Sunday, November 16, 2008

November/December 2008

It’s the holiday season already! November is the busiest month of the year for us at Piñata Publishing, and December follows closely behind. Each November we participate in several "Christmas Made In The South" shows, and this year we’ll return to exhibit in both Savannah and Jacksonville. Our Event Calendar has those dates so please join us .

I’m delighted to report that after months of researching for the Jekyll Island Millionaires book, I’ve finally begun writing! Due to many school author visits, art shows, and book festivals these past few weeks, I’ve had to write in “bits and spurts.” When I wrote the last few chapters of An Angry Drum Echoed, I went to Tybee Island and hibernated for two weeks, so I could write undisturbed for ten hours a day! Now I’m happy with two uninterrupted hours to write. I’m trying not to give myself an unrealistic deadline for this huge historical saga, so that I can be fair to the characters and the stories.

In the last BLOG I asked if anyone knew how many times Louis Comfort Tiffany visited Jekyll Island. For those who haven’t been here, one of the most beautiful stained-glass windows made by Mr. Tiffany, portraying the theme “David Set Singers Before the Lord,” is here on Jekyll. It was installed in Faith Chapel on March 27, 1921. There has been some question as to whether Mr. Tiffany himself installed the window, but we do know that he was here at least once before that. Only one person attempted to answer the question, so I will leave it on the BLOG for a while longer to see if anyone else can answer. And again, I’ll send the “winner” a copy of one of my seven books.

I’m still looking for interesting anecdotes on Joseph Pulitzer and J.P Morgan. Both characters will be featured throughout the book, and I’m searching for unusual or virtually unknown stories about them. Please share and I’ll give you credit in the Resource Pages in the back of the book.

This month’s tidbit about the Millionaires: During the era of the Big Apple dance craze, the Millionaires decided to have a dance on Jekyll but realized they didn’t know how to dance it. Earl Hill, son of Charlie Hill who worked years for the Maurice family, was talked into inviting twelve black couples to the island to teach them. The Jekyll Island Club members bought new tuxedos for the men and gowns for the ladies, and they were brought over to teach the Millionaires how to dance the Big Apple. The Club employees made up the band, led by “Washboard” Robert Ivory, who later became a professional musician. The band struck up a lively tune and the dancing began. The twelve couples showed how the dance was done, and then the Millionaires tried it, but just couldn’t get the hang of it. So, the couples split up and each danced with one of the Millionaires. Now these twenty-four dancers could rightfully say they had danced with a Millionaire!

Mike and I wish you a loving, peaceful holiday season.

Blessings throughout 2009!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October 2008

Hello again!

Fall is slowly working its way to Jekyll Island, Georgia. The cooler sea breezes sweep over the islands and refresh us on bike rides and beach walks. It’s amazing to think back on that happy day, eight years ago next week, when we pulled into our rental cottage on St. Simons Island with two cats and lots of dreams. We’re just as delighted with the Golden Isles today as we were the first time we saw them in 1988!

Our Greece/Turkey holiday was amazing and intriguing and filled with beauty! After recovering from jet lag, we’re now refreshed and ready to get back to work. If you would like to see our “Kodak Gallery,” we’re happy to share the slideshow with you.

I have found the answer as to whether Thomas Edison personally installed the electric power plant for the Millionaires on Jekyll Island. He did not! “In spite of the fact that several Jekyl members backed Edison’s enterprises, no evidence exists to show that he ever set foot on the island. On the contrary, the George A. Williams Company was contracted in 1902 to build the plant for $36,100. In the end, it would cost $39,500, which was paid, as were most improvements, by private subscription.”
The Jekyll Island Club by William Barton McCash and June Hall McCash

October will find us attending and making presentations at book festivals, art shows and school visits in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. You can check the Event Calendar on the website to see if we’ll be in your area. If so, please let us know! It’s always fun to combine work trips with visiting friends and family.

This month’s tidbit about the Millionaires: Did you know that Joseph Pulitzer loved Jekyll Island so much that he wanted to spend his last days in unlimited privacy? Sadly, he died on his yacht, Liberty, in the harbor of Charleston, S.C., desperately hoping to reach his Jekyll Island cottage. You’ll learn more about his eccentric character and personality in the book.

Does anyone have any “difficult to unearth” information on Joseph Pulitzer or J.P Morgan that you would like to share? Or, you could send me questions about them to see if I’ve researched enough to get the correct answer!

Question of the month: How many times did Louis Comfort Tiffany visit Jekyll Island? If you know, I’ll send you a copy of your choice of my seven books! I’ll reveal the answer next month.

October is so beautiful in the Golden Isles. Please come on down and let us show you around!

