Shirley McKissick embraces her cousin in front of the Fairview Bungalow.
I found this picture and it inspired me. A while ago, I wrote a memoir about my mother (child on right). If I was ever to publish it, this would be a great cover image. New day, new month, and new year all came together for me and took me out of the doldrums. My sister Catherine's gift to me at Christmas launched me back into my role as author in full. She has been at the forefront of my five year journey so far. Actually, 6 years I began on January 10, 2015. Yes, I have that date etched in my memory. A nice batch of Audiobook sales of The Summer Palace also helped me to get back in the business. Book 2, Autumn Shelter, is now in production.
My mother was an incredible woman. She lived in a time of great sorrow, great struggles, and great discoveries. Being a fiction writer, even I couldn't make this stuff up. She lived to a ripe old age outliving my father by seven years. All seven of them, hard for her to bear. She was the story teller from whom I got my gift. I often encouraged her to write, she should have but never did, seriously. She penned a few stories that she shared with us. Mostly, she talked and I listened that's how I managed to have enough insight to write her memoir. At this point I have no intention to publish it. I decided to offer it as a giveaway on my author website. I did enter it in a memoir contest, but it didn't place. Another rubber tree plant. Is that where I was around the holidays and the end of the brutal year 2020? Too many of those darn plants to move got the best of me? Writers block? I still don't really know what that is. Too many irons in the fire? Could it be my one, lone WIP that was eating away at my soul? My sister took care of that with her generous gift. Everyone should have one. I mean a sister like her, not the gift... although those are nice too.
No trade show this year. In my opinion the best way to sell books. Hard copies of my books will have to wait. Still, I concentrate on e-books, online print books, and audiobook sales. I have managed to get an interview on a podcast this week, my first, if we don't count the interview with Jay, my significant other. Podcasts are the way to improve sales, or so they say. I'm optimistic... never leave a soon unturned.
Reviving my latest writing project is another one of my resolutions. I need to do a bit more research before I pick the WIP up and dust it off. That portion of the time travel sci-fi is in line with the subject of this blog—family. Ernestine Lambert is back again traveling through time, but her antagonist Repo has resurfaced and finds himself in Ireland at the time of the famine circa 1845. My ancestors and my mother's beloved grandmother, Margaret Rose, came from Ireland. It's true they never talked about it because if Margaret Malloy ever told my mother about the harsh conditions in Ireland, she would have told me. I have been learning the horrible truth of these exiles from the land of their birth through the research I have done. This is one of the aspects I love about historical fiction. I can explore the times while writing and learning about subjects that interest me. As an indie author I'm no heavy hitter... simply trying to tell stories. It's most likely a major payback, trying to get readers to pick up my books; because I often ignored the pleas from Catherine to tell her stories when we were 12 and 7 years old respectively. My daughter enjoyed the word games we played during our commutes back and forth to elementary school. They always ended up in a story. In my career I edited a company newsletter and my stories continued. Although I never took journalism or writing in college, it was alway in my purview to write. Letters to the birth mother of my two children was another avenue that required the most important words that end up on paper. A bit of advice? Talk to your family members while you still can. You never know when the urge to write strikes and you should write what you know. A link to the pdf of my mother's memoir (unpublished) is below.
The Fairview BungalowGiveaway. It may spark interest in some of my other work.
Shirley Nomakeo received a B.S. Degree in Graphic Design from Rivier College.