Sweet William by Martie Odell Ingebretsen launches today, March 12th, the first book in our Emerging Voices imprint.
All of the advance reviews have been stellar. Below are just a few, and at the end is a special note from us to our readers that outlines how you can read this wonderful book AND help the homeless at the same time.
Robert Lee Haycock:
"Sweet William" is beautiful. My only difficulty with it was reading it through the tears that kept coming. Thank you so very much for allowing me to read this. I am truly honored."
"It’s hard to describe just how moved I was in reading Martie Odell Ingebretsen’s wonderful novella, Sweet William.
Perhaps heightened by the reality of current economic hardships
throughout our country (as evidenced by the many friends and
acquaintances who are struggling daily to support their families),
Ingebretsen’s eloquent tale of a once-successful owner of a chain of
thriving gas stations and loving family man who’s fallen from grace in
the aftermath of tragedy is a stirring wake-up call to embrace and
appreciate life, with all of its imperfections and disappointments. It’s
also a stark reminder that in the blink of an eye, everything can come
crashing down around you. One day, you might wake up to count yourself
among the homeless after years of enjoying the fruits of your labor,
surrounded by the ones you love."
"I want to call Ingebretsen’s writing voice formidable,
overwhelming, literary in a way that many authors won’t allow themselves to be.
She must be a fearless, clear-eyed woman to write the way she does, and yes,
she makes me jealous at times, when I wish I had thought of that phrase, and
"It’s easy to forget what we take for granted, the simple
things, like keys, are freedom—they open houses, they indicate ownership fresh
food, with the inviting smells and crispness of taste.
Yet, for over a million homeless folks, doing without is a
daily part of their existence.Martie
Odell Ingebretsen recognized this pain, and the injustice toward those without
a home. Her book, Sweet William, is a
poignant glimpse behind the curtain that is seldom revealed. It details in
quite poetic terms, the fall and rise of William Biggs: the struggles of a man
desperate to embrace the old memories of comfort, love, and understanding that
comes from a good home and family.It’s
a tale of coming full circle with what is possible, what a dream is, and what
is unattainable. There are those along the way, who distrust William, simply
because of his place in life, and push him into paths and unexpected
alternatives that are both good and bad."
"There are many "laws" of writing style. Among the
few that stand out as preeminent are, "Write what you know about,"
and "You can't write about what you don't see in your mind."
In her novella Sweet William, Martie Odell Ingebretsen violates the
first and proves the latter, both with brilliance. Those are two of several
keys to her unique and powerful style."
Nancy Ness, M.Ed:
"Worldly experiences, whether successes or failures, are
life’s appointed means of growth, and Martie Odell Ingebretsen brilliantly
depicts the story of William’s journey through his most challenging days.Ms. Ingebretsen delights her readers throughout,
portraying her characters’ lives as hauntingly palpable to their own.This is a truly insightful story for readers
from all walks of life."
the kind of writer that sees the world through a raindrop – images are
magnified and words are profoundly plumped with sensations and imagery that
make us slow down to read her words yet again, so perfumed are they with the
scent of life. Yet, such imagery can take a dark and shattering turn by a flick
of her pen as she thrusts the reality of unmerciful pain, and makes the reader
take a step back, perhaps in memory of their own anguish, before picking up the
Like a good
author, she does leave us with the embrace of hope, the idea that although as
we step into the shoes of any of her characters, like they, we might rise again
like a Phoenix to find that quite often, we are the shapers of our own destiny,
good or bad, as you will find in the story of Sweet William."
A Note from the Publisher of Sweet William: Sweet William is one of those amazing books that reaches out and grabs you.
Cloaked in the structure of words and sentences, it tangles itself
around your heart and shows you how much the simplest act can affect the
lives of others.
Long after we had first read it and decided to
publish it, I found myself wondering how we could build on that idea of
simple acts. I hope you’ll approve of our decision.
William, the protagonist, a guy who might be your neighbor, cousin, or
friend, shows so clearly how we are all just one crisis away from
homelessness, Buddhapuss Ink will donate 10% of the profits from the
first year’s sales of Sweet William to the Coalition for the Homeless.
The Coalition works with homeless men, women, and families—including
those affected by the recent Superstorm Sandy which devastated our area
We’d like to think it’s our way of being their Nell.