often and became friends with the manager, who would often save the movie posters and give them to me. That fan enthusiasm was what started me on my journey to Hollywood, to eventually become Doris’s secretary and live in her home.

In my chats with Joy, I didn’t realize until she told me that she had never seen one of Doris Day’s movies on the big screen.  Yes, she had seen them on TV and on DVD, but never on the big screen.  I guess I just took it for granted that every DD fan had seen Doris’s movies in theaters, but depending on their age, that was just not so. Doris is one of the few Golden Age celebrities who have continued to have a huge and enduring fan base today, including many younger people. Recently Joy had the opportunity to see Pillow Talk at the Marcus Theater in Williamsburg, Virginia, on the big screen for the very first time. It seems some theaters around the country are starting to have special showings of classic movies that stand the test of time. Needless to say, I was anxious to ask Joy what it was like for her to go to a theater and see a DD movie. She was bubbling over with enthusiasm, saying that it was totally different from watching a movie on TV. First, it effortlessly engulfs you in happier times. Then, with the dominant surroundings in the theater and following the plot, you get so much more involved with the movie.  With large scenes circling you and excellent sound, blocking everything else out, you become more a part of it.  The large big screen is definitely larger than life than a TV in a living room and it’s not just another show. That was what she experienced.

Joy went on to say, “When you are home lounging around you are easily distracted either by a dog, a phone call or someone else in the room. In the theater, you are totally focused. I picked up a lot more of the humorous, sexy lines that just seemed to get lost when watching it on TV.  I have seen Pillow Talk at least 10 times before, but never appreciated it as much as seeing it on the big screen.  There is something wonderful and different about going to a theater to see Doris Day.”

Joy also said she had the opportunity to meet an older lady, a fan of Doris Day, who was seated next to her at the theater.  Before the movie began, both confessed how much they were looking forward to seeing “Pillow Talk” and exchanged their views on The Girl Next Door!.

I’m delighted some theaters are bringing back classic films. I say, HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD!!!

Day at a Time is available from Hawthorne: Click back to purchase!

Posted in Doris Day |

Reviving and publishing a book that no longer exists in print: technical prowess

Nancy Niblack Baxter, Senior Editor Hawthorne Publishing

From the Heart’s Closet: A young girl’s World War II story was the first book done in 2005 by Hawthorne Publishing as it emerged from the former publishing company Guild Press. Guild Press, founded in 1987 was sold to Emmis Communications: Guild’s name was changed to Emmis Publishing. Then the team that had originated and operated Guild went on to create Hawthorne.

Anneliese “Lee’ Krauter had spent a great deal of time recalling her time, researching, and checking records so she could tell her story, a memoir of her life as a young girl whose family had found themselves as German-Americans in New York City as World War II came. The family were unjustly interred in Crystal City Texas and then later repatriated to Germany. The story concludes with their return, one by one, after the war to take up residence in the Hoosier state.

Hundreds of copies of the book were sold through Lee’s Schatzi Press and she began a career as a speaker and expert on the human side of German-American children in the war.

The last book of the first printing was about to be sold and Lee Krauter came again to Hawthorne Publishing to get a new edition, slightly updated, out, and also to request that an e-book be created from the book.

How would a reprint of a book originally created almost twenty years ago be done?

Many times a book to be reprinted by the same publishing company which put out its original would be reconstituted from original files held in the archives of the company. This can be quite complicated because the methods for the creation and maintenance of electronic files has changed several times in a space of time even as short as a few years ago. From the Heart’s Closet was originally done in a routine way as an application file, that is, one that can be altered, and then turned into a PDF which could not be altered at that time at the printer’s.  Printing followed and files were stored. Many of Hawthorne’s books were and are held in the archives of our exclusive printer in Dexter, Michigan.

However, in addition to having  our almost completely outdated files from 2005 stored, the entire computer system at the printer’s collapsed three years ago and it took weeks for it to be restored. Among files lost, never to be restored, were the design PDF’s for From the Heart’s Closet.

Today many books without files are reprinted simply by scanning pages of the book itself and then turning them into PDF files for printing. Correction by Optical Character Recognition has been used, but recent progress in methodology has allowed photographic reproduction of pages to become almost flawless.

These technical processes for restoring an out-of-print book do not deal with copyright, which is a central issue in itself. If a book is old, done 75 years ago or more without copyright restoration, a book is in the public domain and may be copied and printed by anyone.

Thus many thousands of books of historical and literary interest have been reprinted this way and are held in archives like the New York Public Library, often turned into electronic versions which are offered free to the public.

But we wished to make alterations in this modern book, many of them minor corrections but important, and that complicated the photographic scanning process. What actually happed to From the Heart’s Closet was that we reclaimed the original long-out-of-use working or application file from our own archives, which are complete for all the books we have put out. Some way President Art restored the old files and managed to send corrected pages from the original to the printer’s to be included in their sharper, photographic restoration.

Sound complicated? You are so right! And expensive, as the long-time head of photography at the printer’s had to work with individual lines and even characters once her page scanning was finished to do the replacements we needed.

But through many phone conversations, some in great detail, and the proofing of pages by printer, publisher and author, this intricate process was completed and voila! The book in a new incarnation was ready to take into the future. And the e-book for the first time could be made from the updated version.

We all live with technology that is sometimes frustratingly complicated, but in the case of a priceless resource of history like this story, it is all worth the effort and time.

