Do You Have a
Story to Tell?
My story may sound similar to yours.
One day it occurred to me that I had an important message to share and also a good story to tell. The question was: how to go about telling it? At the time, I was working as a professional broadcast news producer in San Francisco. I'd been a student of journalism before that. My writing style was short and succinct to say the least; I told the day’s top story in thirty, fifteen and sometimes five-second copy.
Since this is what I knew how to do best, this is how I began—by taking notes on my own life. And within a few months, my short bits and bites had greatly expanded. My story, I soon recognized, could support its own platform and I was craving the connection a spotlight might provide. So in 2007 I launched my blog Stepmother’s Milk, written for women like me—single and childless well into our thirties, forties and fifties until we finally meet our dream guy… along with his ex-wife and kids. The full package.
Because it was one of only a handful of emerging “step-mommy” blogs at the time with the aim to connect the swelling population of new stepmoms desperately looking for Insta-Family guidance and an online community of sisters with whom they could candidly spill, Stepmother’s Milk made a splash. It received a lot of notice, both nationally and internationally, and became the go-to space for the modern-day stepmother.
On an ordinary Wednesday I received the call every writer wants to get. It was from a New York literary agent who’d been following my blog. She said, “I think you have a book here. I wonder though--could you go a little bit deeper? Keep the humor, but also tell your story with more vulnerability?”
More vulnerability? I cringed.
I’d already made my personal life very public. Putting myself even further out there felt scary. It also felt daring.
I can say now that writing The Package Deal: My (not-so) Glamorous Transition from Single Gal to Instant Mom was one of the most challenging and liberating experiences of my life.
I told my story as honestly and authentically as I could. I extended myself beyond what was comfortable in an effort to help other women like me feel a little more normal and less alone.
Redbook called it a “refreshingly honest memoir.” Library Journal praised it as “clear-eyed,” “candid and optimistic.” Fellow stepmothers cheered me as "heartfelt" and "hilarious."
I learned that readers respond well to honest storytelling and to storytellers who dare to be seen and heard. By telling my truth, I was giving others permission to tell theirs.
Since The Package Deal published in 2009 (Penguin Random House) and premiered on the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller list and as a Target club pick, I’ve been giving voice to and empowering others who have a story to tell. I’ve collaborated with celebrities, experts, entrepreneurs and all sorts of amazing individuals who need that first shot of courage and clear guidance forward, to help striking the right tone, organizing ideas into chapters, and building your book― word to word― from beginning to end.
Translating your voice and singular story onto the page is what I'm trained to do, and I'm uplifted, instructed, and both challenged and inspired by your one and only perspective.
So tell me: what's your story? What have you always wanted to share with the world? Together we can manifest the book inside you waiting to be written.