- Tell us a little about yourself.
I first began to write during my years as a caregiver – Mom’s Long Good-Bye is my second caregiving memoir. In the last few years I have ventured into fiction writing, and I hope to have a second novel available for the public in the not too distant future. I recently gave up a part-time secretarial job at my church, so I am now retired except for an on-line position with BookPros Publishing – and my writing. I am an active blogger, and I write a column for the weekly newspaper in the tiny East Texas town where my husband David and I live with our feral cat Kitty.
- How did you hear about Anaiah Press?
In July of 2013, one of the members of my author support group posted information about PitchMAS, a semi-annual blog contest and Twitter party put together by Jessa Russo and Tamara Pederson. The idea of the contest was to put authors in touch with agents and publishers, so I decided to give it a try. I didn’t make the top 50. Crushed but not broken, I put the next round on my calendar, and on December 15, I tried again. This time Jessa and Tamara included the top 75 in the final blog group, and on December 19, my blog pitch was posted in the #73 spot. Almost immediately I received a request from Kara Leigh Miller, Managing Editor at Anaiah Press, asking for a query and the first five chapters of my manuscript. I responded that afternoon, and the next day I received a request for the full manuscript from Jessica Schmeidler, Managing Editor of the Inspirations imprint at Anaiah.
I was excited but a little disappointed that I had received no other requests. However, I’ve been told that memoir is the hardest genre to sell unless you’re a celebrity, so I was grateful for Anaiah’s enthusiasm. One thing my education in publishing had taught me was that the wheels turn slowly in this business, so I settled in for a long wait. But this time was the exception. On December 26 I received an e-mail from Eden Plantz, Executive Editor at Anaiah, offering me a publishing contract. On January 10, we “inked the deal.” A Long and Winding Road was Anaiah’s debut release on July 1, 2014.
- Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I am what I’ve heard called by some a plantser, a hybrid between a plotter and a pantser. I begin with a general idea of my subject and the main point I want to make. I may jot down a few words to give me skeletal outline to follow, but then I sit down at the computer and let the words take me where they will.
- What do you do when you’re not writing?
Since I’ve only been retired a short time, we’re still figuring out what our lives will look like this side of the business world. We will continue to be active in our church, and most weekdays we will have lunch with friends at the local Senior Center. Once the weather warms up enough to germinate seeds, I hope to do a little bit of gardening. And when I need to take a break, I plan to sit on my new covered porch and read – a lot. We also plan to travel as soon as David can figure out why the sensor for the leveling jacks on the motor home beeps constantly even when the jacks are in the raised position. Finally, David has recently rekindled his interest in an old hobby of metal detecting, so I will probably be tagging along on some treasure hunts. Retirement sounds like it may be quite busy, but that’s good because a busy schedule tends to provide lots of writing material.
- Provide us with a two-sentence description of your book.
Mom’s good-bye began with a red photo album and ended fifteen years later in a hospital bed in the Alzheimer’s wing of Southridge Village. Mom’s Long Good-Bye is her story and mine.
- Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?
When you sit down to read Mom’s Long Good-Bye, bring tissues. Many of the chapters are funny and feel-good, but many were written through tears. The emotions are real and raw and in your face. But look beyond the tears to the love and the faith that survive the Alzheimer’s and the peace and comfort that follow.
- Where can readers find you online?
Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/YTfk2b