There are books that come along and effect you more than others. The book by Lisa Wingate,Before We Were Yours is one that stirred several deep-seated emotions in me. The book is fiction, yet it is based on factual events surrounding Georgia Tann and her Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society horrible episodes.
I had heard of occurrences involving the illegal adoption, but I didn’t realize this one existed for over twenty years. The fact authorities, politicians and people of wealth were aware, profited, and did nothing to stop it is appalling. How so many victims from a small region of our country were afflicted for years without intervention is unthinkable. No rationale is conceivable except inhumanity.
With my previous post, “Prelaunch Book Jitters” I opened the subject about book marketing. I admitted after I self-published my first book, that I had waited too long to develop a marketing plan. In fact, I really didn’t have one at all. The first few months, sales were brisk for being a novice writer. However, the sales were from friends, and friends of friends. Each month my sales dwindled until I went two month with no sales.
It was a big mistake waiting so long to start a marking program. Yet, it was even a larger mistake not having one formulated at all. I remembered all those post advising me to prepare a plan and implement it. I read that an author needed a website as well as being set up on social media. I also read that social media would not succeed alone. You must have a large following and email subscriptions too.
I want to acknowledge and thank all the individuals that played a part in transitioning my original manuscript into this book. It has been a long and arduous project. Often, I wanted to stop because I felt I didn’t have the talent to convey the emotional impact of my story. I wanted to bring awareness and credibility to the fight against child abuse. I wanted people to know that this atrocious offense continues within our families today. We cannot turn away when the life and sometimes the death of children are in peril. Whether you read my book or not, I beg you to never turn your back when you see or know of a child being neglected or abused.
The veil of secrecy over the American family prevails and the covertness of child abuse continues. According to the National Children’s Alliance, approximately 700,000 (683,000 in 2015) children are abused each year. Child Protective Service (CPS) reports they investigate 3.4 million children and place them under the care of the CPS. These are frightening statistics attesting that child abuse is not in decline, but rather the opposite.
Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical, sexual, or psychological mistreatment or neglect of a child or children. Have you ever suspected or even witnessed child abuse in public or in a home? If you did and did nothing, you are condoning the act and its effect on the child. Child advocacy groups are begging for the public involvement. Yet, little is being done.
What Did I Do? is Chuck Jackson’s true recollection of the abuse he received from both his parents. It is a story where he spent years struggling to please them without succeeding. It is a story where they told him he was irredeemable and unworthy of being their son. When he saw love and happiness in other families, he wondered why not his.
Chuck came out of the darkness to expound on the stigma attached to child abuse. He admitted to the affects of shame, anger, guilt, and depression that he and so many experience. He tells the story of survival where he felt invisible. Follow him where he sought a warm touch and a kind word of praise. Follow his desperation for love from anyone. Follow Chuck’s story and help answer his question, What Did I Do?
I know most writers can relate to how I am feeling. These emotions go by many names, jitters, butterflies, heebie-jeebies, etc. I am talking about the anxiety you feel when you are ready to launch a new book. I am at the final stages and most likely within days of launching my second book, What Did I Do?
It was a year ago that I published my first book, One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up. I do not remember feeling this way, yet the apprehension was there. First, I worried if anyone would read it. If they read it, what kind of review would I receive? I made mistakes with the first one. The biggest was I did not have it professionally edited. I won’t do that again. I also waited too long to begin a marketing program. I will discuss these topics in future posts.
I have learned a ton of things since then. I have followed many blog and book writers here on WordPress. I have listened to their advice and taken notes. I tried my best to apply the things I learned. I can only hope it will be received well.
For those who have been following my post over the last few months, you will recall I’ve been posting about my second book. I’m getting excited because we are getting closer to the reality. I hope with this post I can entice you a little more.
I decided I would take a risk and publish it as a memoir. It does not exactly meet the strict guidelines as a memoir. I felt the book would lose realism and validity if presented as fiction based on a true story. Making my decision, I considered the advice many of my followers provided and I can’t thank them enough. I found many authors of memoirs often include a note explaining any idiosyncrasies. Below is my author’s note and I hope after reading it, you will agree it bridges any doubts.
I am following up on the discussion of my previous post entitled “Memoir versus Fiction”. Many of you gave me great advice or sources where I could continue my research. Sheri Mathews at: http://sherrimatthewsblog.com suggested I read Mary Karr’s book “The Art of the Memoir” I completed the book several weeks ago and I want to share some important parts that helped me.
In chapter 2 – The Truth Contract Twixt Writer and Reader, she states, “…So here I stand with my little stick, attempting to draw a line in the dirt for the sake of memoir’s authenticity. Truth may have become a foggy, fuzzy neither area. But untruth is simple: making up events with the intention to deceive…You know the difference between a vague memory and a clear one, and the vague ones either get left out or labeled dubious. It’s the clear ones that matter most anyway, because they’re the ones you’ve nursed and worried over and talked through and wondered about your whole life. And you’re seeking the truth of memory—your memory and character—not of unbiased history.” Continue reading “MEMOIR VS. FICTION – Revisited”