We started in 2011 - John Christian Hopkins and me. We did his book Twilight of the Gods. We published it and Blue Hand Books was born on 11-11-11! To me, to decolonize is to do things "Our Way." We could have published with one of the 4 big publishers and never been paid a dime... Publishing is not for everyone and there is definitely censorship in WHAT can be published and by whom... - TLH

Wanna know more - read the HISTORY of BHB👇

 (I just noticed the pages (links) are not working on this website - on my computer. Will fix that - 😠 to blogger. TLH)


Nicola I. Campbell

I heard an elder speak of the importance of our languages and our culture. He said, “Our words are powerful; our stories are elastic; our languages are music: they dance, they move and they are medicine for our people. He said they are a spirit within themselves and we are only the channel that brings them to life.” I write because I know what he said is true.

Q&A with founder Trace L Hentz

also known as Trace DeMeyer and Laramie Harlow

Tell us about Blue Hand Books:

I started Blue Hand Books as a collective of Native American authors in 2011 to help my Narragansett friend John Christian Hopkins. He and I worked together at the Pequot Times in the early 2000s.  John had tried publishing himself, and it worked fine but he needed more readers (and book sales). My husband and I were having brunch with John and his wife Sararesa in Connecticut that summer (2011) and out of nowhere—BOOM—I offered to help him publish his book Twilight of the Gods.  He electronically sent me his files and somehow I formatted it and we published it!  So the collective as a company officially kicked off on 11-11-11 when his book was published.  It was more work than I imagined to layout a book but I've improved because of Pressbooks formatting software. (2023 - Pressbooks is no longer what we use.) As time went on, I needed to learn how to create e-books and tons of other stuff.

How did you come up with that name:
Blue Hand Books was a vision. I'd looked at Mayan prophecy since it was 2011—the end of their calendar was December 21 and found out that the Blue Hand is a Mayan symbol for the time we are now in.  In 2019, I reopened as BLUE INDIANS COLLECTIVE and Blue Hand Books.

What is the mission:

Our motto "Where Native Authors Find New Readers" is our mission. "Decolonizing publishing" is our goal. 
With the Blue Indians Collective name, we remember and honor Santee poet and activist John Trudell.

How many books have you published as a collective:
 28 so far (2023).  Once we had John's Twilight of the Gods book done, I published the second edition of my memoir One Small Sacrifice in 2012.  (The first edition in 2009 I'd used Lulu and hated the interior design—it looked awful to me.  The Lulu people were not at all what I'd expected.) We used Pressbooks software for layout of both the e-book and paperback and it's fantastic and much easier on me. (I still do the layout and uploads of photos and write book info.)

Back in 2009, self-publishing was not looked upon as "professional" so I knew John and I needed to have a publishing house and BE the publisher.  We're both journalists and former editors.  I decided to use Create Space/KDP/Amazon after I did some research. (I have looked into other book publishers/printers as well, like Ingram.) 

Jim Chavers
Right after that I worked with a new writer Jim Chavers, who is Bois Forte Ojibwe, and at that time he was in prison in Minnesota. We worked over the phone for months. I did his book Ojibwe Hunter (his true hunting stories) and published it on Create Space in 2012.
OH! I want to add that our mutual friend Barb Burke was our go-to-gal for graphic design. She designed the book covers and bookmarks. We could not have done it without her help and generosity. (She is a very talented writer herself! And now a busy mom to Sam.)
Since then, WE (the collective Blue Hand Books) have published my first poetry chapbook SLEEPS WITH KNIVES, an anthology TWO WORLDS: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects (Busbee and I are co-editors and adoptees), John's first poetry book RHYME OR REASON, Patricia Busbee's hybrid fiction REMEDIES (she has changed her name again), and John's 2nd edition of CARLOMAGNO: Adventures of the Pirate Prince of the Wampanoags.  That's not the exact order of books but close.

Let me define "collective":  When we started, John and I helped each other out by co-writing press releases, arranging to do radio/ print interviews/find book reviewers, locate book stores, and advise/help with marketing.  Each of our authors is supposed to help out. Not all did.

