iUniverse author Judy Crowell discusses Widow…A Four Letter Word . Congratulations to Judy on the excellent reviews she is getting!
My book, Widow…A Four Letter Word is a signature memoir of approximately 70,000 words, a woman’s look back at the men and loves in her life: as a young girl, a woman, and, later, at the much too early age of sixty-three, as a widow. A word she despises. A word she rejects.
It is a coming of age story…twice in one lifetime.
It was important to me to tell my story, which has great sadness and joy in it, as honestly as possible, without “throwing anyone under the bus”.
One of my all-time favorite TV shows is M*A*S*H. It made me laugh one minute and cry the next minute. I wanted that kind of a book.
I call it a hybrid, combining the awful pathos of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking; the touching optimism of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray Love; and the biting humor of Erma Bombeck’s The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank.
After the death of my husband, I unwittingly joined a large sisterhood, a sorority of widows. In this memoir, I have ripped open my private persona to tell my story to countless widows, like me, struggling to re-enter life. To find joy and love again.
I don’t pretend to have the answers. I only offer the story and the challenge.
And the hope that somehow, in the telling, it will help someone.
My manuscript sat in a drawer for ten years with several attempts at revisions during that time. Finally in 2015, I decided I’d better do something about it if I was ever going to.
I’d like my readers (not just widows) to turn the last page of my book and say, “Aha…I’ve had a lot of love in my life. Maybe not all the Eros kind, but beautiful love of family and friends nonetheless.”
I also want to convey that falling in love has no quotas or expiration dates.
Several people have asked me about a sequel to this book. I can only say that my story of love is unfinished and I never say never! That does NOT mean that I have pen in-hand.
PR for my book has just begun, but I’m heartened by the many positive reviews I have received, not only from Clarion Review and Kirkus (still waiting for Blue Ink) but readers who have shared their thoughts on Amazon. Two book signings are already scheduled: one Tecolote Book Shop in Montecito, California for April and one at Barnes & Noble Ladue Crossing in St. Louis, Missouri for June. More coming, I’m sure, and a few interviews are scheduled. I’ll also be part of the 2016 Coast to Coast Book Gallery in Los Angeles and Miami.
My blog, www.widowafourletterword.com has just begun and I have a few postings on it already and look forward to more. Turns out they’re fun to do!
With regard to my publishing experience, to be completely honest, I have to say that the day I finished the darned thing was one of the happiest days of my life. A feeling of GREAT accomplishment.
I don’t like to give advice…either to widows or authors, so I’ll just say, “Hang in there and be yourself.”
Friends, critics and family (our best critics) have often told me that my style of writing is “perky”…not always said as a compliment. I’ve remained “perky”, I think…but have definitely accepted editing where needed.
Good luck to all my fellow authors.