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The Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame Inducts Our Author Colonel Janet Horton – Her Own Account:

On March 7th 2019 I* had the joy of being inducted into the US Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame at the Russell Senate Office Building in The Kennedy Caucus Room. Congressman Chris Stewart and BG Anne Macdonald, USA Ret. and Jim Beamesderfer, the VP of Veterans initiatives, Prudential, officiated at the ceremony. Thirty women were honored as scholarship recipients.  14 women were honored as firsts in their branch of service or specialties.

*[Colonel Janet Horton entered the service in the 1970s as one of the first women chaplains in the Armed Forces.]

BG (Ret) Clara Adams-Ender, first Army Nurse to command as a general officer.
BG Collen L. McGuire, first woman provost marshall  first woman Commander of CID
CSM (Ret) Billie Jo Boersma,  first female command sergeant major of an infantry brigade combat team
CW5 Sharon Swartworth,  (posthumously) active Army CW5.
Maj Helen Loretta Holmes,  (posthumously) WACC public Relations Officer 1942
CPT Lauran Glover,   1st woman drill commander of US Drill Team, (The Old Guard)

The First Woman Army Chaplains

Ms. Ella Gibson Hobart  (posthumously)  Civil War chaplain of 1st Wisconsin Regiment of heavy Artillery

Rev. Alice Henderson,  first woman to officially serve in the US Army Chaplain Corps  served 13yrs.

Chaplain (Col) (Ret) Janet Horton,  First woman chaplain to be promoted to Colonel, first to serve as a woman Division and then Corps Chaplain.

Rabbi (Col) (Ret.) Bonnie Koppell,  first female Army Rabbi.
Ch (CPT) Mel O’Mally,  South Central Chaplain Recruiting Team.
Ch (CPT) Vivian Keady Yanquoi-West, first female chaplain assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division.
Ch (CPT) Alison and LeAnne Ward, first “sisters” to serve as Army Chaplains  USA

The ceremony also honored The Hello Girls, who were really America’s first women soldiers. These were 223 American Signal Corps women telephone operators deployed to France in WWI,  connecting 26 million calls. They finally received their thanks 60 years later, recognized as veterans and receiving their benefits.

There were a few other honorees that support the Foundation financially and in other ways.

About 250 people attended. It was a warm and caring ceremony that truly honored women who have serve the US Army and their country.  The stories of what they went through simply to serve and how humbly they did so with little or no recognition were touching.   Yet they served because they loved what they were being asked to do.  We chaplains served because of our of love for God and country.


Click back to the website if you wish to order Colonel Janet Horton’s book Cracking the Camouflage Ceiling, Hawthorne’s all-time best-selling book.

Posted in Book Awards, Winds of Change |

Colonel Janet Horton (Ret.) our author of Cracking the Camouflage Ceiling, Will Be Inducted this month into the US Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame.

One of Hawthorne Publishing’s all-time best sellers has been Colonel Horton’s book on the integration of women chaplains into the armed forces in the 1970s. It has been repeatedly reprinted and still leads the line.

Former and present military personnel have been interested in obtaining it from around the country. Although Janet Horton was in our Indianapolis area Ft. Harrison for a period of years, she was stationed not only in this country but in Korea and Germany and eventually at the Pentagon, where she was present for the attack on 9/11.

Colonel Horton is one of ten early women chaplains to be honored in March at the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame at Fort Lee, Virginia.

She was specifically one of three who followed immediately after the very first chaplain in the mid 1970s. Her book details the difficulties of serving in an army where men only had traditionally constituted the armed forces since the Revolutionary War. The accounts in this memoir tell the story of suspicion, discrimination and outright attempt at suppression of the early women chaplains but also the inspiration, dedication and demonstration of faith of the women.

Cracking the Camouflage Ceiling recounts some of the history of the chaplaincy and includes details of the life of a chaplain in the armed forces.  Chaplains do not represent specific denominations. They minister to general religious groups in four categories: Protestant, Jewish, Catholic and Muslim.

