My book has been listed on Amazon.com for a little over a year and I have had the privilege of being invited to several book club meetings as a guest. The idea of it was initially thrilling. I have received many 5 star reviews and such positive feedback on my book. My mom was an author and visited schools. Here I am following in her footsteps. How awesome. What an honor!
Then I remembered what my book is about.
The reason I wrote the book is mainly because it was and still is a very difficult topic for me to talk about.
My husband Mike died in August 2015, almost 8 years ago. My book tells how I found out the truth about how he died and then pursued legal action to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. Included in my story are the various stages of grief I went through and the journey to move forward and find a life worth living, different from my original plan. I definitely felt that I could share my grief journey with others and give them hope for a new, yet different life after loss.
An acquaintance reached out and asked if I would be interested in dialing into her book club in another state. I agreed and as the time approached I showered, put on make-up and set up my office to look serene. I had assumed it would be a Zoom call, but instead was introduced on speaker phone so quickly adjusted to speaking without getting facial expressions from the members.
Rather than leaving it all up to them to ask questions I took the initiative, Since I am better at writing than speaking, I did my homework and thought about what they may ask. This gave me a chance to think about my answers ahead of time.
Why did you write this book?
Lots of people heard bits and pieces about what happened. We had televised news interviews, articles written in the newspaper and plenty of rumors going around. I wanted to tell the whole story as well as give other widows a chance to hear someone else’s story. Reading stories about other people who had a spouse die helped me not feel so alone in my grief.
I shared the 30 day write a book website that helped me structure a table of contents and begin writing daily. After writing my first draft, I did want to share it, and attempted to send it agents with not much luck. So I hired an editor. She was wonderful and gave me some helpful feedback. In fact, she suggested I change the entire book to present tense (it was written in the past tense). This made a big difference as many people said in their reviews “I couldn’t put the book down”. I think they felt this way because the events seemed to be happening as they read it.
Once I was satisfied with the draft, I hired a graphic designer and formatter through the website FIVERR. They knew just what to do to get the book ready for Amazon. Amazon does not charge you to publish. You can simply sell books one at a time and they take the cost of the printing.
What was the hardest part for me to write?
Any part that included my kids. I want to protect them from what happened but they were there too.
How many books have you sold?
As of today 652 Kindle and Print books on line with Amazon.com plus about another 25 I’ve sold or given away.
Open for comments and questions
With this group the feedback had been so positive that I felt comfortable opening up the floor for questions or comments. This part was really great and made me happy to have shared my story.
“Your trip to Thailand reminded me of ”Eat Pray Love’ Have you always been that adventuresome?”
Well I did backpack around Europe on my own back in college and worked in some fun places, but the past 30 years were really focused on raising my kids and working as a teacher. Who knows what retirement has in store.
“That letter from the wife asking you for money made me so mad!”
I shared a few more stories that didn’t make it to the book. Between the corrupt police department and stories shared with me, I could write another book!
“After reading your book, I went away for the weekend with my husband and really focused on forgetting about the crap and enjoying our time together.”
What a a wonderful message that came through. We don’t know how long we or our loved ones have here, so be like Tim McGraw and “Live like you were dying.”
“I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying”
Thanks for visiting my blog. If you want me to visit your bookclub, let me know!!