I’m on a journey. The journey of a non-famous, non-wealthy, “new” face that believes her manuscript is book-worthy. Many questions can be asked of such an author:
- What is your book about?
- What makes it different than others on the market?
- Do you have a platform?
- Why would someone want to read your book?
Nowadays, being a writer is not enough. A writer (someone who loves to write and presumably possesses some skill) must also be a savvy technology technician, marketing entrepreneur and publicity expert. Without fame or wealth, supplying either a large sum of contacts or a large sum of cash, authors are not in an enviable position.
Let me share how this journey began back in September, 2008. The weather and mood were dreary as we drove to the hospital for my mother’s endoscopy appointment. We tried to stay upbeat but our gloominess won out. There is nothing, however, that could have prepared us for what the next few days would reveal.
It is conceivable, had a person not known me, that they might have mistaken me for Cleopatra on that fateful afternoon. Lying on my hip on my mother’s peach colored, leather sofa, pillow propped under my arm, blue woolen blanket covering my legs, my cell phone rang – pulling me from my reverie. It took a moment for me to respond and then several more before I located the small ringing rectangular object in my bag. I did not recognize the number and assumed the individual on the other end of the call had mis-dialed. But they hadn’t. A doctor, with a name I didn’t recognize, was calling me with my mother’s endoscopy results. Why was he calling me? I did not remember giving him my number, nor did I want to be in the position of having information my mother, her husband, and her primary care physician did not. I felt cornered and apprehensive as I threw the blue blanket off my legs and walked out the front door into the brisk fall air. My apprehension was duly rewarded when this robotic stranger spoke the words, “pancreatic cancer,” which quite literally knocked me off my feet. It was there and then, on a driveway of grey speckled brick, that my writing began with a vengeance, because emotion had choked off my ability to speak.