Susie Kinslow Adams is a gifted writer, speaker, and storyteller. She is Director of Women’s Ministries and office manager and works with her husband in ministry. Susie has four children and five grandchildren and lives in a country home in the Missouri Ozarks. She’s here today to talk about her nonfiction book for caregivers, My Mother My Child.
Q: Congratulations on the release of your book, My Mother My Child. What was your inspiration for it?
A: With no prior experience and no previous desire to do so, I became my mother’s full-time caregiver. During the eight years of caring for her, she experienced many physical and mental changes. In the last years, as her condition worsened, she became more the helpless child than the mother I had always turned to in times of need. I wanted to honor my mother while telling the often painful story of watching a loved one age.
Q: Why was the writing of this book important for you?
A: I felt that God had asked me to write the book from the beginning. The only thing I knew to do was to write down all I could and later figure out where to go from there. As I lived through each challenge, I wanted to be able to help others who may be in the same situation. Often I felt there was no where to turn for help; I felt so alone and inadequate at times.
Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?
A:There were bumps along the way. Often I would write on tear-stained scraps of paper as I struggled to understand the journey. I did not write every day; I did not explain things in great detail. When we were going through something that I felt may help someone else, I carefully wrote details about the circumstances and about my feelings.
Q: What is the one thing you hope readers will take away from your book?
A: I pray the readers will take away two very important truths from the book. The first is that you are not in this journey alone. I often felt lonely and with no place to go for help. Secondly, learn to accept people where they are in life. My mother as I knew her was never coming back. She became very childlike in her actions and deserved the love, compassion, and understanding I would give a little child.
Q: What discoveries or surprises did you experience while writing this book?
A: When I began to formulate chapters for a book, I realized that much of the writing had been for me personally. Perhaps there will come a time when I will share more in articles and in speaking. I think much of the writing was therapeutic.
I learned much about myself as I put chapters together. Even now I read some of the accounts and wonder “who is that caregiver?” Surely, I didn’t manage that well!
Q: How do you define success?
A: Peace. I know I did the best I could at the time with my caregiving opportunity. I know I have done my best to deliver a book that has already proven helpful to so many. Success for me is knowing I have shared God’s love and encouragement to others.
Q: Could you talk a little bit about your publishing process?
A: This is the second edition of My Mother My Child. The first edition was through a traditional publisher, the second through CreateSpace with help. My experiences with the first book would have gone smoother had I done more research and known what to expect. However, I was pleased with the finished product and did realize quite a few sales.
I chose to republish the book in order to add a discussion guide at the end of each chapter and to update the resource directory in the back of the book. This time I wanted to give CreateSpace a try but I knew I would need help with the technical aspect of doing so. Write By The Sea Press and Summer Bay Press helped me with the entire process at a very reasonable rate. Personally, I believe the second edition is a better product.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring nonfiction writers? Could you offer some tips or resources that have been helpful to you?
A: My first advice is always simply to write. So many wonderful ideas wander in and out of our minds while we are hoping to write a book someday. Write your thoughts down as they come without worrying about grammar, punctuation and what you will do with them. When the time comes to do an article or a book, you will be armed and ready.
Secondly, write from the heart about your interests, your passions. If you don’t enjoy the writing, it will show in the finished project.
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
A: I would encourage others to journal life experiences even if publishing is not part of the immediate plan. And, if you have written a book or an article and not published, do not give up. It’s easy to listen to others and give up a dream; keep plugging away. Learn all you can about online opportunities, prepare to grow and stretch yourself. You can do it!