However, this road has taken much longer than a couple of years. I started writing years ago...poems, songs and stories. I jokingly told my husband ( who by the way has been very supportive and encouraging through all of this ) that when I passed away, my children would find my writings on little pieces of paper all over the house. When I have a thought, I write it down and that is usually as far as it goes.
January 2007 changed my life forever. I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. The next several months were filled with doctors appointments, chemo and radiation treatments and lots of time on my hands to think of all the "what ifs". Along with the cancer came a series of other health issues and after eight surgeries in three years, life finally returned to normal.
During this time, my faith in God grew stronger and a desire to know Him in a "real" relationship became more of a priority. It was during these talks with Him that I realized that when He gave me a gift or talent, it was for a purpose. I became determined to see if one of my stories could be published. I had no idea where to start but as soon as I made that decision, things began to fall into place. I believe He was just waiting for me to act on what He already had planned.
The first thing I did was speak to a self published author who gave me step by step instructions on how to publish my own book. She was extremely helpful and encouraged me to follow my dream. The first step she gave me was to choose an illustrator...someone with vision and talent enough to bring my story to life. This person would be Jennifer Smith. I had known Jennifer and her family through my daughters and thought a lot of all of them but I never imagined that she was so gifted. After sending her several stories, she accepted the challenge to bring "Addie McPaddie" along with Ace, Rufus and Matilda to life! And she did just that !!
Elliot & Jennifer Smith
The next step...a graphic design person. Where in the world do you find someone like this? I had no idea where to start but through a business associate of my husband, Stacy Jarrell's name was placed in my hand. Stacy was exactly what I needed to guide me through taking my words and Jennifer's illustrations to the idea of a real book. Stacy had words of advice and words of encouragement and with her honesty, I knew our work would be in good hands.
Greg & Stacy Jarrell
The last step of course would be the printing. After talking with several companies, Stacy led me to a long time friend whom she trusted...and once I met him, so did I.As I write this blog, I am so excited to tell you that within just a few months all of our hard work will be completed. My next blog will let you know where you can get your own copy of "Addie McPaddie"...signed, sealed and delivered !