Susie Kinslow Adams' second edition of My Mother My Child includes a lively discussion guide at the end of each chapter suitable for individual or group study. Susie has written a very personal account of caring for her mother through eight challenging years.
Susie is a very busy mother and grandmother, pastor's wife, ministry assistant, and freelance writer. Writing is a large part of her daily life; inspiration for award-winning articles is gleaned from their rural Ozark home and life experiences.
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Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
I have a wealth of ideas and experiences to share with others. It's exciting to be able to hand someone a book with my name on it. I want my books to be entertaining as well as an encouragement.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
Writing is definitely not a 9-5 job. Often my deepest thoughts awaken me in the middle of the night. To say a project is finished may mean it's ready for another read through. The payoff is in holding the final product with your name across the cover and knowing it will be a help and encouragement to the reader.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
Working with a traditional publisher on the first edition was complicated at times. The growing publishing company was continually promoting their staff leaving the authors with new people to work with periodically. This was difficult for me because I did not know what to expect and what my options were. The book did get published in a timely manner and was relatively successful in sales. I would recommend a more established publisher for those choosing that route.
I chose to go through CreateSpace with the second edition and enlisted help with the entire process. Working through Write By The Sea Press and Summer Bay Press, I had the help I needed and I am very pleased with the beautiful results. For those like me who are not tech savvy, I recommend getting help with the technical aspect. Make sure you work with someone who will communicate with you regularly and give you the freedom to make the changes you desire.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
It was a struggle for me to protect some family time when my manuscript needed revising. This was especially true in the beginning as I was trying to assemble all my little notes and journals into chapters. My husband was a great support of the project over all but I do not think he believed it should take so long to bring it to completion. A large part of the struggle was in the time I spent on the computer. He does not even turn one on so he had no understanding of the learning process for every step along the way.
Are your plants actually still alive?
Do you know how long plants can go without water? I have very few plants, they did suffer! On my list of things to do besides work on my book, caring for plants was a long way from the top.
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late? When I was writing the book, it was a process of simply journaling events as they happened. Often I would grab a napkin or old piece of mail and scribble notes as Mother's actions needed recorded. As I began to piece all the notes together it became more difficult to stop and make dinner, answer the phone or take care of the normal routine of running a household. There came a point when I had to carve out a definite period of time in each day to work on the book and then put it away.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I am in the learning process on the social networks. (Why did someone not tell me graduation from school meant the beginning of learning, not the end!) I am very active in Facebook and found it to be a friend. One great help is encouraging others to share your posts about your book on their pages. I announce each new blog entry on Facebook as well as any speaking engagements.
I am learning to tweet more and looking forward to engaging in other social networks.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
Word of mouth has always been my preferred way to sell my books. I have ink pens with my website on them to give to sales clerks and such. This opens up a conversation about my book and has resulted in several sales. Most of my sales come from speaking and signing events. I am looking forward to getting more sales from the internet as I become more proficient in using it.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
My Mother My Child is a great, great book and will be a help to every reader in some way. I believe it it! If you need encouragement or know someone who does, you must have a copy of this book. God asked me to write it, He put some good stuff in there!
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
You said it quite well in your question; I liken it to birthing a child; the pain may seem unbearable; the wait intense; however, holding that child erases all the bad and more.
Personally, I love knowing I finally completed something worth the ink to print it! The feeling of accomplishment, of being an author, is overwhelming at times.