My journey as a writer has been like climbing the rungs of a very tall ladder. One opportunity has led to another.
In addition to safes, I published a variety of articles for multiple publications, from Bird Talk to Cleveland Magazine, Northern Ohio Live magazine, and some travel pieces for out-of-town newspapers.
My husband had taken photographs for a local commercial real estate trade publication, Properties. I had pitched the publisher-owner on writing for the magazine, and he scoffed, “I bet you want to paid $50 an article?” I assured him that my rate was much higher.
The magazine ended up being sold to a younger and more progressive publisher. Without my husband’s knowledge, I pitched him on writing for the magazine, and I was assigned an article. Thus, for over ten years, I visited job sites, interviewed architects, developers and contractors, and wrote articles on architecture, construction and design. Like safes, it became my niche. From cover stories, to special inserts, I wrote about some of Cleveland’s most exciting projects.
I decided to transition from writing articles to penning books.
As luck would have it, after years of pitching agents and editors, an editor contacted me.
A publisher based in Massachusetts, specialized in hardcover, color, photographic coffee table books on major cities around the country. They were planning on publishing a book on Cleveland. A local photographer had taken photographs the previous summer, and they needed a local author to conduct research, write all of copy, and caption all of the images. Over 200 images were under consideration.
Once again, three local authors were considered. We were all given a sample homework assignment, to research and caption several obscure (really obscure) photographs taken in the city.
After reviewing the samples, I was selected. First, I had to clear my schedule. I had one week to conduct research, write all of the copy (introduction, back cover blurb, etc.) and caption around 120 photographs. Edits would be completed the following week. Understand, this was two weeks before Christmas. Second, I needed to purchase a newer, and more powerful computer. Third, I had to install high-speed internet. The advance I was given, helped pay for these expenses.
I’ve learned in life, if it’s inconvenient, it is the right thing to do.
Cleveland, Ohio: A Photographic Portrait was my best-selling book. Published in 2008, it went out of print last year, yet continues to sell. Though it was a work-for-hire, and I don’t get royalties, it was a wise career decision. It led to major displays in book stores, book signings and talks, and sold a lot of copies. For a time, it was the most popular book on Cleveland on Amazon. I am still very proud of this book.
I became a “real” author.