In 2009, I met feminist publisher Ruth Gottstein, owner and president of Volcano Press, a 30-year-old publishing house based outside of San Francisco that had made a name for itself by producing pioneering books on women's issues. Ruth was 83 when I first met her on Shiraishi Island, although she'd been reading my Japan Times column for several years before that. When I turned to her for advice on publishing a book on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, she took me by complete surprise when she said, "We'll publish it!" Ruth loved Japan and she had a passion for the Pilgrimage as well as confidence in me and my story. "Running the Shikoku Pilgrimage: 900 Miles to Enlightenment" was published shortly after in 2013, with a foreword by the quirky but lovable "Barefoot" Ted McDonald (known best for his starring role in "Born to Run," by Christopher McDougall (Alfred A Knopf, 2009)). Never had I been in such the right place at the right time.
Ruth is 94 now, has retired from publishing, but still writes her regular column for her local paper. I often tell people that someday I hope to mature into a person just like Ruth: forward-thinking, tenacious, practical, and gracious.
In 2016, upon Ruth's retirement, Volcano Press closed shop and my book went with it. But I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such an inspirational woman and I look forward to when the book will be re-released as an e-book on Amazon.
During the Spring of 2017, I was in the middle of a dispute between a tourist and the local restaurant here on the island. Everything turned out fine, but I returned home exasperated. Desperate for someone to listen to me, I penned an email to Peter Goodman at Stone Bridge Press with the following subject heading: A badly needed book on Japan! Peter got right back to me with, "Can you get the manuscript finished by the end of September?" I got it in two weeks late, but the result was my new book "Amy's Guide to Best Behavior in Japan: Do it Right and be Polite!" If you read this book, you will never have a dispute with a local restaurant! It won't be out until May 2018 but you can pre-order it here and they will deliver it to you as soon as it's available.
The Buddhist Review: tricycle, "Run Pilgrim, Run" by Sheila Burt (Winter 2016)
Writer's Digest Magazine (profile) by Jan Jaben-Eilon (March, 2008)
Correspondent for "J-Trip Plan" reporting on the Setouchi Art Festival, Okayama's Naked Festival and the Kasaoka Islands.