On a Mission of Courage, Comfort and Joy:
A Success Story about a Book for Women with Breast Cancer

October 2003
by Lois Hjelmstad

« Back to Independent Articles

You have breast cancer. Those four words changed my life on April 20, 1990. How do you say good-bye to your breast? How do you bid your sense of invincibility farewell? How do you deal with a world turned upside down?

 

Write Your Passion

The night before my first mastectomy, I wrote a poem, “Good-bye, Beloved Breast.” I needed comfort. I needed courage. I needed a sense of certainty about what I had to do. I didn’t need to write a book.

 

However, poems kept popping into my head. When I shared 20 of them with my oncologist, he told me to “do something with them.” A year later, when I faced a second mastectomy, a sense of urgency propelled me to indeed “do something.” Somehow, in the midst of illness and surgeries, with the help of my daughter and an editor, I wrote Fine Black Lines: Reflections on Facing Cancer, Fear and Loneliness and formed Mulberry Hill Press. I chose self-publishing because I had no assurance that I would live long enough to suffer through multiple rejections or the amount of time a larger publisher would need to get a book to my readers.

 

Find Resources

Judith Appelbaum’s How to Get Happily Published and Dan Poynter’s The Self-Publishing Manual guided us. Colorado Independent Publishers Association, PMA, and SPAN also were (and continue to be) excellent sources of help and information.

<P…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

Join Today!

« Back to Independent Articles

How to Get Involved!
Marketing Opportunities

From mailings to exhibits, see how IBPA's marketing programs help you grow your sales.

Educational Opportunities

Attend a seminar, ask an expert, and get more free advice with our educational programs.

Become a member

Access exclusive members-only benefits starting at just $10.