GUEST BLOG: Q&A With New Memoir Author Jane Sweeney
Jane Sweeney’s book has been umpteen years in the making. This year she finally did it — her memoir is published and out!
I asked her to share her how-did-you-do-it story with our readers. Hope you’ll find inspiration in Jane’s story, and encouragement to keep pursuing your own writing and publishing dreams!
* * * * * * *
A Quick Introduction:
Jane Sweeney grew up in the Sixties in a suburb of L.A. That meant quirky opportunities like getting to ride Zorro’s horse, and being hired to be an “Indian Maiden” at Disneyland. Plus a great college education for just $54 per semester.
Then, when Jane was just 34, her mother died. That opened a whole new world, eventually leading her to a career as a hospice director during the AIDS pandemic of the Eighties. And as only Jane could do, she’s got the funniest stories about that!
Really?! Hospice and humor?! You bet. Jane’s learned to leaven everything with humor, she says, because people will listen if what you’re saying is funny.
And funny she is. (I keep telling her she should try stand-up comedy.) Her acknowedgments page includes all the usual suspects . . . and coffee. Her early favorite song: “My Country Tisathee.” And you gotta love the image of motorhome trips spent reading to the kids, while husband Tom yelled, “Look out the window for God’s sake, it’s the Grand Canyon!”
Jane has wanted to tell her stories for years. They’re filled with the love of all the things Jane herself loves: family, animals, and navigating life’s hurdles with hope and humor.
More than ten years in the making, Jane’s book is now out. And here’s Jane to tell how she did it!
Q&A With Jane Sweeney:
Q: What made you MOST want to write your book? Is it just for your own family, or who else do you hope will read it?
A: Two things made me want to write my book. The first was to tell my stories. I wanted people to hear what I had to say! The second thing was to tell about my experience with Hospice. I wanted to tell people how it started, and what it can provide.
Q: What was the biggest hurdle for you in writing your book? And how did you overcome it?
A: I’ve been writing this book off and on for about ten years or more. Something funny or unusual would happen, and I would say, “That’s going in the book!” Because I though a record should be kept. Then as I got older I began to think people might be able to learn something from my experiences. I love to tell my stories, and sometimes people laughed, which just encouraged me. As you will see in the book, I think all of us just want to be heard.
My biggest hurdle was just inertia. There are always so many other things that need doing. I had to make the book a priority.
Q: What kept you going with this project when the “going” got tough?
A: I like to think that when I say I’m going to do something, I do it. I had notebooks with “My Story” and “Memoir” on them for YEARS. I got tired of looking at them. Once I passed the age my mother was, when she died, I felt even more pressure. What if I didn’t live any longer? The stories would all be lost. And part of what kept me going was your book, From Stuck to Finished, and your wonderful words of encouragement: “Don’t give up, you’re almost there.”
Q: What’s the biggest take-away that you hope readers will get from your memoir?
A: The biggest take-away I hope readers get is that life is full of amazing moments. Share them. Also I want people to know they are good enough. After all, I thought I was good enough to write my story!
Q: Do you have any advice for other people working on their memoir?
A: My advice is, don’t give up! We all want to be heard, and your story may help or inspire someone. If you don’t write it down, it will be gone when you are gone.
Q: Where can readers buy your book, Living Out Loud?
A: It’s available on Amazon.com (AmazonAssociates link) and Bookshop.org. They can also get a signed copy from me for $15.00 postage paid. Email me at email@example.com. Right now the Kindle version is available for $3.99. Amazon is supposed to have the paperback available, too, but I don’t know when.
Thank you, Jane, for sharing your story with our newsletter folks and with the world!
Find Jane’s book here at Amazon.com! (AmazonAssociates link)