Saturday, August 13, 2011

You Should Write a Book!

"You're such a good writer. You should write a book!"

I've heard that many times over the years, mostly from someone I've written a newspaper or magazine article about. Yeah, yeah...right. What would I write a book about? For ten years I've been writing magazine, newspaper and business journal articles. I've written articles for a technology magazine where I had to learn what I could about a difficult subject, then "dumb it down" for the average reader--someone like myself. I've written articles on interesting people doing interesting things, business profiles, articles about homes and other places, events, the arts and more. I know a little bit about a lot of things, which makes for great cocktail party conversation. Once I share what I know on a topic (generally 600-1200 words worth) I retreat for another glass of wine.

I was one of those people who could pull out a term paper at the last minute in college and make a decent grade. Research and writing made sense to me. It came naturally, thanks to some really good high school English teachers. I also had a good typing teacher (I think they call it "keyboarding" now). I used my writing skills to land my first job out of college. I was a copywriter at WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, MS, where I wrote and produced television commercials for local businesses. That was the beginning of a long career in advertising and marketing at television stations, a department store, an advertising agency and a shopping mall. I wrote commercials, print advertisements, brochures, annual reports and press releases. When I left the corporate world to make it on my own, I began writing articles for several local publications. That's when folks started telling me that I should write a book, which I had NO desire whatsoever to do. I'm an instant-gratification kind of gal, so article-writing suits me just fine.

But then a BIG STORY fell in my lap. Or rather, fell six stories off a building in New York. When you get a call from a New York Police Department detective saying that your daughter has been found on the ground outside her apartment building, life turns upside down. Three years and alot of prayer, surgery, therapy, tears, laughter, blessings and friends later, a book is born.

I spent the month of May hunkered down in a cottage in Maine working on Nicole's story, but from my perspective. I don't have a title yet. From a spiritual standpoint, I've examined "Every Step of the Way," because we feel that God was with us all throughout the ordeal. And of course, Nicole had to take her "first steps" for the second time in her life while at Methodist Rehab. I am also toying with "The Fall and Rise of Nicole Marquez," although I doubt that will fly. I'm hoping a publisher takes interest soon and will have some sage suggestions.

I'm sending ten pages of the manuscript to Susan Cushman soon. Susan is the workshop director for the  Memphis Creative Nonfiction Writer's Workshop in September, which I'll be attending and will have the opportunity to have my manuscript reviewed, as well as an opportunity to pitch the book to literary agents during the "pitch fest."

Now the polite remark made by well-meaning people has become my daily mantra. "You're such a good writer. You should write a book." O.K. I'm doing it.

Blessings to all who read this!


  1. Susan, not only MUST you write this book -- you have been writing this book! Rock on.