Paperback Writer is pleased to announce our guest author for today, author Elizabeth Walker, author of the memoir, The Tablet of My Heart, (Xulon Press). Elizabeth is on virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion. Find out how she found and agent for her book and how long it took to complete the first draft.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The world turns upside down for a young girl when her father begins a fatal battle with the merciless affliction cancer. Before his illness finishes its devastating rampage through her adolescence, she is confronted by a new demon. She falls victim by the hands of a trusted adult, to sexual abuse. The devastation of these events causes her to question God’s roll in her life, and whether He ever loved her at all. The Tablet of My Heart is a collection of Poetry from the journal of that young girl. It is narrated by the author of the journal herself, who paints a portrait of words illustrating her emotional journey from hopelessness to healing. It is dedicated to victims of abuse; to bring to them the realization of hope that there is a light at the end of the silence.
Welcome to Paperback Writer.
Would you share with us how you came up with the idea for your book?
Love to. I had always planned to publish, just not my own story. When my son’s and I were suddenly shaken and left in the wake of my husband’s (their father’s) secret cocaine addiction, I was longing to help them find healing and well, closure to this incredibly difficult chapter in their lives. In our lives, I decided at first just to share my childhood story with them, so that they could see where I came from, see that I healed. I hoped they could find strength and inspiration in what I shared with them. It turned slowly from sharing my diary with them, into creating a manuscript from that diary. Before I knew it I was planning to publish, and offer a portion of the proceeds to a foundation that helps abused children, in order to show my own boys that helping others heal would help us heal as well.
Was it a light bulb moment or something that you thought about for a very long time?
It came about slowly. As I said before, I had never planned to publish my own story. It just took on a life of its own, and I decided to see where it would take us. I have seen many miracles happen at the root of this project and I expect to see many, many more.
How did you come up with the title?
I decided to call it the Tablet of My Heart because, that is exactly how it began. The story is based entirely on the diary that I kept as a child. I took the poems that I wrote as a young girl, inspired by the death of my father, the sexual abuse that occurred repeatedly at the hands of my step father, my mother’s decision to essentially abandon me in order to maintain a relationship with him, and I narrated each moment so that it reads like a story rather than a journal, but the poetry really punctuates the explanations of the journal entries.
How did you find an agent and publisher?
I didn’t. I self published. By the time I had decided to publish this story, I already had a very specific purpose in mind for it. I wanted to use it to make an illustration of healing for my own hurting children, by leading them to help other hurting children. That wouldn’t have worked out if I waited for an agent or a publisher to read my manuscript, think about it, deny or accept it and so on and so forth. I had no idea how long that process was going to take me since it is often a process of chance, but I did know how long it would take if I put the process in motion myself. I had left life up to chance far too many times prior to make that silly mistake again. I needed this story in the hands of the public, and the money that it generated in the hands of the people at childhelp USA – aiding in the treatment and prevention of child abuse.
Who reads you work in progress?
Only one, very close friend, and an editor who took care of all of the spelling and punctuation mistakes for me. I didn’t share it at all until it was nearly complete. Of course, my sons knew the story and the purpose – but had not read the manuscript.
Who made a difference in the book’s quality?
The editor was quite helpful! I can write all day long, but punctuation is not my strong point. I want to get to the core of the story – often I leave a lot of punctuation out in the process, or put a little too much in :0)
( I absolutely love comma’s – It’s like I just can’t find enough uses for them)
How long did it take you to complete the first draft?
The first draft (of course) was the longest. It took me about 9 months from the birth of the idea to a manuscript that was ready for editing and polishing.
How long did it take from start to publication?
I spent about a full year on it, to complete it, have it edited, polish it and have it ready for publication. It took only about 8 weeks from that point to have it in print.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
If it’s in your heart that it needs to be read, don’t let one single thing get in your way of putting it in front of the eyes and ears that need to receive it. Go full force, whichever route you choose, and no matter what remember; there will always be someone that doesn’t like it. Unless their opinion comes in the form of useful advice, don’t take that person too seriously.
Thank you, Elizabeth for stopping by Paperback Writer on your virtual book tour. I wish you continued success through the rest of your tour.
I’m so glad you had me! Thank you.
THE TABLET OF MY HEART VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ’09 will officially begin on May 4 and end on May 29. You can visit Elizabeth’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in May to find out more about this talented author!