Although Colonel Horton is a Christian Scientist and her book has been a favorite of that denomination, she aided soldiers of many faith traditions. This was demonstrated on September 11 when a jet plane hit the Pentagon, where the chaplain was on duty. The dramatic and touching story of the chaplains entering to help mortuary details recover the fallen, killed in the attack, shows the courage and dedication of the chaplains corps.

The US Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame honors, some posthumously, many women who have served. Recent naming to the Hall of Fame included the “Hello Girls,” the 223 female US Army telephone switchboard operations, formally known as the Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit, who deployed to France in World War I and were the sole contact to the soldiers on the front line.

Colonel Horton’s Book Cracking the Camouflage Ceiling: Faith Persistence and Progress in the Army Chaplaincy During the Early Integration of Women in the Military is featured on the Hawthorne Website for purchase.

Posted in Book Awards, Winds of Change |

A literary memoir in a regional marketplace: Distilling and selling an Idea Nancy Baxter, Senior Editor Hawthorne Publishing

What makes a memoir that enters the marketplace, which will appeal to readers and be sold in bookstores and to libraries a success? We should clarify the definition of a memoir which is intended to be sold. It’s not the duplicated family memoir one does for children and grandchildren. It’s written and edited skillfully.  And, it’s also different from a biography, which is told by a third person writer, or a detailed autobiography, dealing with a full life. A memoir is a section of a life fixing its attention on a certain period or periods, possibly with one theme. It may summarize much of the rest of the person’s life but fixes on the one theme or time that will be important to readers.

So why would we care about this person’s life? There had better be a reason for people to pay anything from about $18 to $40 to read this book. Story! Something with some historical meaning or drama needs to make it readable and distinctive. Importance of the person or, better yet, the issue or time or happening to which the person was connected, will render it viable.

And in Indiana, we as a recognized state/ regional press know that it needs to be connected with the Hoosier state.

Lou Ellen Watts now lives in Franklin, Indiana, but she has recently written and published with us her story about growing up in pre-Civil Rights-era South Carolina, Alabama and Louisiana. Its title is Sleeping in Dixie’s Feather Bed: Growing Up White in the Segregated South.

Lou Ellen told her story of being a popular, young working-class girl whose life with her friends and activities fully occupied her growing-up years. All around her by the time she was in high school, the Civil Rights movement was awakening and coming to fruition. Lou Ellen tells of happenings that made her uncomfortable, still, in the midst of her teenaged life: the balcony at the local theatre where the “colored people” had to sit and sometimes threw down popcorn; a distressing incident with a bus driver who mistreated those in the back of the bus, a drive to see the remains of a burning cross and more. Her uncomfortable lack of focus on the rights of half of the society in which she grew up blew up in her face when she became a counselor in an integrated summer camp. That time changed her heart. She found she wanted to welcome all races in her life. Lou Ellen became a teacher and advocate for integration and equal rights. She believed in her 80s that her story of change in attitude and consciousness needed to be shared with others.

But how to sell such a book in the regional market? Such a book had never been exactly published or marketed in Indiana before. Indiana, the former home of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, was believed to have a hidden layer of prejudice beneath its declared tolerance. She hesitated about her own community. We at Hawthorne felt Indiana was ready for the biography of a southern belle who now regretted her family’s intolerance and wanted to talk about incidents which shouldn’t have happened. Our own experience is that Indiana has come a long way (not completely of course) toward outgrowing the intolerance of the Klan era. D. C. Stevenson, the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, was preaching hatred of Catholics first and foremost and then Negroes in the 1920s. Thousands joined his Klan, partly because it had a social appeal. His own misconduct, the rape of a young woman on a train and her subsequent death in humiliation, caused a Noblesville jury to send him to prison for life. A jury in that town of southern immigrants found him guilty of murder. The Klan was broken up by Indiana officials themselves. We Hoosiers are not genetically or hopelessly intolerant and Lou Ellen’s book has shown that. How did we succeed in getting the first edition sold out and Lou Ellen on a book tour which saw many people coming up with their own stories about “growing through” cultural beliefs of an earlier time? Extensive publicity in both Indiana and the South?

