Friday, November 8, 2013

Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado on sale for 99 cents

I never planned to have three books about the May 22, 2011, Joplin Tornado.

My original idea was to do 5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado with Carthage Press Managing Editor John Hacker and then use the proceeds from that book to publish the story of what happened to my students during the tornado- the book that later became Scars from the Tornado: One Year at Joplin East Middle School.

Two things changed my plan.

1. John Hacker kept telling me that while he was making his rounds, people would tell him we really needed to write a book about the recovery and the remarkable things that had happened since the tornado.

2. I still did not have enough money to go through with my plan of publishing a book with my students and giving each of them a copy.

So we began working on the book that we eventually titled Spirit of Hope.

The book was intended to combine with 5:41 to provide readers with the most comprehensive record of the Joplin Tornado available.

-John was involved in the coverage of nearly every major event from the high school graduation to the six-month anniversary to the Extreme Makeover and Habitat for Humanity construction.

-I collected transcripts and documents of every major speech and event, including Presidnet Obama's speeches at the graduation and the memorial service, Mark Rohr's six-month anniversarry speech, C. J. Huff's press conference when he announced school would start on time and Rush Limbaugh's Fourth of July speech.

-We had first person stories that had arrived too late for inclusion in 5:41 and updates from some of those whose stories were featured in the first book.

-I added some original reporting, including a feature on a Joplin High School graduate and the magazine article I did on the late Will Norton for the Chapman University Magazine.

By the time the book was completed, I thought it was as good and possibly better than 5:41.

Naturally, it was greeted by the reading public with a resounding thud. Because of unsuccesful efforts to push it through advertising, I ended up accidentally paying $4,000 to Google, something from which I have yet to recover and it delayed the publication of Scars from the Tornado, which finally saw the light of day when I realized I could keep my promise by providing all students with an e-book and limit the paperbacks to those who had contributed chapters.

Despite al of that, I still have faith in Spirit of Hope and would like for more people to see for themselves how good the book is.

For the next three days, from approximately 10 a.m. today to 10 a.m. Monday, the e-book version of Spirit of Hope will be available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents (the regular price is $5). Give it a try and if you like it, please spread the word about this book.

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