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interview #1 Gary White (PPb): The Way of Saint James


Active Member
interview -1-
Mr Gary White
Pilgrims Process books
Santa Fé, New Mexico, US

on The Way of Saint James by Georgiana Goddard King -1-

As the 2008 reprint of The Way of Saint James by Georgiana Goddard King was announced on http://www.pilgrimsprocess.com/events.htm I tried to contact Gary White, publisher of Pilgrims Process books (http://www.pilgrimsprocess.com/aboutus.htm) but failed. Recently with the help of Lin Galea of http://www.americanpilgrims.com I reached him and asked for an interview via mail which he kindly granted:

My questions circle around these big five WHY's:
1. Why did you reprint King?
2. Why in Santa Fé of all places?
3. What does Ms King have to say to you?
4. Why don't we try to print a thin paper issue?
5. What about a one volume folio size with many pictures?

Q 1. Why did you reprint ‘King’?
A: The story of how the King books got published is as follows: My wife, Elyn Aviva is one of the American experts on the Camino, having completed her PhD with the Camino as the topic in 1985. I have this small publishing operation (we have about 30 books in print), and I had decided to republish a few historic works that were long out of print or didn't have good new editions. I went to Elyn's book shelves and there were the three volumes in perfect condition. The whole project intrigued me, particularly since we have published a number of books about the Camino. It was really as simple as that. I scanned them in, chose scholars to write new introductions, and got them out before the next meeting of American Friends in California. I'm glad so many people have found the books interesting reading, which makes my efforts worthwhile. Thank you for publicizing them on your web site. That was a great help in getting the word out about the books.

Q 2: A friend who’s been there told me Sante Fé is a very spiritual place.
A: Yes, Santa Fé is the oldest capital city in the US. It was a Mexican territorial capital long before the US came to occupy this land. It is a very special place and we feel very comfortable here. However, we plan on moving back to Spain this fall and will live in Sahagun on the Camino.

Q 3. What has Ms King have to say to you?
A: My first impression was how vividly it was written. Far from being a dry, academic piece, the pages came alive as I read them. Secondly, I was impressed with the thoroughness of her research. Volume III alone would be a fairly complete representation of what was known about the Camino at that time. Thirdly, I was intrigued with how her experiences and observations hold true today, even with the influx of thousands of pilgrims and the elevation of the road to "cultural heritage" status.

Q 4. Why don't we try to print a thin paper issue?
A: As for a "thin paper" edition, I would be happy to support that by supplying the books in digital form if you want to bring out such a version. [Geert] I would like it to happen, but my talents are not in that field! I was merely hoping that it would be your cup of tea! But we could try to unite forces and ask other publishers to make it happen?

Q 5. What about a new one volume folio size issue with a great many pictures?
A: The books are in public domain and are the common property of everyone. As for a new illustrated version, the offer above stands. [Geert] And my remark too! I’m a retired professional walker and pilgrim and a journalist at heart, so the producing, editing and publishing business is not my fort and I couldn’t stand the stress either.

Thank you for this interview!

Mr White can be reached on tchbth@mac.com.
Also see Georgiana's Gems on pilgrim-books/topic4442.html.


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