A Storied Career...or at least a career of stories
Before I wrote my first book, I was already enjoying a career as a writer. After college, I launched into a satisfying stint in daily newspapers. Eventually, I landed at Dow Jones, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, in spite of the fact that at the time I didn’t know a stock from a bond. There, I worked for the company's pioneering electronic news service.
It was at Dow Jones that I truly learned how to tell a story. How often do you get the privilege of reading a newspaper the caliber of the Journal cover to cover as part of your job! In doing so, I discovered the secret to telling a really good story. It's simple, really. Focus on the people! Even in the most obscure story on, say, convertible subordinated debentures, a Journal writer will focus on the personalities involved. That's how you make a link with your reader.
While talk of mortgages and retirement saving brings gaping yawns to most people, I thrived in financial journalism and later took my show home as a freelancer. I have hundreds of bylines to my credit, each as exciting to me as the first, including many in The New York Times and the online Wall Street Journal. For ten years, I ghostwrote syndicated personal-finance and small-business columns for Merrill Lynch.
Parenthood opened up new areas of interest — and concern! — so I began applying my financial know-how to magazines for parents. Eventually, as my son's personality emerged and we found a common interest in science, I began writing science activity books for children. In the same way that I enjoyed distilling and simplifying finances for adults, I liked simplifying science for the benefit of children — and their parents! My goal was to make the activities so fun that the stories they illustrated would be memorable. Because that's what storytelling is all about!
To date, I have written four books in my series titled Miracles and Moments of Grace. The most recent title is Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories of Survival. It follows the first three books in the series, Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms, Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Doctors , and Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Chaplains.
This series follows the two science activity books, Even the Sound Waves Obey Him and Make It, Shake It, Mix It Up. When I found that my son needed a little something extra to make stories of the Christian faith interesting for him — and it became clear that arks made of popsicle sticks and cotton balls were beyond my ability — I wrote these two books pairing Bible stories with simple science activities.
In addition, I have written a book of weight loss success stories, How We Did It: Weight Loss Choices that Will Work for You, a collection of stories from people who have lost weight in more than two dozen ways from Atkins to the Zone.
The book publishing industry has changed beyond recognition, even in the brief time in which I've been a part of it. Amazon and other online retailers have knocked out the bricks-and-mortar competition, where people used to spend time browsing and buying. It's incredibly difficult these days for an author to get published.
I continue to pursue book publishing, but I am branching out into new genres and areas of publishing. I have begun ghostwriting manuscripts for people who want to tell their life story but are not writers. In addition, I am helping people who have written a book -- whether fiction or nonfiction -- get their manuscript in shape for publishers. Contact me via my Contact Page to talk about your project.
To sum it up...
The act of writing itself is what gets me up in the morning—that, and a huge cup of coffee. I am privileged to be a member of the Authors Guild—I applied for my card the minute I signed my first contract. I live and write in a lovely part of New Jersey (there are a few!) with my husband, John, and our son, Evan.