Some readers would like to know why I did not write my book earlier, and they ask, “why now?”
That’s a good question, but there are several parts to my answer.
Writing my story about childhood abuse has been on my bucket list for a long time. I interviewed relatives and kept notes in a file for more than 50 years, but not only was I not ready to write my book when I was younger, but my brothers and sisters were not ready for me to write this book yet, either. I knew this would not be an easy book to write. Therefore, I had to wait until the “right time” to tell my story in the right way so my book could help other victims of abuse.
1. I believe I always had a natural gift to write well, I also knew I would first need to get some credentials as a writer. So I did. I earned my BA in English-Writing (equivalent to journalism) from the University of Puget Sound in May 1982. While attending college, I worked at the Family Counseling Service, which had several benefits. I typed hundreds of case studies stating what the clients’ problems were, what the counselor’s pland of action were, and what the outgoing results were. That was an education in itself. Another benefit was that whenever one of the seven counselor’s had a free hour because of a cancellation, some of them came into the office, talked with me and gave me some free counseling. After graduating from UPS, I worked as a newspaper reporter and editor. One of my beats was writing about the prevention of child and spouse abuse. I covered “Domestic Abuse Prevention Month” in October and “Child Abuse Prevention Month” in April. That meant that I had to talk with many subject-matter experts, which was exactly the kind of preparation I needed to do a good job of writing my book.
2. I also knew that all of my 11 living siblings were struggling as young adults from their own child abuse issues. Thank God, most of them were intelligent enough to know they needed help and some of them paid thousands of dollars for professional counseling. Others met the right people at the right time who helped them on their road to recovery. In other words, my brothers and sisters were not yet ready to talk about what they had experienced. I also did not yet know how the child abuse we suffered would affect them or know if they would all survive. 3. I knew I was not ready to go back and revisit all of the childhood trauma that I had experienced when I was younger either. It was still too fresh and painful and I had not yet gotten to a place where I could handle it. 4. I did not have enough money saved to pay for publishing my book when I was a young, single mother.
I always felt I would know when the time was right for me to work on my book. After I retired from my job as a newspaper journalist, I figured it was time to start working on my book, so I did, but at first, I did not have much luck. At one point, I was about half done, when I lost all of my manuscript that I had failed to back up. I also had some personal crisis to deal with that made it difficult for me to focus. Over the next 10 years, I had started and stopped writing my book several times. Finally, in about October 2018, I mentioned that I was writing a book to the founder of DealDash.com (a penny-auction online shopping site). He asked me to send him some sample copies of chapters I had already finished, and I did. He then said something like, “I take off three-weeks a year to do nothing but read, and your writing is awesome, so I would like to invest in your book.” When he told me that, I immediately knew I had to stay focused and finish my book. I put a goal on myself to finish writing my book by the end of 2019, and I did. I wrote 12 to 15 hours a day for the next few months and (for the first time) I did not even take time to send out Christmas cards. I knew it was the right time to get my book published because I had the money and I also have a friend who happened to publish memoirs (like my book) in Pennsylvania. So everything fell into place for me to finally fulfill my No. 1 item on my bucket list.
Now, I am working on the most difficult part– the marketing. An author could write the best book ever written, but if nobody knows about it or nobody sees it, the messages contained in the book would not be able to help anyone. Therefore, if you have already read my book, please help me get the word out. So far, the most common message I receive from my readers is that after reading my book, “now I appreciate my own parents so much more.” The last chapter of my book on “The Power of Forgiveness” also makes a difference to some readers who struggle with the issue of forgiveness.