We can fool ourselves into thinking that we have our lives well planned out. It was that way for me, being a product of the 1950/60’s: I’d go to college, meet my prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. As much as I thought I knew what to expect, my life was riddled with surprises. But the last was the most unexpected, compelling me to write Fifth Child, a non-fiction book about the anguish and consequences of a drug-addicted child, which resulted in parenting her child almost since birth.

My husband and I are cast into a shockingly large demographic. Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing phenomenon in our country because of our shifting economy, unmarried teen mothers, alcohol abuse and illegal drug use. Close to 10 million grandparents comprise the club. We had already raised four children. Jaime was our third child, and Brady is her son, who began calling us Mommy and Daddy when he was three. Readers may be amazed to find calamity overcoming a so seemingly traditional family. But as events and family history unfold, disturbing pitfalls and unfortunate genetic vulnerability reveal fault lines that can sabotage people from any walk of life.

"The Addict's Mom Sharing Without Shame" Video is so important whether addiction has touched your life or not. It's powerful. Please click on the link below to watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNZbbePiKg

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Saturday, March 26, 2011


What the publishing industry was and is are definitely two different animals. About 10 years ago, an author could get an advance from $20,000 and up for writing a book. Today, it's more like $10-15,000, if you're lucky.

Memoir-writing has always been easier for celebrities because of their following, but unknown authors also had a better chance of getting published in this genre years ago. Today, the larger publishing houses want authors (especially of memoirs) to have a strong platform. Many authors say their platforms will be strong once their books are published, which is true, but not want the publisher wants.

We must put the cart before the horse! I hope I got that expression right!


Forgot to mention that (not only by virtue of title and definition) Fiction and Non-fiction are two different animals to get published. Certain agents ONLY take on one or the other or their special interest concerns one or the other. Depending on which genre your book is written, the requirements are different.

You don't have to have a non-fiction book completed for an agent to submit it to a publisher. You just need a proposal. Whereas, fiction usually needs to be a completed book for a first-time author. Because the competition is so fierce, it's a good idea to have your proposal worked on by an editor. With fiction, this is not a necessity. The publisher will have their own editor.

It's a dog-eat-dog world out there and not a doggy-dog world as I previously wrote in my last blog (I thank my dear friend for letting me know). It's kinda like when you first learned the alphabet and heard L-M-N-O-P as elemental P.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Learning From Mistakes

Don't get over-zealous about getting your query letter and proposal out with your 3 chapters attached, like I did. Write it and put it away for a few days, even a week. Then re-visit it and you'll see areas that need correcting. I can't stress how important it is to have everything in the BEST possible form because you only get ONE shot with each agent.

Of course, you could get lucky. It's always possible that there's the one agent that sees potential in your work and willing to help you make it better. I got lucky. I'm working hard to upgrade my proposal so that I'm worthy of representation.

What have I learned so far? Make sure the competitors you include in your proposal, have written books within the last few years. Compare your book to not only show similarities; but show why yours is different and a better approach.

Hiring a freelance editor is also a good option in presenting your book in the best light. The editor can move your chapters around, correct any grammatical blunders and punctuation and KNOW what a publisher looks for. In better economic times, a publisher took on your book and had their own editor do the work, which can also happen today. However, because only about half the number of books are getting published, today, it might be better to hire an editor to up your chances.

Next blog will be about increasing your platform and how the industry has changed.

It's a doggy-dog world out there and more competitive than ever!