Click back and order From the Heart’s Closet, Second Edition by Anneliese Krauter.



Posted in Book Publishing, Self Publishing |

Promoting your regional book: It’s all about people to people.

In the last blog, I showed how Sleeping in Dixie’s Feather Bed: Growing Up White in the Segregated South was successfully launched. Now it was time to concentrate on promoting its message of a new view of equality. I had written the book to show my own passage from cultural prejudice to a wider multi-culturalism. Now I had to get both book and message around.

I passed out business cards, book marks and emailed information to libraries, book stores and future events in many cities and states. I shared a flyer done for me by the publisher. Could I go beyond Indiana?  I wanted to do that. The Franklin library hosted Dorothea Benton Frank whose books are set in the area of South Carolina where I grew up. When I approached her, she was very gracious and gave me the name of a bookstore in South Carolina. She then told me to contact the owner and tell him that I had talked with her.  The results sent me south in an RV with my husband and old bulldog.

It seems that the Georgetown South Carolina bookstore, Litchfield Books, has a “moveable feast” each Friday at different restaurants where authors are invited to talk about their books and conclude with signings. The owner invited me to talk at a new restaurant on the first Friday in January. It was exciting to be back in my hometown and talk about the 1940’s and my experience at that time in my book. About 65 people, mostly women, attended and many books were autographed and sold. After the luncheon my husband drove me to the bookstore about 10 miles up the coast near Pawleys Island where I displayed my books. Shortly after I arrived, a reporter from a local radio station came in and conducted a POD cast interviewing me about my life on the coast.

But was anybody in this southern town impressed with the message of cultural change with changing views? When we got back to the hotel I received a phone call from a nurse who had purchased a book after I left. She got my number from the bookstore and was so enthralled at the message that she said she just had to call and talk with me. That was so encouraging.

Earlier I had contacted the Chamber of Commerce in Georgetown about events in the area and was given the name of the president of the Friends of the Library. After several email sessions we set up a time at the library in conjunction with Waterfront Books. I contacted the newspaper, sent them a review of the book, then I called the office personally so they would print the event, “Local Author Comes Home.”

The reception on that Monday afternoon was only about 20 people but was so rewarding. The audience was all white people with the exception of one African American who told me that she cried during the whole speech.  My heart was breaking when she told me that.

My next venture was at the Alabama Book Festival in Montgomery, Alabama. I had lived in Mobile as a preteen and was anxious about promoting my book there. This is the location of many Civil Rights events and demonstrations and I was very nervous about the attendees.  This book fair had always been a large affair in the past and I was hopeful that the turnout, as well as the weather, would prove to be cooperative. Unfortunately, the city had another large event that same day, even closing the streets for a parade and political talks. The authors who had come for many years were disappointed that the foot traffic at the book fair was not as large as in the years before. Even so, I met so many fantastic people and sold books. I am communicating with a professor and his wife from India who are helping with the promotion of the book in Montgomery. So many people told me stories about their life in segregation days.  One librarian confirmed what I had worried about with her comment, “You are so brave to write about this and so brave to come to Alabama with your book. Thank you.” One man stopped by and “gave me the riot act” saying it (whatever “it’ might be) was not the fault of the whites or the southerners. He went on and on and I became a little concerned so I led him around the corner of the tent where a lecture was being held and left him there.

When I got home I got a message from the counselor from an elementary school whom I had met at the book store in Franklin. She wanted me to speak to the fourth graders at her school. The first group met at lunch in the library where I talked about being an author and how to write. I told them that I would send them a story written just for them. Later I met in the music room with all of the fourth graders. There I talked about Black History Month, MLK, some experiences I had growing up in segregated schools and bullying. I felt that this was such a success that I will now be sending a note to schools asking to put me on their speakers list. I gave a book to each of the teachers and the library hoping they would share it with others.

I wrote a story (they called it a book) naming it “A Day at Webb School.” Of course, the teachers had each child write me a thank you note which I read, smiled, and shed a few tears at some of their responses.

Little as well as large events counted, each bringing a special experience.  I had applied earlier to be at the first Authors Fair at the library in Whiteland, Indiana. There were about 12 of us… authors on railroad, science fiction, gardening, history, stories for children, a 10-year old American Indian author, and me and my memoir. At each library event I become more and more appreciative of what librarians do.

Not everything worked well. My latest event was at a bookstore in Columbus, IN. The assistant took me to the back of the store in a little tiny room with one 3X3 table that I shared with another author who wrote about car racing. His wife reluctantly removed some of their books and shuffled off to the side of the room. The owner quickly posted a sign on the back door about our books then left. It was a very slow morning but I did get to talk with a lady in a wheelchair who had lived in SC. Shortly, relatives of the other author’s came in and took over the miniature room with loud talking and shouting. It was then I knew that this was not to be a good day for me to pass the message of my book. Yet  I still laugh about this and learned a lesson:  authors need to help each other and be considerate. And authors do have the right to ask for a noticeable place in a bookstore!

I am optimistic about other events I have set up through the month of December. Right now I am staying out of the heat with my time with my husband, old bull dog and old cat. It’s nice to sit back with a glass of lemonade and let time fly by. Fall will bring more events.


Lou Ellen Watts’s book Sleeping in Dixie’s Feather Bed: Growing Up White in the Segregated South can be obtained by clicking back to the Hawthorne website.

Posted in Book Publishing, Winds of Change, Writing Non Fiction |