Getting Published

I began writing essays when I traveled to meet my cousins in Joao Pessoa, near the northern tip of Brazil by the Atlantic Ocean. Joao Pessoa is the second greenest city in the world. I am half Brazilian and my mom, who has passed, was from Natal, Brazil. I was infatuated with the light tan, golden bronze, leather black faces in the crowds and they sparked an interest in me to write about them. The multitudes of prejudices hadn’t sunk into Brazil’s culture and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of harmony and peace, as I visited this land.
I brought back memories of swimming in the warm, turquoise, Atlantic Ocean as a wave of forgiveness passed over me. I experienced a healing while looking back at the United States and all the animosity over hatred towards my mother and the criticism of fellow teachers in my work place seemed to vanish and was now so unimportant. “My Favorite City and Why?” was my essay. I sent it to Elder & Leemaur–Publishers, and it was published in the book, Authors of Tomorrow. The book was designed to continue the development of young authors, and bring awareness in employment opportunities in the field of writing. I had succeeded in being published with the top five percent in the nation.
My writing continued: I began writing an autobiography in 1999. I had been writing it and submitting it to agents, editors, and publishers from New York to California. I called my book, Going Sane. I found that another author had written a book and called it Going Sane, and I figured that title wasn’t such a great idea for my book after all. So I went to Roseburg, Oregon, to talk with a friend and tossed around several titles with her: “Gone Sane” “Gone Saner.” Then a light came on in my head and I said, “Sherry Goes Sane,” and she said, “Yeah, that’s a good idea. I came home and that summer, went to a Willamette Writer’s Conference and talked with an agent. She said that I couldn’t publish my autobiography because I wasn’t a movie star and it was an autobiography about mental health. My spirits were dashed, so I showed her a photograph of me and President Barack Obama, a photo op taken at Intel, but she still wasn’t convinced that I was worthy of an autobiography and told me to change the autobiography to a memoir.
I left the conference saddened but took her words seriously. I began my memoir and called it Sherry Goes Sane: Living A Life With Schizo-Affective Disorder. I realized through checking out books on memoirs at the library that I needed to keep it within 80,000 words. My autobiography was 118,000 words. I had to shave my book down. I talked with other authors of memoirs and contacted a writer’s group called Sister Spirit. They gave me a list of events of writing seminars and book readings. I wrote my memoir for three or four years submitting it to another dozen traditional publishers and still letters of rejection, but good ones. I then decided to take the route of self-publishing. I googled different publishing houses and wrote to my friend Theresa and Willamette Writer’s again. I told them I was looking for Print on Demand publishers because I wanted paperback books for my readers to have a book in their hands to read and also kindle books for Kindle readers. That is what I was basically looking for. I signed up with Create Space. They were attentive and efficient letting me know everything that was taking place in the publishing process of my book, from cover suggestions, editing, the body of the book, distribution, and my video trailer. They were punctual, and I got to be the pilot of my own mission.
I talked with a friend about blurbs for my book. Then I met with Julie Fast, Best Selling Author of Mental Health Books at a Willamette Writers meeting and she mentioned NAMI who set me up to do lectures in the psyche ward and IOOV speaker. Julie was willing to give me a blurb after reading my book. It found its place on the front cover. I talked with Amy Myers, marketing consultant, and she suggested I contact Amanda Fritz, the Portland City Commissioner. They both read my book and gave me blurbs and I receive blurbs from Jim Stinson, Jeana Wheeler PSS and Mitzi Loftus, author, as well. I have just received a Kirkus Review for my book and more wonderful developments are happening in the marketing plans for Sherry Goes Sane.
Sherry Goes Sane is now available on Create and paper back or Kindle. It will also be available through Barnes & Noble in 4 to 6 weeks.

Reading in the Garden

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