Joann Davis, head of the new Morrow imprint Eagle Brook, and Rosemary Altea, medium and author of its first release, Proud Spirit, have an incredible bond. Not only did Altea contact Davis’s dead father when the then-skeptic (and Warner editor) was acquiring Altea's first book, The Eagle and The Rose, but the medium also envisioned Eagle Brook, Davis's future Vermont home and imprint namesake. Altea also moved to Morrow months before Davis did, knowing, she told PW, that her editor would soon follow.
"It's been a life-changing experience," said Davis about her meeting with Altea. The Eagle and the Rose went on to become a 200,000-plus hardcover seller for Warner and Proud Spirit, an April release, is currently among Barnes &Noble's top 50 nonfiction.
The idea of what Davis calls "human potentiality" guides her choices for the imprint, on which she neither wants to impose a specific number of titles per year nor a "spirituality" label. "I know a lot of people think of me as a spirituality editor because, at Warner, I was the editor of The Celestine Prophecy," she said. "But if I come upon a joke book that would work, I'll do it. This is still about finding commercial properties, but ones I can believe in."
Eagle Brook's tentatively scheduled lineup includes Faridi McFree's Peace on Earth Begins with You, a fable to be released this Christmas; Bill Cohen's Life Mapping, a life-direction guide set for January; Marianne Gilliam's Getting Sober, a first-person account of being in Alcoholics Anonymous set for spring; and, for fall 1998, Don't Know Much About the Bible, the next in a bestselling series by Joann's husband, Kenneth C. Davis.
But, first, for this fall, will be Eagle Brook's next Altea offering, this one a trade paperback-and-audio shrink-wrapped set called Give the Gift of Healing, developed from an audio Altea had previously self-published. That Morrow d sn't have an audio division didn’t deter Davis. "When you feel like you have an exciting property, you have to find a way," she said. PW thinks Davis find a way to publish Altea's next project -- a step-by-step guide to "tuning in" spiritually -- even though a deal hasn't been negotiated with agent Joni Evans yet.