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Fotinos, Joel

Fotinos, Joel

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

Home—NJ. Office—Sacred Center, 330 W. 38th St., Ste. 704, New York, NY 10018.

CAREER:

Buyer and manager for various bookstores; Tattered Cover (bookstore), Denver, CO, religion and philosophy buyer and founder of spirituality series; HarperSanFrancisco, San Francisco, CA, in marketing; Penguin Putnam Group, New York, NY, publisher of Jeremy P. Tarcher imprint, 1996—, director of religious publishing, 1998—, vice president, 2004—, publisher of Penguin Praise imprint, 2006—. Sacred Heart Center, New York, NY, cofounder and communications minister.

WRITINGS:

(With August Gold) The Prayer Chest: A Novel about Receiving All of Life's Riches, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Joel Fotinos began his career in the publishing world as a buyer of religion and philosophy for the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, Colorado, where he also founded their spirituality series. He worked in the HarperSanFrancisco marketing department, and then joined the Penguin Putnam Group in New York, New York, where in 2006 he became publisher of the Jeremy P. Tarcher imprint. Two years later Fotinos became director of religious publishing, and in 2004, he was named a vice president. He became publisher of the Penguin Praise imprint in 2006, which is to be Penguin's major religion imprint.

In 1999 Fotinos was interviewed by Kimberly Winston for Publishers Weekly. The subject was New Age publishing, and Fotinos predicted its growth, in large part due to the Internet, with its New Age communities and chat rooms. "And where print ads for New Age titles were once ghettoized to category-specific magazines and newsletters," he commented, "they now have such broad appeal that more conventional venues have become viable—and should continue to grow."

Fotinos is a cofounder and the communications minister of the Sacred Center in New York, as is August Gold, an ordained interfaith minister and senior minister of the Center, with whom he wrote The Prayer Chest: A Novel about Receiving All of Life's Riches. It is the story of Joseph Hutchinson, a Long Island farmer during the late nineteenth century who, unlike his wife, Miriam, is not a believer, but who does pray to, not merely in, an attic room where he asks the space to protect his loved ones and grant other requests. When his prayers for Miriam's recovery from pneumonia fail, he is left to care for his two small children. Joseph loses faith until he discovers, behind a wall, a chest filled with a notebook and scraps of paper that offer the secrets to prayer.

A Publishers Weekly reviewer who compared the story to the film It's a Wonderful Life, wrote that "this easy, inspirational read will warm the hearts of seekers everywhere." Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat reviewed the book for their Web site Spirituality and Practice, describing it as a "spiritual adventure story about the power of prayer and the pluck it takes to surrender to God and welcome all that comes our way."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Publishers Weekly, June 14, 1999, "Joel Fotinos," interview, p. 38; July 9, 2007, review of The Prayer Chest: A Novel about Receiving All of Life's Riches, p. 27.

ONLINE

Prayer Chest Web site,http://www.theprayerchest.com (March 20, 2008).

Spirituality and Practice,http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ (March 20, 2008), Frederic Brussat and Mary Ann Brussat, review of The Prayer Chest.

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