Susie Kinslow Adams writes from the heart. Her book, My Mother My Child, and her blog and articles give voice to her passion for encouragement to those in the trenches of daily life. Her experiences as a pastor’s wife, grandmother of five, office manager, and Director of Women’s Ministry add a personal touch as a retreat speaker, storyteller, and author.
Congratulations on the release of your book, My Mother My Child. When did you start writing and what got you into nonfiction?
My writing interest has always been fueled by daily life experiences of myself and others. In telling our stories, I seek to include words of encouragement and helps. While I enjoy reading great fiction novels, I find everyday life provides an unbelievable storehouse of writing materials. I began by writing a bi-weekly column for a local newspaper while in high school and serving on the newspaper staff.
What is your book about?
My Mother My Child is a very personal account of my caregiving journey with my mother. Her progressing dementia and congestive heart failure along with other health issues made caring for her difficult at times. The book is an easy-to-read, often comical look at a very serious situation. Discussion guides at the end of each chapter enable the reader to make it personal.
What was your inspiration for it?
My mother; watching sudden illness take her from a very strong-willed parent to a dependent child figure. One day I was planning fantastic journeys with Mother, the next she was in ICU and not expected to live. With no experience, I became her full-time caregiver for eight years. Very early in Mother’s care, I felt God asked me to write the book. I knew less about publishing a book than I did about caregiving but He saw me through the experiences of both. I firmly believe the book will be an invaluable tool for any caregiver whether professional or a friend or family. It is the book I wish I would have had in the beginning stages of my caregiving journey.
Who is your target audience?
The obvious interest will be to family caregivers as well as professional persons working with the elderly. However, I feel the target audience is much wider. A person caring for another in any capacity will benefit from this book because the underlying lessons hold true for all ages. A young mother express to me the book had helped her handle the messes made by her small children by reminding her to accept them where they were—just small children needing love and encouragement.
What type of challenges did you face while writing this book?
The most difficult challenge was living through it. At one point, I sat at Mother’s bedside crying as I tried to write. She was hurting and I felt helpless to comfort her. It seemed she was slipping away all too quickly; I was definitely not ready to let her go. An insightful nurse gave me a gentle hug saying, “I know this is painful for you, but you must write. Others will need to know what you are feeling right now.”
What do you hope readers will get from your book?
I’m so pleased to offer this second edition of the book to my readers. Due to requests from several readers and suggestions from medical personnel, I added a discussion guide following each chapter. This guide will help all families become better prepared to care for their children as well as for the elderly. It’s a book I would have benefited from at the beginning of Mother’s care.
Did your book require a lot of research?
The bulk of my research for this book was done as I formulated the Resource Directory and other helps at the end of the book. I made sure all the information was current and still available at the time of publication. Research was also necessary in several chapters to verify my definitions of medical issues, medicines and medical equipment.
What was your publishing process like?
The first edition was with a traditional publisher. The second edition I chose to go through CreateSpace with some additional help. Using Write By The Sea Press to guide me I was able to get help with the actual process. It was less costly than the previous edition and a much better product overall. I will choose this route on my next book as well. I would advise anyone seeking a publisher to do the homework first and be sure you will get the help you need to have a good product.
Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about your work?
Yes, I do have a website: www.susiekinslowadams.com. It is a work in progress as I’m continually adding new features. Right now there is an active blog, opportunity to sign up for my newsletter, and a tab for my e-zine articles. My newsletter includes helps and hope for caregivers as well as some practical tips and easy recipes for the busy family.
Where is your book available?
My Mother My Child is available through Amazon.com as a paperback and as an ebook. It is also available through my website and listed at Barnes and Noble.
What is your advice for aspiring authors?
My first advice always is simply to write. Do not worry about what to write, how it’s constructed, or who will read it. Thoughts are fleeting; if a good thought comes through your mind, jot it down. It may be the first paragraph of a great book someday.
Secondly, never quit learning. Check and recheck your spelling and grammar. If you are serious about putting your name on something to be printed, you want it to stand out in a crowd like finely polished furniture.
What has writing taught you?
Interestingly enough, writing has taught me personally to think before I act. As I go back and read some of my writings, I am caught off guard by my own unrealistic reactions to simple circumstances. The very act of writing has taught me discipline, scheduling my time, and how important it is to keep studying. It has been a long time since my high school newspaper staff days; an English exam my not earn an A+ so easily today.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=978-0-9907700-0-8]