One of the great joys of my job is having the opportunity to speak to a wide variety of authors. Their experiences and stories are always inspiring to me. At the San Francisco Writers Conference, I had the opportunity to meet Leda Sanford. Leda, was a very successful executive who broke the glass ceiling and wrote a book to chronicle her experiences. I had the opportunity to ask her some questions about her book. My questions and her answers are below.
- What inspired you to write your book?
I was inspired by a desire to share with other women my story of re-invention and success at a time when women were just beginning to examine the adequacy of their roles as wives and homemakers. In 1998 when I moved from Manhattan to California I was constantly asked by women to tell them the story of my life…about ” how I did it” ..and how at 59 I had the courage to leave everything behind and move to California. This always led to the other question of how did I have the courage to break up my marriage at age 33, and with two children age 5 and 11, get a job in a field I was not educated for ( magazine business) and within 5 brief years break the glass ceiling in 1975 and become the first female publisher and president of a major American publishing company, and American Home magazine.
How I did it and what were the steps that I took along the way?
What was the “secret” of my survival and success and the continuing response to the age barrier as well as the gender discrimination ?
My answer at a dinner party when asked this question now is : BUY MY BOOK!
Even though I was “famous” in my field and have many articles to prove it including my Wikipedia listing… there is the validation that comes from being “an author”…,
- What do you hope readers will gain from reading the book?
I hope that readers will draw from my book the courage to explore the dimensions pf their unique destiny while not negating their designated roles and wives , mothers and caregivers because there is no better preparation for aging than the power that comes from being a multidimensional person . I hope that the readers will see the importance of having courage rooted in determination and a willingness to accept the possibility of failure without being crushed by it.
- You have had extensive experience in publishing. How do you think that helped you in your writing and publishing process?
My many years of writing for magazines and directing and developing the writers , editors and art directors who reported to me cultivated in me the ability to “communicate” through writing, editing and the ability to be brief. Get to the point …Grab the reader..
- What tips would you give to aspiring writers who are thinking about publishing?
Read the new York Times especially the Sunday Book Review section.
Avoid critique groups of amateur writers. You can’t learn from these people.
Submit your writing to the scrutiny of accomplished professionals that you have to pay.
Would you go to a free “doctor.?”
My best teacher taught me that “Writing is Rewriting.”
Watch C-SPan Book TV on Sat. & Sunday channel 109
- What has been the most satisfying thing about publishing a book?
For me he most satisfying thing about publishing a book is the feeling of immortality.
Even though I was “famous” in my field and have many articles to prove it including my Wikipedia listing… there is the validation that comes from being “an author”…,someone who dedicated time and energy to sharing their soul with other people . And there is the ego gratification that I enjoy when giving my book to someone or when people come to hear me speak about it..