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Wages Creek

Written, Scored, Recorded and Produced
Jeffrey Hickey

20 years ago, I signed a publishing deal for my children's story, Wages Creek. It was my first published story. All the illustrations (pastels and stamp art) are by my wife, Karen Kiser. I also wrote all the music, and do all the voices for the audio book. It was an exciting time. There were numerous bumps in the road, like the initial print run was made from a copy of the layout that had flaws. That had to be corrected before the book could be distributed. About six weeks later, I received word that no corrected edition was forthcoming, because my publisher had just been purchased by another publisher. Unfortunately for me, the new publisher had no interest in my work, nor would they negotiate on giving the rights back to me. They told me to write another book and if that sold, they'd market Wages Creek. This work sat on a warehouse shelf for 11 years, when the contract ran out, and that publisher went bankrupt. I will refrain from mentioning their name, or anything else about them, other than I'm glad they are no longer part of my life.

So we've waited until my first three novels came out before re-releasing this work with at least decent distribution through Amazon. Because of the war between Amazon and the ABA, this work will still not be in bookstores immediately, though you can order yours from any bookstore, but it will be out, and the audio will be available to download. By the way, with the audio download, you will also get the complete musical score without my voice, so that anyone can try to read the story with the music.

We got a young, talented artist, Rachel Betz, to put fresh eyes on the layout and design, and now, at long last, we are ready to send this work into the world. Once again, it is an exciting time. So here it is, my first work written, scored and performed for children, Wages Creek:

There was once a campground on the Northern California coast where a fresh, bubbling stream met the vast Pacific Ocean. The sandy beach was large, the grasses were tall and soft, three ducks had a problem, one man had a cold, and a horseshoe pit was in the middle of the solution. This is the story of a trip my family took to Wages Creek.

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