I write from my own personal experience, after I've navigated through rough waters and surfaced with lessons that may be helpful to others. Writing this book was much like writing in a personal journal. Documenting my own process and revelations helped me to maintain my own sanity as well as a sense of humor, which I feel is an essential aspect for staying afloat... thus the "light-hearted" tone.
You say it’s for a single parent but what about for someone who is now a part of a blended family, wouldn’t it work for them as well?
Note the asterisk in the title: Not just for single parents! I also state in the introduction that it's a "single mom's" guide because it's written by a single mom, not because it's intended only for single moms. I've received positive feedback from moms and dads in all kinds of situations, as well as from grandparents and even from childless folks. Anyone who can relate to the stress of living in a demanding, fast-paced environment can benefit from my universal survival tips.
This is a departure from your previous books which deal with the serious subjects of dealing with grief whether it was for a human loved one or a beloved pet. How did you decide to write books to cover this topic?
Writing about grief was also inspired by personal experience. The first of my grief books, "I Remember You: A Grief Journal", was born about a year after my mom died of cancer. I had been processing my thoughts and dreams in a journal, when one morning I awoke with the words "I Remember You" in my head and the rest of the book unfolded in my mind in a flash.
How are these books different from other self-help books in dealing with grief?
My grief books all follow the same format. They begin with a brief, personal introduction discussing the grief experience, with suggestions for how to use journal-writing as an avenue to healing. Following the introduction are pages adorned with photos, quotes and excerpts from various sources, designed to normalize the grief process and encourage the reader to fill the empty spaces with their own memories, dreams and reflections.
What were the topics of your earlier works? How did you go about getting your first book published?
Which book has been your best seller? What are some of the most productive things that you do to promote your book?
I've reprinted "I Remember You" in print runs of 2000 at least three times since I began self-publishing it. There are some hospices that order from me in bulk a couple times each year, and I continuously have monthly sales on Amazon. When I initially self-published it, I sent direct mail offers to hospices, offering to send a complimentary copy and letting them know I offer a significant discount to care-giving organizations such as theirs. I used a similar approach with my pet loss book, a direct mailing targeting veterinarian clinics, and similarly connected with some that continue to order from me in bulk.
What is some of the best advice you’ve been given in either writing or publishing that you would like to share with others?
Many years ago, hockey star Wayne Gretzky was asked the secret to his success regarding having achieved so many goals. His reply: "I miss 100% of the shots I don't take." I printed and framed those words, and although they're not specific to writing or publishing, they're the best words of advice I could share.
Do you have any other works in the process?
Yes, I have a sequel to "So What" in the works, parenting tips for surviving the Tweens and Teens... But first I have to successfully get through it myself!
That’s it for today’s interview. If you would like to learn more about Laynee and her writing, here are some helpful links…
L.O.A. Publications: http://www.loapublications.com (20% off and no shipping charges)
Amazon: http://amzn.com/0967896630 (also available as an eBook)
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/FacebookSoWhat (“Like” it and tell your friends!)
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12979... (add to your shelf!)