John's also remastered Twilight of the Gods as the new book LOKI: God of Mischief, with a brand new book cover so that was done and published.   
John re-published his book Carlomango with BHB and we added a subtitle: Adventures of the Pirate Prince of the Wampanoags

Dana Lone Hill
In early 2014, I finished the interior of Dana Lone Hill's POINTING WITH LIPS.  It was a fantastic debut fiction—her very first book... This Lakota writer had a huge gift and a huge following...  We asked graphic designer Kim Pittman to do the cover and it's wonderful.  (I realized my WORD program sucked at book interiors, especially doing Dana's book, so we use Pressbooks software (which is a lot like using wordpress). It cost money but it was worth it. Now Pressbooks changed in 2023 and it's not going to work.)

out of print
In June 2014, Busbee and I finished and published CALLED HOME (Book 2) Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects, a Native adoptee narrative anthology. It took forever since we had 50 writers, which includes me and Patricia, but it's a masterpiece and an important chapter of American Indian history. (See below about the second edition)

Then I worked with a Wampanoag writer Deborah Spears-Moorehead on her own story and tribal history. Finding Balance was actually our 15th book.

My chapbook BECOMING was our 12th title... I was excited to get my second prose/short story collection out there, using a pen-name Laramie Harlow. (This book was retired in 2018.)

John's western TWO GUNS is lucky number 13 -  WRITER ON THE STORM, John's humor writing, was 14th. 

We re-published "Called Home: The RoadMap" in 2016 with a new cover and more content.  (Our 16th title)

With second generations of Native people affected by the Adoption Projects, I published a new anthology "Stolen Generations: Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop" in 2016, part of the Lost Children Book Series.  (our 15th title)

We published two titles by Barbara Robidoux (#16 and #17) Legacy of Lucy Little Bear and Sweetgrass Burning are on Amazon.

Charles Grolla has published his first book "Ojibwe Mocassin Game" (see his author page at BHB) (This is our 18th title)

Also in 2017, we published Busbee's poetry anthology "In The Veins." (Book 4 of the Lost Children Book Series) (#19)

In 2017, we republished Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects, Vol. 1 - I edited it with a new cover. (#20)

Buffalo Dreams was published in 2019. (#21)  Sadly, Jagade died on October 2, 2019, just days after her book came out.  She had self-published earlier books and lived in Stone Lane, Wisconsin. Buffalo Dreams is part-memoir, part-instruction on how to interpret dreams.

We've published and republished 25 remarkable very very good book titles. NICE!

As of 2018, we are not on Facebook.  We closed the BHB twitter account. Trace got offer X/Twitter in 2023.

Does BLUE HAND BOOKS have a blog or website?
Both.  It's and we have  2019:

Since my cancer surgery in May 2018, I blog about books by Native authors, not just the ones we publish.  BTW... I'm fine now.

This is a story in itself.  I had no idea how to create a website but I tried.  First I used Webs to create as a storefront but it was expensive and no sales at all!  So back to the drawing board I went and decided to buy the name Blue Hand Books with the .org and use wordpress as our landing page and website.  
Like I said, it's all been a learning curve for me to be a book publisher! Domain names, blogs, websites, book trailers, book tours, social media, all of this was new to me in 2009 when my memoir came out.  I'd never guessed this was the direction my life would take—but I am sure glad it did!
I switched this website to Blogger in 2016. (But it has glitches - like the pages not working)

In 2017, I decided to take a new direction. Blue Hand Books Collective was a website to find our book titles on Amazon or IndieBound.  I retired in 2015 and Steve Dragswolf was manager for one year, but that didn't work out.
I un-retired...😂


By late 2018, I did my first creative non-fiction.  This book was created over 5 years! It wasn't my last. Keep reading!

Also in 2019:
Sleeps with Knives (2nd edition) came out. The book cover is simply white feathers....
ebook cover #24

2020: Becoming (Laramie): Then it hit me came out in March, true stories by Trace L Hentz.

ohn Christian Hopkins also released CROCKETT'S GOLD! It's fantastic!

[UPDATE::: Amazon is where we print paperbacks (KDP on but we HOPE and PRAY you will use BOOKSHOP to buy books.  Most of our book titles are listed on BOOKSHOP and on this website. Not all but most.]

2021: OMG! It's A Miracle We've Survived This Far is a book series. "I can't stop. WHAT JUST HAPPENED? It's a brand new book," Trace yells! (Our 26th book)

2022: For the first time, Trace published a new book FINDING THE INVISIBLES (#27) on its own website: but there were (GOOGLE BLOGGER) glitches when photos disappeared - FORMATTING issues were fixed in 2023. BUT the entire book (with photos) can be read as an ebook here FREE:
Chapter Three: THE WAY (Trace's favorite) :
2023: The Last Heir of Merlin by John C. Hopkins. (Our 28th book) Trace is writing 8 Billion Elephants.
And Trace is (SLOWLY) updating her memoir One Small Sacrifice (A Grief Memoir) with a chapter on Disappeared Children.

MEGWETCH and Thank you for reading this update and telling your friends about us. Word of Mouth is the best way to help us... sending up Smoke Signals... 
xox Trace



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