“Be careful what books you read, for as water tastes of the soil it runs through, so does the soul taste of the authors that a man reads.”
— John Trapp
To all of my readers, friends and family who have been asking about my next book:
I wanted you to know my third offering, ‘Out There: Essays On The Lower Big Bend,’ is in the process of being published. I sent my query letter this past Monday morning to Creative Texts Publishers. On Tuesday morning, they were making arrangements to have my book material sent to them.
Basically, ‘Out There’ is all new material about the lower Big Bend, and set up to correct the shortcomings that ‘Yonderings’ had as a first effort. These shortcomings concerning Yonderings were mentioned by myself to TCU Press when they published the book, but resolving those were out of my hands as a first-time author.
During my many conversations with you, my readers, I discovered that you thought that Yonderings fell short in the same two areas as I had noticed. Those two complaints were:
- Lack of maps.
- Lack of color photographs.
I set up ‘Out There’ to address both of these issues.
The manuscript is in eighteen chapters, divided into different geographical areas of the lower Big Bend. There are several essays that make up each one and they are usually 400-600 words long. The essay begins with a color photograph that serves as a visual aid in relation to the location discussed.
Most every chapter begins with a map of the locale being written about. These maps were hand drawn by myself, and are good enough that the Museum of the Big Bend (Sul Ross State University) has already requested the originals for their collection.
The book is envisioned as soft bound, but of the slick page sort that does some kind of justice to the color photographs. The photographs will vary in size, depending on page space. But a 3X5 will hopefully be the standard.
An example of this photography work is seen in the attached picture. This shot is scheduled to become the front cover for this book. I am also enclosing one of my maps covering the spot where the photo was taken, to give you a general idea of what the book will consist of.
My advance readers have said this is my best work yet, and have given the manuscript an enthusiastic two thumbs up. Very few of these readers have seen the maps and no one other than myself has seen all of the photographs. Most of these frames are of places in the lower Big Bend that few have ever heard of, many are located in spots that take some prowling to get there.
And I will be taking you, the reader, to these spots visually, in words and in spirit.
When taken as a whole ‘Out There’ will be, in my opinion, the magnum opus of any published work about the lower Big Bend of Texas. For me, it is a labor of love.
In closing I would like to thank each and every one of you for your encouragement, your kind words, your support and in sharing your impressions about my writing. I also appreciate the reviews you have written, the copies you have purchased as gifts for others, and for passing along my Facebook posts. Again, it is has been very important for me to hear from you.
After all, you are who I write for as well as about. Without you, none of this would have been possible.
I thank you for that, too.
May God bless you and yours,
Ben H. English
Front Street Books
Creative Texts Publishers
Crockett County Public Library
Medina Community Library
The Twig Book Shop
Old Town Books
The Boerne Bookshop
Hill Country Books
Marta Powell Stafford
Lone Star Literary Life