In my opening remarks of the premiere GetPublished! Radio Show, I tell the story of how I helped my father achieve a lifelong goal of publishing his own book. It wasn’t actually a memoir, but more of a scholarly whitepaper. He was fascinated by Biblical archaeology, and in his business life he’d made many trips to the Middle East. And, ever since he was a young man, he’d been a Sunday School teacher. His book is a reinterpretation of the story of Jonah and the whale. He’d spent years researching it, and he had a manuscript he’d taken through multiple drafts. But then he had a devastating stroke. He survived for several years after that, but he was never able to carry his project through to completion.
Here’s the book, Searching for Jonah: Clues in Hebrew and Assyrian History. (Hint: It’s in our bookstore.)
Remarkably to me, I found a surrealist painting for the cover done by the figurative realist and event painter Keith Tucker – who generously donated the rights.
And the stars aligned so that Dad was able to hold it in his hands on his last birthday. His caregivers told everyone they had a famous author in residence. He might not have understood how it finally came to be, but I’m sure he knew it was his.
So even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer, you may find opportunities through self-publishing technologies to honor a family member who left a memoir, a diary (be careful!), a thesis, or some poems.