My journey to being an author began many moons ago when my kids were little. When our daughter was about 2 1/2 years of age, we discovered that she was partially deaf. When she was school age and after much discussion, we decided to home-school her. I would work with her at home on speech therapy so that she would not be labeled as a “dummy” and filed away into a program inside the public school system–or worse–send her away to attend a special school for the deaf and the blind.
I worked with her daily, teaching her to read, write and speak. When her brother was born, he just naturally absorbed the lessons I was teaching to his sister. Once they were both old enough, we began a multifaceted language arts program called “Total Language Plus”, which combined all the language arts into one curriculum through the reading of classical literature (reading, writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.) . I was actually getting an education I realized, for the first time in my life, by teaching my children.
It was also during this time that I began journaling. I have struggled with depression my entire life, and sometimes things in my life felt so dark and bleak that I didn’t know how to cope. Sometimes, I felt as if I just didn’t want to go on. Journaling, along with prayer, helped me to at least get these feelings out of my head and sorted out in such a way that I could make it through each day.
Since I was a young girl, I have always been a voracious reader. I used to hide away in my room with the latest “Nancy Drew” book, and found myself swept away by the fun and mysterious stories of Nancy and her pals Bess, George, and Ned. When I began teaching my kids, we had weekly library runs and brought home stacks and stacks of various genres of books to read. We loved finding new mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, non-fiction–whatever grabbed our attention at the time. I always had my nose inside of a book right alongside my kids. I knew that if dinner was on the table, and my daughter was nowhere to be found, she would be hiding out in her room, immersed in the pages of a book.
I did not consider seriously writing for publication until about seven years ago, when a traumatic life situation sent me back to serious journaling. I wrote and wrote and wrote to again sort out my feelings and combat the depression. I would go back over the journals later, and think, “Hmm…this is pretty good stuff.” I could definitely write a book from this.
I received an Amazon Kindle for Christmas about three years ago, and became intrigued with digital ebooks. I was also dismayed by the sheer number of garbage books that I was downloading–non-fiction and fiction. The material was weak and there were so many glaring errors in the formatting. I knew I could do better.
I began the process of investigating courses that taught writers how to write and publish digital books, and the last two years has been spent learning the process of writing for Kindle; the formatting, uploading, and promotion. It has been quite a journey. Not easy, but well worth the time. I decided I would write non-fiction to begin, since that seems to be the fastest type of book to get written. I have several written sitting on my hard drive, but five books are finished and currently up for sale on the Amazon marketplace.
The book, “Put the Pause in Your Menopause” was written purely as a lead-in to a series of books entitled “Body Revolution Solution.” I had no idea how popular the book would be, and this book has turned out to be my biggest seller. I set out to write about my journey using the “Body Revolution” weight loss system of Jillian Michaels, and that’s how those books were born. As my husband and I were living this weight loss journey, it dawned on me that the changes I was making to my diet and exercise were benefiting my menopause symptoms. I am a part of several women’s groups, and it breaks my heart reading about the stories of women who are crying out for help and relief. They think that they have to take hormone replace supplements in order to feel good. They are going to their doctors and begging for HRT’s and the fact is, that they are unproven, and can actually provoke more symptoms and cause more problems than they help. I wrote the menopause book to talk with women about this natural phase of life and how their bodies will respond to natural methods, using diet and exercise for feeling good and looking great.
I am currently working on a recipe book to go along with “Put the Pause in Your Menopause”, a romance novel, and some flash fiction. I hope to have all of these published by the end of July. The journey has been very rewarding, and the work of an author never ends!
Penelope also has a radio show named Blog Talk Radio. Click here to listen to an interview with her: Blog Talk Radio
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Thanks to Penelope for sharing her journey and story!