Is it really and truly coming? What’s the hold-up?

Yes, it is coming. Of course. And the publisher says it will be ready for publication towards the end of August. I’ve been quite disappointed with the lengthiness of the process. Have already got a lot of promotional material out . . . way too early! So eager I was to get things going. I’m quite embarrassed about that really.

But FriesenPress, the publisher, have not been sitting on it. I get emails every few days from them, with info they need from me and info they have for me. Things I need to do. They’re in charge of making this book the best it can be, but I’m paying for it and need to be involved throughout the process.

Today I have a proof copy in hand, and it’s beautiful, something people would look forward to reading. I think you’ll like it. And yet . . . a few more weeks of waiting for the rest of the copies.

So many things have gone into the development of this book:

Although there are only around ten pages devoted to each of the leaders featured, I read some heavy autobiographies and biographies to prepare me for the writing.

When I had completed the initial manuscript as far as I could and submitted it, an editor at Friesen’s did a thorough evaluation of it, giving me a ten-page report, outlining what she found good and recommending many improvements. She had much valuable feedback on the content and how I handled certain topics. Also advice on the writing style I was using.

Following the guidance of this editor, I ended up adding a chapter I hadn’t planned on. It features a relatively unknown person, Dorothea Dix, (1802-1887). According to her biographer, David Gollaher, she was “the first to give madness a human face.” It’s an interesting piece of history.

More reading and more writing. And I had to go back, making sure the focus of the book was in keeping with what I intended. Who was I writing for? For people who wanted to find meaning in life, or those who needed help raising their self-esteem? Friends and family had opinions that I valued and listened to. Yet in the end I did have to go my way, all the while wondering if I was making some big mistakes.

Yes, this has been—and I guess still is—a long process with many details to look after. But I’m glad I produced this book with a publisher who knows what they’re doing. I believe this is the best book I’ve written and the best quality product of all my books.

Glad I was able to accomplish this while, at 76, I still have my wits about me.