Author Advocate, Brittany Lavin, November 1, 2010:
Dr. Sherry Showalter is a native of Virginia. She worked at a hospice for 25 years, receiving the National Heart of Hospice Award for psycho-social-spiritual care-giving along the way. She was a 9/11 first responder at the Pentagon providing disaster mental health. She had been asked over and over again to someday write a book about loss and grief, using the style of writing that is similar to the ways in which she talks in groups and seminars stressing hope and healing ways.
It was after 4 near death experiences and subsequent recovery that she had to leave her hospice work and finished her book, Healing Heartaches, Stories of Loss and Life. Now she have a small private psychotherapy practice and is on the speakers circuit across the country; speaking on hope in healing, loss, grief, and compassion.
Today, she answers a few questions regarding her career as a published author.
- When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
“As I reflect back, I believe that I have always wanted to write. I was unsure of exactly what it was I would be writing about; but the desire has been within, now made clear that my writing through story telling is the messages of empowerment and hope in healing.”
- How did you work to achieve your goals?
“I became very focused; stayed with focus and determination! “No” was not a part of my vocabulary. I researched for a long time on publishers, mainstream to independents as Infinity and its competitors. I sought out John Harnish, spoke with him personally and from all the research made the decision that Infinity was of honor and integrity. I then began to research and self teach on how to begin marketing Healing Heartaches before I submitted it. “Failure” or “fear” left my thoughts and vocabulary as well. It was constant, 10 hours or more each day or until my eyes did not want to work for the evening, and it was worth each moment.”
- What is your book about?
“Healing Heartaches, Stories of Loss and Life is dedicated to my beloved Granny who was/is my heart. It is a book of loss and grief, but most importantly it is a book of hope in healing. Stories that now I am being told allow the reader to experience validation of their own personal journey, some saying that they feel as though they are sitting across the table with an old friend (me) and having coffee. Others wonder if I have been looking in their windows at their lives. The reviews and emails have been affirming and fill my heart.”
- What has publishing done for you?
“It has: 1. Allowed me to complete the goal of finishing it! 2. Given me a tremendous amount of pride! 3. Given me an awful lot of work to do! 4. Codified my experience further on the speakers' circuit now that I have a book to back up what I am speaking about and 5. It has allowed me to reach more people with the light of hope in healing.”
- How do you go about marketing your books?
- What advice do you have for other writers and authors in terms of publishing and marketing their books?
“I believe you must be passionate, dedicated, willing to work hard, and be able to follow through. Begin marketing yourself and your book prior to the book coming out and once the book hits your ever joyous hands, (after the crying, dancing and all of that wonderment and the adrenalin is still surging) GET BUSY AND STAY BUSY, there is much to do.”