A few weeks ago I was invited to participate in a one-day FB event as an “inspirational author.”
I was curious. What is an inspirational author? I hadn’t thought of myself as an inspirational author particularly, but still, I was on this “Just say Yes” kick and so I did.
I said, “yes.”
The Facebook event is scheduled for Thursday July 2 and will feature fifteen women from around the world, converging on this Facebook page in three-hour shifts from 5 am to 11 pm Pacific Standard Time. I signed up for the 11 am – 1 pm shift, which is 2 – 5 pm EDT, New York summertime, (I hope).
First, I wanted to know who the members of my cohort were. Many I knew from the FB group We Love Memoirs (see my clickable icon to the right, just below my Facebook Likes). Others were new names for me. So, I Googled them all. Here’s what I learned about each of them (their name links to their website; their book title, to their Amazon page) from their websites, Goodreads, or Amazon Author Pages. They are listed by their shift at the Facebook Event. And the “Learn More” feature that WP.org offers, helps keep this 3,440 word post under control. (egads)
FROM 5 – 8 am California Time (8 – 11 am New York Time)
Jacky Donovan‘s life has been filled with twists and turns. She is the author of the memoir, Instant Whips and Dream Toppings: A true-life dom rom com. Her newest book, Simon Ships Out: A Heroic Cat at Sea, takes her in yet another direction: children’s author.
Click here to learn more about Jacky Donovan
Here’s her blurb from Simon Ships Out: When Simon, a mischievous young cat, is smuggled on board HMS Amethyst, his simple life amidst the streets of Hong Kong is transformed into an adventure fit for heroes. But alongside new friend Peggy, the ship’s dog, he discovers a mortal enemy in king rat Mao Tse Tung. Under heavy fire from the Chinese Communists, the ship runs aground, stranded for 101 agonizing days. Despite severe injuries, Simon and the crew bravely battle their respective foes, enabling Amethyst to make an epic escape. Heralded worldwide as heroes, they sail into Plymouth to a jubilant welcome, but further heart-rending tragedy. Bringing joy and compassion to those on board, Simon is the only cat to have been awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal, the highest honour for animal gallantry in wartime. Based on the true events of Amethyst’s ‘Yangtze Incident’, Simon’s quirky yet emotional cat’s eye narrative is sure to move and entertain all who read it.
M. Shannon Hernandez is a former public school teacher, blogger, educator, and author of Breaking the Silence: My Final Forty Days as a Public School Teacher.
Click here to learn more about M. Shannon Hernandez
You are invited into Hernandez’s classroom for the final forty days of her teaching career to understand the urgent need for school reform, clearly demonstrated in each story. You’ll witness the intelligence, vulnerability, and humanity of her students, and the challenges teachers like Hernandez face as they navigate the dangerous waters between advocating for and meeting students’ needs and disconnected education policy.
This book is not only a love letter to her students, her fellow teachers, and to the reformed public school system she envisions, but also a heartfelt message of hope, encouragement, and self-empowerment for those who feel they are stuck in soul-sucking careers. It is an essential read for each citizen who is seeking a life comprised of more purpose and happiness, as well as parents, teachers, administrators, and policymakers who know our nation’s education system is in desperate need of an overhaul.
Click here to learn more about Stephanie Collins
FROM 8 – 11 a.m California Time (11 am – 2 pm New York Time)
Anna Whiston-Donaldson opens her website with this, “I wish I had nothing to say on the matter of loss, but I do. Because one day I encouraged my two kids to go out and play in the rain, and only one came home….” That one hooked me; how about you? She is the author of Rare Bird.
Click here to learn more about Anna Whiston-Donaldson
Kristin Louise Duncombe is an American writer, psychotherapist, and consultant who has lived in France since 2001. She is the author of Trailing: A Memoir and Five Flights Up, both memoirs that address, among other things, the specific challenges and idiosyncracies of the expat existence.
Click here to learn more about Kristin Louise Duncombe
Click here to learn more about Sarah Jane Butfield
Sarah Jane, the roving Florence Nightingale, fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a nurse and went on to use her nursing and later teaching qualifications to take her around the world. She is now an international best-selling author of three travel memoirs set in Australia and France.
In addition, she is releasing the first book in the What, Why, Where, When, Who & How Book Promotion Series. Book 1 titled The Accidental Author is aimed at aspiring and debut self-published authors and is on pre-order now with the release scheduled for 27th February 2015.
Click here to learn more about Shirley Ledlie
FROM 11 am – 2 pm California Time (2 – 5 pm New York Time)
Click here for more information on CeeCee James
A book series of hope after unthinkable heartache. How do you keep fighting for hope, when everything around you is tearing hope down?
