Daughters of Fire Wins National Indie Publishers’ Award


The Independent Book Publishers Association (IPBA)—the largest not-for-profit trade group in the U.S. book industry—recognizes excellence and innovation in independent publishing with its annual Benjamin Franklin Awards, named in honor of America’s most cherished publisher/printer.

On Friday, May 3, IBPA named Daughters of Fire a 2013 Benjamin Franklin Silver Finalist Award winner for Popular Fiction. On May 29 Tom attended IBPA's gala awards dinner at the Marriott Marquis in New York’s Times Square, representing he and his publisher, Arnie Kotler of Koa Books.

To read a news story about the award, visit http://www.hawaii247.com/2013/05/07/peeks-novel-wins-national-indie-publishers-award/. To obtain Koa Books’ full press release, visit http://daughtersoffire.com/press-kit.


Daughters of Fire was a labor of love for everyone involved—the author, editors, artists, and designer. That’s something independent publishers can still do. We couldn’t be more delighted to get news of this Benjamin Franklin Silver Finalist Award.”

                                                         —Arnie Kotler, Publisher and Editor of Koa Books


Daughters of Fire is the twelfth work from Hana-based Koa Books, which was founded on Maui in 2005 by Arnie Kotler, who was publisher and editor of Parallax Press in Berkeley, California from 1985-1999. Last year, Koa released Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hawaiʻi coauthored by another Big Islander, Patricia Jennings, who had hosted O’Keeffe in Hana in 1939.

Koa’s other Hawaiʻi titles include Nation Within: The History of the American Occupation of Hawaiʻi by Tom Coffman; Under Maui Skies and Other Stories by Wayne Moniz, and The Superferry Chronicles by Koohan Paik and Jerry Mander.


Author Tom Peek, a writer and policy expert at the University of Minnesota in the 1980s, hitchhiked by boat through the South Seas before settling on Hawaiʻi Island 25 years ago. He’s taught his popular Empowered by the Pen writing workshops through Volcano Art Center, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and other venues on Hawaiʻi, Maui and Lanaʻi.

He’s also been a mountain and astronomy guide on Mauna Kea and an eruption ranger, wildland firefighter and exhibit writer on Kilauea, working closely with Hawaiian elders and cultural practitioners on both volcanoes. These experiences provided Peek with much of the material for his book.


The award-winning novel was also featured at the May 18-19 Hawaiʻi Book and Music Festival in Honolulu (www.hawaiibookandmusicfestival.org), the state’s premier literary event, and a chapter from the novel was recently reprinted in Ke Ola, one of Hawaiʻi’s most beautiful magazines. Copies of the magazine are available free at newsstands throughout Hawaiʻi Island and at http://keolamagazine.com/flipview/may-jun_2013/. See page 82 for the excerpt.


Daughters of Fire and its author at the May 29 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards dinner. Mahalo nui loa to Julia Neal, Publisher and Editor of the Big Island’s Kaʻu Calendar newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) for covering the event and taking this picture of Tom with the award.