Nutcracker Publishing Company was established October 2000, in Hutchinson, Minnesota by Author and Breast Cancer Survivor Amelia Frahm, in honor of Laura Bouldin Karlman, a young mother who died of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML).
In 1994 Frahm was residing in Harriman, Tennessee when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Her children were toddlers. Unable to find a picture book that explained the stresses, strains and moods her family was experiencing to her young children she wrote a version of what is now known as Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy.
Frahm was surrounded emotionally if not geographically, from California to North Carolina by a group of strong women who offered her unconditional love and support.
One of those women was her friend Laura Boulding Karlman, a young mother and registered nurse from Texas. Neither friend could have imagined five years later Karlman would be diagnosed with Leukemia.
By then Frahm had moved from Tennesse to Minnesota, her prognosis was good, her toddlers were in grade school and her children’s book manuscript all but forgotten. Karlman’s cancer and the hectic busy lifestyles they shared as wives, professionals and mother’s prompted Frahm to reconsider her idea for a children’s book about cancer.
Karlman encouraged Frahm’s venture into publishing with the same honesty, humor and optimism she displayed when her friend was diagnosed with Breast Cancer years earlier. Unfortunately, Karlman would never get to read Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy to her own two children.
In October of 2000 Frahm was summoned from her home in Minnesota to MD Anderson Medical Center in Houston, Texas to say goodbye to her friend. Karlman died a year before Frahm’s book was published. She was 39 years old. Back home in Minnesota, Frahm fulfilled a promise she made her friend and dedicated the Nutcracker Publishing Company to Laura Bouldin Karlman.
The book’s publishing date was set for October 2001; sadly, the excitement of this date was eclipsed by the events of September 11, 2001. Time and again world events, such as the threat of Anthrax, and Declaration of War on Iraq by the United States coincided with the company’s publicity calendar, requiring postponements and cancellations of media events.
Despite overwhelming odds, a niche topic, and an author with zero consumer recognition within its first year, the company obtained the national acclaim of health care organizations and advocates across the country including, the National Oncology Nursing Society, Rosie O’Donnell Show and Susan G. Komen Foundation.
In February, 2002 Barr Laboratories, manufacturer of the breast cancer treatment Tamoxifen awarded the company a $10,000 endowment.
That same year, Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy received Publisher’s Marketing Association’s Benjamin Franklin Award for excellence in marketing/publishing.
The company’s David vs. Goliath saga merited a coveted front page spread on the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Business section and secured company founder and author, Amelia Frahm’s status as an expert on marketing, publishing and families affected by cancer.
Today, Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy is acknowledged across the country as recommended reading for families affected by cancer and is the only book within its niche published by a small independent publisher.
It strives to reflect Laura Bouldin Karlman’s honesty, humor and optimism as it continues to crack open ideas that educate and entertain both children and adults.