Five year old CeeCee has already endured homelessness, dirty secrets and abuse. But somewhere amid the chaos and despair, CeeCee holds onto something precious, the only thing that drives her on – hope. She will do anything to make her mother happy, hoping against all things for a touch of her mother’s love. But when her Mother abandons her in a car fire, will CeeCee accept that there is nothing she can do to make her mom love her? Ghost No More is a memoir of tragedy, love, and strength that proves joy can be found beyond abuse.
Click here to learn more about Fran Macilvey
She now lives in Scotland with her husband and daughter. She writes, “When I am not catching up on my sleep, I read, write, sing in the shower and dance where no-one can see me.”
And me. Janet Givens. I am humbled to be included in such a collection. I won’t link to my website for obvious reasons. I will just add that I’m the author of At Home on the Kazakh Steppe: A Peace Corp Memoir (2014) and co-author of Stuttering (1997), one of the “Best Textbooks of 1997” according to Choice Magazine. (A used print version is available on line for $.01 And, Woody and I now have the publication rights back from the original publisher and plan to bring it out of hibernation this summer in both print and eBook versions.)
Click here to learn more about my Peace Corps memoir.
FROM 2 – 5 pm California Time (5 – 8 pm New York Time)
Click here to learn more about Alana Terry
Kathleen Pooler is a frequent visitor to this page, a past guest blogger, and I’m pleased to add, a friend in the small F sense of the word. She is the author of Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse.
Click here to learn more about Kathy Pooler
Click here to learn more about Victoria Noe
After earning a master’s degree in Speech and Dramatic Art from the University of Iowa, Victoria Noe moved to Chicago, where she worked professionally as a stage manager, director and administrator in addition to being a founding board member of the League of Chicago Theatres. She discovered she was good at fundraising, and ventured out on her own, raising millions for arts, educational and AIDS service organizations, and later became an award-winning sales consultant of children’s books. But when a concussion ended her sales career, she decided to finally keep a promise to a dying friend to write a book.
That book became a series of small books. The first three
- Friend Grief and Anger: When Your Friend Dies and No One Gives A Damn,
- Friend Grief and AIDS: Thirty Years of Burying Our Friends, and
- Friend Grief and 9/11: The Forgotten Mourners
were published in 2013.
Friend Grief and the Military: Band of Friends, was published in May, 2014.
The fifth book,
Friend Grief in the Workplace: More Than an Empty Cubicle will be published in May, 2015, with the final book in the series coming later in the year.
From 5 – 8 pm California Time (8 – 11 pm New York Time)
Dana Goodman is the
instigator coordinator for this event. I first met her during her phenomenal Sunday Spotlight on the We Love Memoir FB Group. She is the author of In the Cleft Joy Comes in the Mourning: A Story of Hope After Tragedy.
Click here to learn more about Dana Goodman
Goodman’s passion to glean meaning out of unthinkable loss offers wisdom, encouragement and inspiration to those traveling through the wilderness of grief.
With heart touching stories, Dana * Helps you process your own pain stories *Invites you to move beyond the wounded places of your heart to find joy once again
Click here to learn more about Sandy Oshiro Rosen
From 8 – 11 pm California Time (11 pm – 2 am New York Time)
Shirley Enebrad is an author, speaker, and grief counselor. She is the author of two books: Over the Rainbow Bridge (2009), the story of her young son, Cory, and his inspiring journey as he battled leukemia, and Six Word Lessons on Coping with Grief; 100 Lessons to Help You and Your Loved Ones Deal with Loss (2013).
Click here to learn more about Shirley Enebrad
LIVE like there’s no tomorrow, LOVE with all your heart, and LAUGH until your spirit lights up! Thus said little nine-year-old Cory, dying of leukemia.
Cory lived every second of his five final and cancer-ridden years to the fullest. This wise old soul walked his talk, embracing life with passion and without fear of death. He lived to inspire others and brought everyone he touched–teachers, fellow students, medical professionals, Hollywood actors–his timeless message. His inspiring wisdom continues in Over the Rainbow Bridge. Laugh and cry with Cory–and never fear death again.
30% of the net proceeds of Over the Rainbow Bridge will be donated to Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of WWA to help families dealing with pediatric cancer and CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation for research.
Now these are inspirational women. Survivors all of them, from domestic abuse, childhood neglect, cancer, and unspeakable grief. We have a woman who recruits us to reform our public education system, another who helps us know what it’s like to be trapped in one’s own body, and another one elevating herself from bondage, albeit a well-paying form of bondage.
There are two novelists and there is me.
I was definitely committed. But who would our audience be for this one day event? Each of us simply used Facebook’s Invite Your Friends feature to send invites to those we thought might have some interest. Nearly 200 have responded positively, with another 50 “Maybe.”
I hope you’ll join us. Choose a time that is convenient, or an author whose book inspires. Many of the authors are offering give-aways too.
I’ll be joining the Facebook Group from an Amtrak train, another story in itself, which I’ll report on next week.
How about you? Where do inspirational stories fit into your collection of reading matter? How do you define an inspirational author?