I had another of those calls yesterday asking if I would want to write someone's story. Sometimes it seems people think I am sitting here with nothing to do just desperately wishing someone would give me an idea for something to write about. Nothing could be further from the truth! I have lost track of the number of those requests but the answer was easy to find. I simply cannot add a new project to my list no matter how worthy the subject may be.
Last week I had an email from someone at Faith Builders saying they would like to use my first book, Hidden Riches, in their history curriculum. I was glad when the book went out of print in 2006 because it was not historically accurate. The story of the Burkholder family's immigration in 1754 was based on the information which we had in 1983 when it was written. Since then, research in Switzerland turned up new information which proves the Burkholders immigrated directly from Switzerland and never lived in Germany as we had been told.
Faith Builders asked if I would consider rewriting or revising the story. Either of those options would result in two different versions of the same story which it seems to me would create confusion. My suggestion was to leave the story as it was written but rewrite the preface to explain why it was written as it was, give the correct information, and advise the reader to take the story as typical of Mennonite immigrants in colonial times but not a historically accurate account of the Burkholder family's experience.
I am not at liberty to do anything without the consent of the publisher who holds the copyright, so I sent Faith Builders to Christian Light with their request. The timing was perfect and the request was presented at a CLP board meeting a few days later. They approved the reprinting of the book with a new cover and a new preface. Rewriting the preface, of course, is my job. That was suddenly bumped to the top of my job list. I have made a good start this week but am not by any means finished.
I know there is still interest in the book as I have had calls perhaps a dozen calls asking if I know where it can be purchased. The most recent call was about three weeks ago. When Hidden Riches went out of print I thought that was the end. It is getting a new lease on life and should be back in print in 2010. Do books have nine lives?