Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Insiders' Guide to the Greater Tampa Bay Area

Yesterday was the official release date for my new book (how good it feels to say that!), Insiders' Guide to the Greater Tampa Bay Area: Including Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater.

Check out my new blog by the same name to keep tabs on IGTB and on the Tampa Bay area. There's also a Facebook page -- if you become a fan, you'll get an update most days as to what's happening around Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.

Here, I'll put the answers to a few questions people have asked about the writing itself.

How long did it take you to write the book? From initial contact to release date was just over a year. From contract date to the finish of the text was a tad over ninety days. That's three pages-plus a day, seven days a week, of research, writing, and revising. After that, I also had to proofread/revise the entire text twice, plus help create the maps.

Is this a self-published book? No, the book is published by Globe Pequot Press, a subsidiary of Morris Communications, LLC. 

How did you get this job? Short answer: It was a fluke. A writing friend passed along an email she had received that included info about GPP looking for a writer from the Tampa Bay area to write an IG. I sent in my resume and clips, and they contacted me. Long answer: There are no flukes. Seven years before, I had quit my job as a business manager and devoted myself to writing -- childrens' stories, I thought -- full time. Six years before, I started freelancing for Tampa Bay Newspapers. Four years before, I went back to school and earned by B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Eckerd College, where I did more writing in 18 months than I think I had done in my whole life up to that time. Six months before, I had graduated from the University of Alabama with an M.A. in Community Journalism, where I doubled the amount of writing I did at Eckerd. As part of the program I spent a year in the newsroom of the Anniston Star and explored just about every facet of community life through a journalist's eyes. Having lived in this area for more than 30 years, I had the background. Having taken the writing journey I did over the last seven years, I was in shape to get the job done. Even longer answer: In the beginning, God . . . 

Have questions about the writing process? Ask! In the meantime, help me celebrate! Ready?? 1-2-3 . . . WAHOOOOOOO!!!

Now available in bookstores and at,, etc. 326 pages. Softcover. ISBN: 978-0-7627-5347-5

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