|Front cover - More on back!|
I’ve been writing this book for six years – ever since my parents sat in my family room six autumns ago and I commented to my mom that she should write a story about her mom. Her response was “Oh no. You should write it.” So I did. I had been wanting to try my hand at writing a book for some time but knew I really didn’t have the creativity to write a novel. My favorite genre is historical fiction. And I’m a research geek. My mom and her sister knew the story they lived with my grandma and there was the 12-page, handwritten account she wrote one year for my sister’s school project. But there were many holes in her childhood story and in her known ancestry. All of her descendants recognized the amazing qualities of her life and no one wanted the story to fade away over time. Writing the story of my maternal grandmother’s life was the perfect fit for me.
So the research and the writing was a long journey which I won’t go into here. The last piece, the publishing piece, was a learning experience all along the way. I wanted to, and was encouraged by some people “in the know,” to find a commercial publisher for the book. That is a very single-threaded task and covered the good part of a year and a half before I finally realized my book has very little mass appeal (now that admission is not good marketing!), but tremendous value to a certain audience. Although, honestly, I think a screenwriter could take the basics and make a terrific movie out of it! Hmmm. Project 342?!
I self-published with CreateSpace which is owned or partnered with Amazon.com. It was a great experience until it came to the formatting. But I’m going to throw Microsoft under the bus on that one. Translating it to Kindle is turning into another headache. But I will get it there eventually.
The best part about the self-publishing process was the cover design. Going back to my earlier mention of my “lack of creativity,” the end product I designed is one I love. I spread a map of Ohio on my dining room table (a table which just so happens to have belonged to my grandma), put an old photo of my grandma on it, and walked around my house gathering an armful of items that once belonged to her. The end result is my cover: an antiqued photo of a framed St. Francis of Assisi prayer, a ring she wore, a sweater she knitted and wore, a fine bone china teacup and saucer from her collection, decorated with her favorite flower, violets, and a photograph of Esther Miller.
It made me wonder: After I’m gone, what armful of treasures will my granddaughter collect on a table to visualize her ties to me? Well, maybe the book, Preacher Kid: A Story from the Heartland, will be one of them. And probably the ring. And on it goes. Keep the connections. Preserve the stories.
If you are interested enough in my book to read it, I hope you will let me know how you like it! Here is where you can find it: