The focus of Angela’s interview in last week’s episode of Book Journeys was Susan D. Wedgewood-Goudy and her experience as an author with her book, The Journey from Fear to Love Is Shorter Than You Think. Susan is a Holistic Health Practitioner and Motivational Speaker whose goal in writing the book was to teach people how to embrace their power and live more in love than they are living in fear. Drawing from her own personal experiences, and in particular a trauma she had undergone early in life, Susan’s self-help book intimates the lessons she learned and the steps she took over the years that brought healing from her past. Susan describes her work as a light, funny, and non-threatening read, using humor to make it easier for the reader to look at what they are or are not doing in their life and get them to move on from a place of fear towards love so that, in the process, they redefine the path of their life’s journey.
The writing process for Susan came easily, like they were, in her own words, “just downloaded” to her because it was all about her experiences and the different things she learned throughout her life. It took her only about 6 months to write and she didn’t force the writing, but rather wrote only when she felt like it. She said though, that when she did write, she wrote a lot. She recounts that ideas would come to her while she was sleeping, or in the middle of a workout, or while in the shower, so she would take notes or get back on the computer as soon as these inspired moments grabbed her. When she started writing, she was writing only for herself and didn’t have in mind to publish her work. But when family circumstances forced her to quit her practice, she thought that coming out with a book was a way for her to still do what she loved to do, allowing her to put out the information she was giving when she did one-on-one counseling, and help a lot of people.
She went through many challenges when she started to have the book published. While she easily got the help of an agent who believed in her work and sent it out to many top publishers, the book still got turned down, mostly because the economy then was also down, and this went on for two and a half years. She ended up publishing her own book, but not without its own set of struggles. At first she caught the interest of a smaller publisher but they wanted her to completely redo the book, which was very different from the way she had intended and written it. So she did finally get a publicist who would do the book for a lesser fee and would help her to produce the book just the way she had envisioned it. Her advice to those who plan to self-publish is to simplify the process by dealing only with a group of two or three people so that it would be easier to keep up with what’s happening with the project. She also believes that the author should hold on to their vision of the book and not let other professionals change the way it should come out. She emphasizes the importance of “sticking with your gut” or intuition and trusting in oneself because the book is theirs and it should be all about how they feel about their own project and wanting it to remain as their creative endeavor and not anyone else’s.
Next week, watch out for Angela’s interview with another exciting author.