“You know, there’s someone else with the same name out there publishing books,” an acquaintance said to me a few days ago.
“Seriously?” I’m definitely listening.
“Yeah–I saw the titles online. They were really different from your books, though.”
A light is starting to dawn. “Were they mostly about countries? Shorter books maybe, for teenagers?”
“Maybe….” She still looks puzzled, but I’m not. “That’s not someone else,” I tell her. “It’s the same old me.”
When I launched this website in January 2009, I made a decision to streamline a lot of what had been on my separate websites for THE FOUR SEASONS and UNTIL OUR LAST BREATH. One of the things I eliminated was a page about the books I had written
when I was just starting to write for publication. My first published volume was for Lucent Books in 1999, a Young Adult (YA) book on Kenya. I followed that over the next several years with sixteen other YA titles, mostly in a series called Modern Nations. My other strong interest was Judaica, and I ended up writing several YA books on aspects of that (images of the book covers for those are shown here).
I stopped writing for Lucent Books in 2004, when Michael Bart asked me to be the author of UNTIL OUR LAST BREATH. It was a good experience writing for young adults, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in trying out the idea of a career as a writer. I discovered a great deal about the overall process of publishing a book, including all the behind-the-scenes roles others play. I learned to work within parameters for such things as word count and level of reading difficulty. I learned about meeting deadlines and following formats, and about the reciprocal expectations of author and editor. But most of all, I learned to write more clearly and succinctly, and to explain things well. This above all played a role in my successful transition to adult non-fiction with UNTIL OUR LAST BREATH.
Lucent Books publishes primarily for libraries, so if you’re interested in books by the “other me,” or in the subjects I’ve written about, you might want to check out your kids’ or grandkids’ school library, or your local branch of the public library.