2012-10-19 / Neighbors

Publisher pushes for Maine authors

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

After publishing her first book in 2009, Marion York has started Laughing Moose Books. So far the company has published four books, including “Folks From Away,” a book written by her husband, Lloyd. (Michael Kelley photo) After publishing her first book in 2009, Marion York has started Laughing Moose Books. So far the company has published four books, including “Folks From Away,” a book written by her husband, Lloyd. (Michael Kelley photo) After getting her first book published in 2009, Scarborough resident Marion York wanted to find a way to help other first-time authors see their creative work materialize.

Last year, York, a resident of Hillcrest Retirement Community, started Laughing Moose Books, a book publisher for Maine authors. To date, Laughing Moose Books has published four books, three of them for children.

In 2009, Bryson Taylor Publishing, a Saco-base company, published York’s book “Happy to Be Me,” a children’s book that York said touches on the topics of “diversity, acceptance of each other and celebrating different nationalities.”

“I was retired and I had such a good time with (“Happy to Be Me”) so I thought I would give it a try,” she said of starting her own publishing house. “All the children’s books are all about learning about acceptance, just in different ways.”

York was an administrator at the Cape Elizabeth Home for 17 years before working at the Morrison Development Center. York, who has been an artist for more than 30 years and illustrated all of the books published by her company so far, said she knows how hard it is to get a book published and wanted to help others through the process.

“What I want to do is help other people do what I have accomplished,” she said.

The most recent person she has helped to do so is her husband Lloyd. Last month, Laughing Moose Books published “Folks from Away” a collection of stories that kind-heartedly pokes fun at non-Maine residents, written by Lloyd York, a 36-year military veteran, who served 33 of those years with the National Guard.

Lloyd York said the book is a mixture of stories he imagined, or offshoots of stories that friends or neighbors shared with him. He is already working on a sequel.

The first book published by Laughing Moose Books was “A Triangle’s Tale,” the story about a triangle that is looked down upon by other instruments in the orchestra until one day when the conductor shows the triangle’s true worth. The book was written by Mille Giesecke, a resident of Scarborough. The book, first published in 2011, is being reworked and will be republished shortly. Giesecke and York have also since teamed up to produce “Coach Potato Pete,” a story about a young boy who turns into a potato because he refuses to get off the coach. Soon, however, he realizes there is much more to life than watching television.

This year Laughing Moose Books has also published “Jibbo Jabbo Magee,” a book that tells the tale of an animal not accepted by his peers who saves the other animals when their forest is attacked by hunters. The book was written by G.L. Crosman, a former resident of Kennebunk who now lives in North Carolina. Crosman, who has taught special education for more than 50 years, is working on a historical fiction book for children that is inspired by the Cape Porpoise area of Kennebunkport.

The message of accepting others, no matter their background, is something that resonates with York, who grew up in a multicultural neighborhood on India Street in Portland where many “customs, cultures and religions” were celebrated.

“Everyone talks about bullying,” said York, who has three children and two grandchildren, ages 17 and 20, “but if we accept each other for who we are and be excited because someone can play the piano or are interested in aquariums, there wouldn’t be any bullying.”

“We are such a multicultural society that we have just got to accept each other,” York added.

Titles from Laughing Moose Books are available at Longfellow Books in Portland, The Book Review in Falmouth, Nonesuch Books in South Portland and Biddeford and Books and Things in Norway. The books are also available as e-books through amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

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