Originally, it was supposed to be a trip to scout the eastern seaboard from Charleston to St. Augustine, investigating the history of the antebellum south and looking for potential stories. It turned out to be a trip to the Florida panhandle to soak up a little sun and visit friends. And, unexpectedly, to meet a new author.
There is nothing quite like a writer who is anticipating the arrival of her/his first published book. The excitement is palpable, like standing in line to get on a roller coaster: butterflies in your stomach, a trace of sweat on our upper lip, somewhere between fear and exhilaration.
And so it is with Sandra Wallis, a lovely, ebullient woman to whom I was introduced by a mutual friend. Her book, Not What I Bargained For, is a triumphant memoir of a family of six, two of whom had severe medical handicaps. Chosen for publication from scores of contest entrants, it is due out March 20. You can find it, like all things, on Amazon. You can find Sandra on Facebook at Sandra Wallis-Author.
“I’m not a real writer, like you,” she said to me. “My book’s only 175 pages. I’ll probably never write another one.”
Trust me, Sandy, being a writer is not measured by the number of pages you write (remember that Jack London’s Call of the Wild was less than 100 pages when it was published in 1903) nor, for that matter, in the number of books you publish (Margaret Mitchell wrote only one book, Gone With the Wind). You are a “real writer” and, on March 20, you will have a new title: Author.
Memoirs are not usually “my thing” but, after meeting Sandy, I will be reading this one.
Until next time: