We went dark for a long time. We needed to recharge our batteries and more basically decided what we wanted to do next, if anything. The darkness, the hibernation period last 6 months – 8 months – 18 months. We didn’t answer emails, we didn’t open packets. We simply didn’t. FULL STOP.
And we redirected our focus to family matters and this house we bought in Sept. 2013 and all that. But then I made the “mistake” of logging into our gmail and saw that while we were on hiatus the internet was not. And we had HUNDREDS of emails which had not been seen nor responded to. And this surprised me since I felt at the time we shuttered our windows that no one gave a rat’s ass about Plan B Press nor any of the books we had published.
So, I started to read through the emails and not too far into the morass of mail, I opened a submission by an Emily Vieweg and I kinda liked it so I thought maybe if we decided to publish again…. and then I read others that were equally interesting and equally good and I began to wonder why on earth did these obviously talented people send us their work when we were dark. They didn’t know we were not publishing. We did though. And here were these fine manuscripts – and then while going through the HUNDREDS of emails I received another, this would be in July 2016, from a gentleman who lives in Utah and he wanted to offer us a mss. he was calling “Fluff”.
July 2016 : the midst of the most pathetic Presidential election season of my lifetime. One candidate was promising to actively discriminate against an entire religion. “Fluff” was a collection of poems that dealt with the Japanese-American experience in the United States over 3 generations and included pieces about Japanese Internment. I sensed that whomever won the election, this collection would be an important book since it would force us to have a conversation about excluding citizens; about subdividing ourselves. About tribalism. Is that really what we wanted to become as Americans?
I suggested that Mr. Terashima change the title from “Fluff” to “Issei” since that would had a stronger and deeper meaning to members of that community. People who were American citizens in every way but were denied citizenship because of a 1907 Act of Congress. We have already been down this road before. Native Americans were never allowed citizenship in the beginning of this country. Slaves had no rights. Laws were passed to regulate Irish immigrants, Catholics, Italians, Eastern Europeans, Freed Blacks, pretty much every group of people who would later be “allowed” citizenship in this country were first denied citizenship from this country.
That’s what brought Plan B Press. YOU. Writers with wonderful manuscripts.