Our campaigns are based on long experience with our state. We begin with the home community of the author. Sure of the importance of the story and the quality of the book, we have the author seek an opening venue where he/she can tell her story. We believe each story at Hawthorne, motto “The stories of good people told well,” has natural appeal to those who have had similar experiences in the state or region of their lives. Careful newspaper contacting of pertinent media outlets with electronic publicity kits and reviews on Amazon and other places puts the title in the public eye. Most of all, the story needs to sell itself. That’s why careful and long-term planning of the publishing goals and limits of a company like ours is important. We take books we know make valuable contributions, that will sell and will interest our people. Thus they sell themselves, once the news is out.

You can get Lou Ellen Watts’s book Sleeping in Dixie’s Feather Bed by clicking back to the website.

Posted in Writing Memoirs |

Regional Presses: The Strength and Love of America’s Homeland

Hawthorne Publishing is an independent, regional press, as was its direct antecedent Guild Press of Indiana.

There are hundreds of regional presses in America, and they perform a very valuable service different in degree and focus from both university/scholastic presses and large national publishing companies. A regional press publishes books only about the state, or area, in which it exists: the history, culture, art, natural location and local lore.

In Michigan, for instance, Sleeping Bear Press of Ann Arbor publishes stories for children about their Michigan homeland and has now expanded into novels for teens.

It is easy to confuse the long-time and traditional regional presses like Hawthorne Publishing with the many, many new self-publishing or “Indy” publishers now trending in all states.

What is the difference? Traditional publishers like Hawthorne, which has been in business under two names since 1987, do not accept books from would-be authors who wish to fund their own books. They establish their own publishing limits, in our case the history and culture of Indiana, set up publishing guidelines and accept, or seek out, books which fulfill the publishing mission.

They let would-be authors know the submission guidelines if they are actively seeking new manuscripts and reject all author applications that do not fit the publishing guidelines.

Why do we care? What purpose do book publishers like us serve?

In Indiana there is only one other regional press like us: The Indiana Historical Society Press. It actually overlaps with the scholarly market, but their goal is similar to ours: to enhance the understanding of Indiana history and culture by putting out books which enrich the tradition of our state. So, like most regional presses, the two of us are mission-oriented.

Realistically, another characteristic of the regional small press is that it has to innovate to have a positive bottom line. To make any money, or even break even and believe it is fulfilling its larger goal of mission realization, is difficult in this age of Amazon and online Kindles and the disappearance of bookstores in almost all states.

Still, we have “made it” at Guild/Hawthorne for some 30 years now and so I guess we are doing something right.

Strategies are necessary, when the market may support sales of only 1,000 books or less. Actually, the runs can be small today with easy-to-order digital reprints, so regional presses like ours can order only what we believe we can sell. How different that is from our early days, when ordering a couple of thousand books or more books was standard. They were printed on huge offset machines, Hydelberg printing presses, and the process took three months or so from the time the print order was received. So that is one change in American technology that benefits small regional presses like ours. We can order just what we think we can sell, then reorder on short notice, receiving a book in less than a month.

But how do we pay for the expenses up front of putting out a book, even a softcover? All regional presses have their ways of funding the books they choose to put out. The Indiana Historical Society seeks print donation funding and may get a donor devoted to Indiana history to come up with $10,000 to see a specific book published. Author families quite recently are allowed to contribute the print funding if they understand that they have no control over any part of the editing function.

Scholarly presses fund their printing by donor gifts or, as is the case with IU Press, a foundation devoted to covering their worthwhile book publishing efforts.

As for Guild-Hawthorne, since our inception, we have been an author’s cooperative, based on a model from an Austin Texas writers’ group in the earliest days. Authors submitting manuscripts which are accepted to help fulfill the publishing mission put up half the costs of production at Hawthorne, with our publishing company furnishing the other half. When the books are sold, authors receive half of proceeds.

But that decision to get costing upfront is only the beginning of a success strategy for a small regional press. Promotion to get the books out to the interested audience takes front and center stage once the book boxes arrive. Unlike self-publishers, regional publishers take responsibility along with the book authors for getting the books into the hands of readers who care about their state or region. It’s the central part of the mission.

Next: Selling regional press books in the marketplace.

Click back to see the offerings at Hawthorne and ask yourself how they fulfill the mission of enhancing the state’s historical and cultural background.

Posted in Book Publishing |