All the Best,

Monday, September 1, 2008

September 2008

Warm greetings!

September is here already! This is the month where Americans celebrate Labor Day, a day dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. Labor Day is an annual tribute paid to all workers for their contributions in making this country a better place in which to live and work.

Joseph Pulitzer, one of the characters in my upcoming book, (working title: Splendid Isolation: The Jekyl Island Millionaire’s Club), was a strong advocate of the working class in the early 1900’s. His newspaper, The World, which he purchased in 1883 from Jay Gould (father of two Jekyl Island Club members), was the cutting edge of reform. Pulitzer used his power to promote ideals of justice, giving the lower classes visions of the possibility of democracy.

The above spelling of Jekyl Island is intentionally misspelled. At the inception of the Millionaire’s Club in 1886, the charter members misspelled Sir Joseph Jekyll’s name. Sir Joseph Jekyll was one of the original British financial brokers for the 13th American colony, Georgia. General James Oglethorpe named this small barrier island on Georgia after Sir Joseph Jekyll. Unfortunately, the charter members of the Jekyl Island Club (northerners, mostly) did not know the correct spelling of his name.

Through correspondence with the Jekyll family, the spelling error was discovered. Club members agitated for the name of the island to be corrected. On July 31, 1929, the Georgia State Legislature passed a resolution to change the spelling of “Jekyl Island,” declaring “the correct and legal spelling of the name of said island is and shall be Jekyll Island.” Thus, 191 years after his death, the name of Sir Joseph Jekyll was corrected in every piece of legal correspondence in Georgia. This seems to be a fitting end to the tale of a lawyer, judge, and politician.

On my August BLOG, I asked if anyone knew whether Sir Winston Churchill had ever set foot on Jekyll Island. Several of you wrote that he had not; one of you stated that he never received an invitation from the Millionaires to visit.

No one has yet answered the question of whether Thomas Edison came to Jekyll Island personally to establish the electrical plant. Maybe we’ll find that out this month!

For a refreshing and unique view of Jekyll Island, please click on the second link to this BLOG: Memories of Jekyll Island. Enjoy the music and exquisite photos of the island.

Michael and I will travel this month to Greece and Turkey, retracing the footprints of some of the Bible’s greatest writers. We should return refreshed and exhilarated. I believe I’ll be ready to buckle down and start writing!

Pamela Bauer Mueller

Friday, August 1, 2008

August 2008

Hello friends!

We’ve updated and revised our website, and this is our first BLOG! Our webmaster, Tracy Johnson, has done a marvelous job, and now it’s my turn to make this educational and entertaining. Here goes…

Summer has been an exciting time for Piñata Publishing. In June, An Angry Drum Echoed brought me the 2008 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Young Adult books. In July, our newest title, Aloha Crossing, was launched. This middle reader/young adult novel is the sequel to Hello, Goodbye, I Love You, the story of raising a guide puppy for the blind. In Aloha Crossing, Aloha’s puppy raiser, teenager Diego Escobár, is invited to Georgia to spend two weeks with his beloved dog. Kimberly Louise, Aloha’s blind partner, Diego and Aloha experience new adventures, including a treacherous hurricane and a rattlesnake bite! Aloha Crossing is now available in your favorite bookstore, or on our website!

I’ve been busily researching my next novel, which will take us inside the lives of the famed Jekyll Island Millionaires Club. Did you know that from 1888 to 1942, about 100 of the nation’s most powerful millionaires lived on Jekyll Island, GA during three months of the year? This exclusive club mandated that you could only step foot on the island as a member or an “invited stranger.” Every year one-sixth of the world’s wealth co-existed on this tiny barrier island, where they spent carefree hours hunting, fishing, riding, and exchanging ideas. They debated politics, discussed wars, families, and world news issues. Joseph Pulitzer was invited to join the club only so he wouldn’t write badly about the rest!

My idea is to write the story from the viewpoint of the employees. I will try to pick four of five of the many employees and have each one cover a decade or so. (I think I can better identify with the employees’ minds than I could possibly understand the millionaires’ perspectives.)

By the way, did you know that after New York City and Philadelphia, Jekyll Island was the third “city” to get electricity? Can you imagine why?

And while I’m discussing Jekyll Island, I’m hoping that one of my readers can answer a question for me:

Did Thomas Edison actually come to Jekyll Island to establish the electrical plant?

And here’s another one I’ve not found the answer to yet:

Did Winston Churchill ever visit Jekyll Island? I have read sources that claim he did, and others that said he never felt the Jekyll Island sand between his toes.

So, if anyone can answer these questions, we’ll share the news next month.

Please stay tuned to more updates in September. We wish you a very happy last month of summer!

Pamela Bauer Mueller