Have you ever wondered why things happen for a reason, even though at the time, we're not sure what it could be? This is how it felt with my writing; I always knew I wanted to write, but for various reasons, I never seemed to get the time to sit down and compose a story.
One day, I was sitting in a psychologist's office at the VA with my husband, Mac, who was getting assessed for PTSD. My eyes were really opened about PTSD and the effect this disorder has on the person suffering from it. The psychologist began asking her questions and I watched a storm of emotions flitting across his face, as all the pain he had inside of him from combat, started to show itself. The look of sadness changed to anger, then sorrow, confusion, and finally, his face was void of all emotion. I walked across to where he was sitting and hugged him. Then, I said, "I am here with you and for you." His hand reached up to touch mine and it was almost like he was drawing from my energy to get him through the rest of the interview. When I returned to my chair, I looked over to where Mac sat and decided I would write a book about our forgotten soldiers and I would get stories from other veterans who were going through the same thing. It took me six months to write Our Forgotten Soldiers. I didn’t realize at that time that writing the book would be the easy part. Trying to find a publisher would be the hard part.
Now, here is where things happen for a reason: One night after Mac had a PTSD melt down, I wrote how I felt about it and posted it onto the face book page of a friend who was getting ready to walk around the country with his dog to create awareness about PTSD and disabled veterans. A friend of his, Lisa, noticed what I had written and asked if she could share it on a PTSD site. I gave her permission and told her that if it would help others, I would have achieved something meaningful.
I shared with Lisa that it didn't seem easy to get a book published. She asked me what type of book I had written and I introduced her to Our Forgotten Soldiers. She explained how she was setting up the foundation for her own Digital Publishing company. I sent her a coy of the first story in the book and she invited me to send her the entire manuscript to format for online publishing. Here we are, a few months on, and my book is available in digital format on Amazon Kindle and in print format from Createspace, also an Amazon company! She is doing her magic and by next week, you will be able to order my book from Barnes & Noble, Apple's iBookstore, Kobo and on my Facebook Store.
Lisa is exactly like me when it comes to veterans. She is as determined to make a difference for them like I am. She is caring, compassionate and a real guru when it comes to the publishing and marketing trade. She started a Facebook page for South African Veterans of the Angola Border War and there are plans to publish a book with stories from how they struggle today with PTSD, with proceeds going to South African Veterans. Lisa and I have become sisters-in-arms. We normally speak every day and try to work out the best way to do things. Now that Our Forgotten Soldiers has been published, we are excited to see it become an international best seller, which will benefit our veterans.
When I said things happen for a reason, can you see what I meant? If I had not posted that first story on my friends page I would not be where I am now with a published book as a published author!