Saturday, October 31, 2015

New Acquisition ~ Witness to Spirit

Just 8 short weeks ago, on August 25, I received an email from Kristin Campbell: “Hi Nancy, I got your name from Sandi Selvi when we were talking today. My father has written an amazing book and I would love to speak with you about it.” 

The next day I got on the phone with Kristin and the writer who penned the introduction, Todd Wilkinson, who I learned had just written a book with Ted Turner. (Wow!)

Todd spun an enchanting tale about a Montana cowboy who loved breakin’ wild horses and playin’ fiddle. And how a love of music led Robert Staffanson, author of Witness to Spirit: My Life with Cowboys, Mozart & Indians, to create the highly-successful Billings Symphony against all odds, and then to conduct the prestigious Springfield Symphony in Massachusetts. Then, homesick, Robert Staffanson returned home to Montana to co-found The American Indian Institute. (Wow. Wow. Wow.) And, there were photos. Lots of gorgeous photos.

The arc of Robert Staffanson’s life evolves through this trio of distinct movements, and at each step of the way, he bears witness to spirit.

I was smiling through the entire phone call (of course, I do have a soft spot for cowboys). After a few follow-up contract calls, Wyatt-MacKenzie quickly signed Kris and her father, who is 93 and deaf, with the inconceivable goal of getting books to him for Christmas. After 3 weeks in editing, and 3 weeks in layout, we just got the hot galleys in our hands! I am beyond excited.

Here’s a peek inside the pages of Witness to Spirit... taking pre-orders now on Amazon, set to start shipping December 1.


Advance Review Copies!!


Can’t even tell you how much fun I had designing this.

I wanted to try and capture the same spirit held in Mr. Staffanson’s words... and in the photos he’s held on to for all those years.


A peek inside the pages in “First Movement ~ Cowboys” 

This section features antique sepia-tone photos secured with old-fashioned picture corners.


A peek inside the pages in “Second Movement ~ Music”

This section features dramatic, stark black & white photos with romantic accents.


A peek inside the pages in “Third Movement ~ Indians”

This section features vibrant, stunning color photos. 



We’re anxiously awaiting the foreword, being written by Oren Lyons—Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation and a Chief of the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy—who co-founded with Mr. Staffanson. 

For me, this entire book project has been imbued with spirit from the onset. 

Awesome insight #1: Kris was speaking with our author, Sandi Selvi, about her book A Stem Cell Transplant MS Recovery Story, after having the life-changing procedure Sandi wrote about!

Awesome insight #2: And here’s the BEST full-circle moment, ever. I moved to Oregon in 1992 and at that time I was helping a partner build his media publishing company, WisdomKeepers Publishing, named after a gorgeous book which came out in 1990 featuring Native American Elders, including Oren Lyons. 

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