Monday, June 20, 2016

Yes Way to No Way!

You'd think after a person retires, he or she would be content to live out their golden years enjoying peaceful days and restful nights! But not this chick, no way, Jose! Instead of joining the local ladies' club or puttering in a garden, I decided to follow my dream and become a writer. Four years ago on June 20, 2012, I became a full-fledged author at the ripe young age of 68! 'No Way To Haircut Day!, the first book in my 'Grammy's Gang' series was published in paperback. I'd dedicated it to my grandson, Kaden, who raised holy hell every time my son or daughter-in-law took him for a haircut. This book was such a hit, I decided to write a special book for each of my other six grandchildren and dedicate one to each of them. "Grammy's Gang" series is seven books strong, and since I've been informed that there will be no more future grandchildren, sad to say that that run is over.

I'd wanted to be a writer since I won a national poetry contest when I was a sophomore in high school. My English teacher, Sister Rose Marie saw something in me, and constantly encouraged me to hone my skills. She was a talented teacher and gifted writer herself, and believed I had what it took to pursue a writing career.

Unfortunately life happened, and being a writer was pushed further and further down on my list of priorities. However, upon retiring, something kept nagging me mostly in my dreams. No matter how much I tried to ignore it, the damn idea wouldn't go away. Then a strange thing happened. My son
-in-law emailed me and asked if I'd review a book he'd written. I was flabbergasted! I had no idea he had any ambitions along those lines, and I certainly didn't know he'd actually gone ahead and wrote a novel. He delves into dark fantasy, and although I had absolutely no interest in that particular genre, I read and reviewed it.

When visiting my daughter and her family, my son-in-law and I started discussing his ventures. When I revealed that I'd always wanted to write children's books, he was flabbergasted! When I told him I had already written four but had no idea how to move forward, he schooled me in how to go about securing an illustrator, an editor, a marketing strategy, and much much more. When it came time to format the manuscript to Amazon specs, my son-in-law did it all. I owe him big time and he knows it!

Once published, my daughter became instrumental in the marketing process. At the time, she was working with a notable author who had joined forces with Amazon to shine a light on  excellent self-published authors, helping to get their works on the map so to speak. In a few months I went from selling 10 copies of 'No Way To Haircut Day! monthly to 400 copies monthly!

Now four years later, thanks to my son-in-law and my daughter, I can handle all of the steps to publishing myself. I must confess though, whenever I get stuck I know I can always count on them to have the answers to my current dilemma.

If you have a dream, no matter how removed you've been from making it a reality, pursue it with passion. By saying 'Yes way to No Way!' my dream came true, albeit 50+ years later. There is no time limit on succeeding in breathing life into your dreams. Trust me, I know!