• Fire at Sono Nis Press, Winlaw, BC

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    On August 4, 2016 there was a serious fire at the office and warehouse of my publisher, Sono Nis Press in Winlaw, BC. Diane Morriss was away at the time, as was Jim Brennan who was returning home to see the smoke from the fire in the distance. This has been a terrible setback for Sono Nis and for Diane and Jim. All the book stocks in the warehouse were lost as were many office files. Fortunately, Jim was able to save some files and computers before the building was destroyed. They also lost many personal items in the fire. After a month they are still in cleanup and recovery mode, dealing with insurance as well as the shock of it all. It is going to take some time to assess what to do and the best way to proceed.

    In terms of my books, this is a serious setback. Sono Nis has always kept older titles in stock as long as possible. Sadly, virtually all copies of my earlier books, including Pacific Princesses, Pacific Empresses, Those Beautiful Coastal Liners and others, were all destroyed. Fortunately, I had a few boxes of Steam Along the Boundary and about 50 copies of Steam on the Kettle Valley and some of Logging by Rail. Dave Manzer also has copies of most titles and will have them for sale at the Vancouver Train show (Vancouver Train Expo, Nov. 5 & 6) and other train shows as well.

    I don’t have a list of dealers who may have stock (and I haven’t checked with friends in book stores and hobby shops as yet), but Central Hobbies in Burnaby, and BC Shaver & Hobbies in Victoria should still have copies of later titles, including the two E&N books and The Klondike Gold Rush Steamers. Central probably has earlier titles left too. In Calgary, Trains & Such likely still has some of the books available. Brian Kelly at Kelly’s Kaboose in Kamloops may have some as well. In Whitehorse, Mac’s Fireweed Books had a good supply of Klondike Gold Rush Steamers when I was last in touch, as did the Yukon Transportation Museum. The McLean Mill National Historic Site in Port Alberni had the E&N books and Logging by Rail. Many book stores, such as Steveston Bookstore, Tanners, Bolen’s or Munro’s may still have copies of some titles. My apologies for not having a more complete list.

    I am hopeful that the two E&N books will be reprinted along with The Klondike Gold Rush Steamers before too long, and that some of the earlier titles will also return to print. Printers, such as Friesens who did the most recent titles, are very busy at this time of the year as publishers begin to release their fall titles, so nothing can happen immediately on the reprinting front. Of course, I’m not the only author whose books have suddenly gone out of print, and they will be anxious to see favourites return too. Moreover, Diane had some wonderful books lined up for this fall. I will post periodic updates as the recovery work progresses. In the meantime, I’m continuing to work on new title including my project on the last of world steam and a book recounting the history the coastal steamships on the services to Alaska and the Klondike from Washington and BC beginning in the late 1800s.

    Here is a link to a report in Quill & Quire that provides more details of fire: “B.C.press Sono Nis begins recovery after fire” by Becky Robertson.

    B.C. press Sono Nis begins recovery after fire

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