Member of the Week: Linda Odubayo Thompson, author of I Know My Way Memoir

I Know My Way MemoirName: Linda Odubayo Thompson

Book Title: I Know My Way Memoir: Always Remember to Color the Sky Blue

Publication Date: October 16,2018

Publisher: Linda Odubayo Thompson

Your book’s Amazon purchase link:

https://www.amazon.com/Know-My-Way-Memoir-Remember/dp/173220960X

Website URL: http://www.ghostbookwritergoldilocks.com

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What is your latest book about?

Who was Theresa Marafito?

Theresa Marafito, daughter of Irish immigrant parents, was born in 1933 in New York City, blind in one eye with partial vision in the other. She was a precocious child who wanted to appear “normal” to her peers and family, regardless of her disability. Her game was to be independent, not dependent and would rarely ask for help.

At nineteen she graduated magna cum laude with two master’s degrees.  Theresa and her husband Jerry, who was also visually impaired, would build a house on a shoestring budget and had two daughters; one who was also born visually impaired. Despite the laughter and happiness that was ever present in their home and business serving the public, Theresa’s marriage was strong enough to endure one operation after another in a desperate attempt to keep her from becoming totally blind, plus the horror of watching her infant daughter’s agony of being put under the knife.

In late 1986, Theresa’s perfect world came to a crashing halt when her soul mate Jerry lost his life to cancer. She was so devastated that she poured her heart out on an old manual typewriter trying to capture all of her precious memories. It was after her very tragic death in 2008 that the notes were found and became the starting point of this memoir.

Linda, as daughter and Copywriter for several years, knew it would be a great pleasure to capture the essence of her mother’s life in this memoir, and help the sighted world to have a better picture of a typical family model with the difficulties of living with visually impaired members. She was up to the task of explaining the level of emotion needed to convey the tension at every turn because she is now almost blind herself, and lost her first husband to cancer as well.

What inspired you to write your book?

People are living to an older age not only here but around the world and with it is the probability that most will suffer from not only visual difficulties but other ailments. My mother left tons of notes and with it many teachable moments told in story form to helpfully inspire those people with the knowledge that they must do what they can for themselves. I knew that as a seasoned writer, it was my honor to bring her thoughts out in the form of a memoir with lots of dialog to bring her readers into the conversation, not just looking in through the window watching the action go by. It was also very important to address the daily living  issues for those who are family members of people with disabilities. Finally, the last few lines of the book back cover blurb made it possible for me to bring out the emotional aspect of each life event.

“Linda, as daughter and Copywriter for several years, knew it would be a great pleasure to capture the essence of her mother’s life in this memoir, and help the sighted world to have a better picture of a typical family model with the difficulties of living with visually impaired members. She was up to the task of explaining the level of emotion needed to convey the tension at every turn because she is now almost blind herself, and lost her first husband to cancer as well.”

Can you describe your writing process?

Assuming I have done the research and know that the book I am writing provides a different slant on a given subject than has already been addressed . . .

First, I develop a rough outline of the proposed book content.

Next, I expand each element of the outline, that is sections and chapters so that I know what information I will provide in each area.

Third, I begin writing the first chapter using the detailed outline and work until I feel tired and stop at that point.

Fourth, I return to writing that first chapter and review the previous work done the day before and add new content. Again I walk away from the project. By the time I have finished the first chapter I will have gone over the content several times and now move on and continue with the same process as each chapter gets completed.

Next, when the book has been finished, is when the fun begins with editing and inserting new content where it is needed. My husband Pedro is a Certified Copy Editor and he will then read through the manuscript and point out any issues he sees with the clarity of the wording. This process could take several rereading of one or more chapters until the copy feels right. Finally, the copy is proofread and then it is time to get in touch with a graphic designer to work on the cover and design the interior.

I use Microsoft Word and I know that there are many  types of software that make it easier to create the manuscript but I am from the old school and didn’t want to add yet another learning curve where it wasn’t necessary. There is plenty of learning to do if you want to self publish a book.

How did you get your book written and how long did it take?

The process I used is shown above. The actual writing around six months with another three months for the editing process. The cover design and interior work took about two months and then it is time to deal with uploading all the files to Amazon and/or IngramSpark and this can be time consuming especially working with Amazon now. They are merging CreateSpace which was the only way to upload book files to be sold on Amazon until they have their own system now KDP. The transition has not been easy and new authors may just give up in frustration. The solution for now, upload print files to IngramSpark and they will populate Amazon with your book.

Linda Odubayo ThompsonPlease tell us a bit about you and how you decided to write your book. Is it part of a personal goal, business goal, nonprofit or other mission?

When I wrote this memoir, I decided that for the reasonable future, writing life stories for people would be my goal.  There are so many folks out there who want to help others to understand life challenges or to simply write a book as part of their legacy.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?

It’s all about the telling of a life story and I enjoy listening to people as they talk about specific moments in their lives.

What advice would you offer fellow authors who are just getting started?

Don’t rush, try to take the writing aspect of the manuscript at a pace that feels good to you. Others will tell you that they wrote their book over a weekend etc.

If I can help along the way, please contact me . . . Linda@ghostbookwritergoldilocks.com.

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