Thursday, March 20, 2008

FAQs


I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.
For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of moms and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s post:

The photos today are courtesy of the Shelli, Rachel and Gracie Larson. Pretty ladies!

Something funny I read on someone’s blog yesterday – “Without my mom's influence, I wouldn't know my head from my rectum.” So true.

To answer a few questions…

Is this real?
Yes, it is. Check me out online at any book retailer or on the shelf in your favorite local bookstore.

How did you find me?
I use Google tools to search blogs for key words and phrases and then scan the posts that came back. I send invitations to anyone who has written something in a recent post that leads me to think she may be interested in this project.

I have a story but I’m not a writer. What then?
That’s where I come in. You write what you want to say and then working together we will shape it into a story that works with the rest of the book.

I want to send a story but I’m having trouble getting started. Can you help?
Visit this blog from time to time. I will post sample stories from Daddy’s Little Girl and good examples of stories submitted for Mom’s Little Angel. I’m also happy to call you and conduct a recorded interview or just to brainstorm with you.

How do I send you a story?
You submit a story to me over my website http://www.gregoryelang.com/. If it is appropriate to include in the book we’ll talk (or email) about how to bring out the best points of your story. In September I will submit the manuscript to my editor who will make the final decisions about which stories to include in the book.

So every story submitted isn’t included in the book?
No. In the case of stories that are too similar in theme only the best one is selected for inclusion in the book. Some submissions are sweet, sentimental musings but not a story; others are about subjects that are not teaching or uplifting. I give feedback on each submission to help you find and bring out the moral, but if we can’t get to that important inspirational point of the story, it isn’t used.

May I submit more than one story?
Yes.

I am both a mother and a daughter. Which shall I write about?
Either is fine or you can speak of both relationships in the same story if they tie together with a common thread.

How is this book different from your other books?
The majority of my books have been gift books that included an introduction about the relationship addressed by the title (e.g., Why a Daughter Needs a Mom) and 100 to more original proverbs that explain the title and describe the relationship. Daddy’s Little Girl and now Mom’s Little Angel are story driven books that tell of inspiring moments in parent-child relationships. They are all occasion motivational books, not specifically gift books.

That sounds like the Chicken Soup books. How are yours different?
Each story in the Chicken Soup books is written in the voice of the original author. In Mom’s Little Angel I revise your story and it is told in the voice of a narrator. This is done so that the stories flow evenly throughout the book, avoiding uneven shifts in writing and story-telling style. In addition, your stories are woven together with those I’ve written about the relationships between my daughter and step-daughter and their mothers.

Will real names be used?
No. Pseudonyms are used so that you can write without reservation and due to the nearly insurmountable task of obtaining permission from each character in your story. Only your permission is required and it is given with a mouse click as you submit a story over my website.

Am I compensated for my story?
No. You are providing your story without the promise of compensation other than that which you will derive when you see it in print. Believe me, a wonderful feeling comes when you hand your mother or daughter a book and say, “I wrote this for you.”

I’m not paid? Aren’t I writing the story?
Well, not really. You are sharing with me a motivational story (you may write it yourself or tell it to me in a recorded telephone interview, your choice) and I am re-writing it (or transcribing it if you were interviewed) in my voice as the narrator. This allows me to weave my own mother-daughter stories (based on my observations within my family) together with yours. In other words, you are not one of many authors each writing a chapter to a book but rather you are a storyteller whose story is combined with mine to illustrate a motivational tale. In some cases several stories are used in the same chapter to build on a theme. Please read “Wooden Spoons” posted on March 27 to see an example.

I have a beautiful daughter-mom photography. Will you use it in the book?
You are welcome to send it to me for posting on this blog but I am unable to use it in the book. There are specific technical requirements for print art that cannot be met unless you use a pro-level camera. Also it is important for the photos to have a similar artistic style, thus I am the photographer as well as the author.

I hope these answers help. If you have others, please email them to me.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

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