I have always dreamed of writing a book, but wondered if it would happen. Last spring, I was asked on Twitter by an acquisition editor for Cool Springs Press if I wanted to write a houseplant book, and the rest is history. Thank you Twitter! (I’ve won quite a few contests on Twitter, too!) Who would have thought social media could help dreams come true?
The whole process took over a year and much time was spent in the basement writing. I didn’t volunteer at Belle Isle last fall and winter, and I felt like I was “out of the loop” of life. My friends and family didn’t see much of me. I let my brothers handle taking mom to doctor and hair appointments. The house was a mess (still is; not much changed from before book writing, not gonna’ lie), and meals were often not cooked. My gym membership lapsed and I gained weight. But, you know what? I loved every minute of it and would do it again! Hopefully, I will do it again. I loved the research, fact checking, and setting up for the pictures. My daughter, Chelsea was the photographer. She will tell you, there were days we could have killed each other, but we survived and I am so glad we did it together.
One of the best things about the book? Elvin McDonald edited it for me! I have admired him for years. He has written many houseplant books over the years, all of which I own. I finally met him in the spring of 2016 which you can read about here. Another bucket list item checked off. When I told Elvin I was writing a book, he graciously offered to edit it and I did not turn him down. What an honor! Thank you Elvin!
Now, I will tell you, there are things about the book that were disappointing. We’ll leave it at that. Nothing is perfect, but I still love it and it turned out amazing! Thank you Cool Springs Press with a special shout out to Alyssa, the project manager! She went to bat for me when it came to the lay out and the pictures used and not used, for that matter. Thank you Alyssa! You rock! Also to Mark, the acquisition editor, who took over 1/2 way through. Not an easy task, but he did a great job. Now, I’m working with Steve, who is in charge of marketing and he is doing a fine job, as well.
The book finally arrived in early October and I cried! If you achieve something you’ve only ever dreamed about, some tears are going to happen.
My three best friends decided to throw me a book launch party and it was amazing! My family and friends came out to celebrate this amazing life event and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Thank you!
My three brothers and their wives and families came from over two hours away and even my mom was able to attend. She doesn’t get out much any more but she came and I was so happy!
Thank you to everyone who came out and thank you again, Jeanine, Colleen, and Julie for a truly exceptional day!
You are an inspiration!
Thanks so much, Barbara!
Congratulations on publishing your FIRST book! I saw it on Amazon last week and have it on hold at my local public library, so I haven’t read it yet, but it looks from Amazon’s preview to be very nicely done! I would be happy to write a review for it if you like — I have reviewed many garden books under Beth in Iowa. Again, many congrats on your hard work! Best, -Beth