Subjects for non-fiction books often come from our life experiences, but they needn’t be confined to our professional knowledge. My co-author of The ABC Checklist for New Writers is a family history researcher and has a book on genealogy published as part of The Greatest Tips in the World Series.
When she found out that the publishers of her Greatest Genealogy Tips in the World were calling for submissions, she suggested I put in a proposal. “But I don’t have any qualifications or unique skills to give tips on,” I said. “The only thing I know lots about is living abroad.” Which is true. I first moved abroad 28 years ago and I’ve been an ex-pat for nearly all my adult life, living on two continents and a Mediterranean island.
“Well,” said Maureen, “if I ever wanted to move to a new country you’d be the first person I’d ask for advice. Why not offer them a book on tips for moving abroad?” So I put together a proposal and sent it off, not really expecting anything to come from it. How wrong I was! The publisher loved the idea and the Greatest Moving Abroad Tips will hit the shops later this year.
I thought about what other lifestyle issues I had enough experience to write about and realised I knew quite a lot about how to cope with menopause. I’ve been menopausal for five years, but didn’t want to use hormone replacement therapy. Not because I’m against it, but I just didn’t feel it was right for me. This led to lots of research into coping with the symptoms. I looked at the copious notes I’d made over the years about what had worked and why, and realized I had the foundation for another tips book. So off went my proposal for the Greatest Menopause Survival Tips.
Look at your life, I bet you have experience in at least one area that others would love to read about.
Lorraine Mace’s work has appeared in national publications in the UK, USA, France, Australia and the Republic of Ireland, as well as on the Web. She is the author of The Greatest Moving Abroad Tips in the World (Greatest in the World Publications – publication 2008). Winner of the Petra Kenney 2006 International Poetry Award (comic verse category), she writes fiction for the women’s magazine market, has been placed in, and judges, creative writing competitions. Lorraine has written extensively for the novice writer, both for the print medium and online and is the co-author of The ABC Checklist for New Writers. www.lorrainemace.com