SALT LAKE CITY, UT September 13, 2017
Jo Ann Simon has led a full and fulfilling life. But the parts that mean the most to her are the memories shared with her husband Tom. She wanted to remember every detail: from the way they met, to the love they shared as they worked and raised a family together.
Even the heartbreaking times as Lyme Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis worked its way through Tom’s body and took his life were not to be forgotten. So she began to write.
Though her initial purpose was to record as many details as she could about their lifelong love, she discovered new truths as she did.
“As I wrote our story, I did not feel alone,” Simon revealed. “I was back in our life together and felt close to him even though he was no longer on this earth. The writing helped me to move forward in my life and to realize that I could continue to live a full life again.”
Jo Ann knew many others shared similar heartache. She felt every widow and widower could benefit from her story as they sought hope and courage in their pain. She wanted to help them in their journey to move past the grief and live again. The drive to help others inspired her to hone her writing skills. She took writing classes, attended conferences and joined writing groups, immersing herself in the industry.
When she felt her manuscript was ready, she began looking for a publisher, but soon found the road to publication a rocky one.
“Just the process of finding an agent to represent you was arduous,” Simon explained. “Self publishing seemed like the fastest, easiest, least expensive way to go. But it is a very lonely path.” With a full time job and no publishing experience, Jo Ann felt she would not be able to make her book a success.
So she turned to the hybrid publishing model. She liked the idea of the publisher providing the community and experience she wanted.
“I was surprised to initially see significant variances in how, when, and what they would offer, as well as the hidden costs not immediately defined by all,” Simon recalled. “But one publisher shined through with an excellent package, a great reputation, experience and a staff that was dedicated, efficient and enjoyable to talk to. There were no hidden costs. Everything was very clear. I felt very confident and comfortable with the E.L. Marker™ imprint of WiDo Publishing™ to do the best job overall for my book.”
WiDo was excited to work with Simon as well. Upon reading her memoir, the managing editor, Karen Gowen said, “The detailed descriptions of her sweetheart’s medical conditions makes it part grief memoir and part medical memoir. This will be a book that will be helpful to others going through a similar situation.”
Gowen was also impressed with the incorporation of art into the story. “Jo Ann is an artist as well as a writer. And it shows in her book. We are looking forward to working with her to make her publishing goal a reality.”
Jo Ann Simon, a corporate executive, is a lifelong nutmegger, living in various locations in the Nutmeg state of Connecticut. She is a constant traveler, exploring the world including her favorite country, Italy. When not traveling, Jo Ann loves spending time with her family, friends and her seven grandchildren. Her day job, running a company, painting fine art, gardening and writing, fill in the blanks of her life. Palm trees are essential in her personal landscape with beaches to match. Learn more about Jo Ann on her website: https://www.joann-simon.com/, blog: https://forgetmenotjosi.