Xlibris Publishing introduces Grace Rawlings, author of Lives Well Lived: Our Story.
About my book:
My book, Lives Well Lived, is a record of different times and a very different way of life from the hectic, modern world of today. At eighty-three years of age, I have lived through a range of experiences which my grandchildren find both astounding and amusing. For instance, my first writing lessons involved a slate and a slate pencil. I have progressed through the stages of a pen and inkwell, fountain pen, typewriter, and finally computer. Trains were steam driven. There were no jet planes. There was no internet, so no social media. But this book is not about myself alone. It goes back several generations, describing the lives my ancestors lived in South Africa from 1820 when travel was by wagon or horseback, during some turbulent times in our history. There are firsthand accounts not only from my own family, but also from my husband’s family, including some pages of a diary written by Alfred George Robertson, who was born in 1798.
Who is the author ‘behind the book’
I was born and spent my early years on a farm in the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. I was educated in a small school in the nearest town, and continued my education at Rhodes University in Grahamstown where I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree and thereafter a teaching diploma, qualifying me to teach English up to and including matric (grade twelve). However, during my teaching career I also taught Geography, Afrikaans, Religious Education and music.
Do you have any particular literary influences that have helped me develop in my genre subject and style?
I enjoy many different genres, though I tend to avoid reading books which are negative in outlook, but I don’t think I have been influenced by any particular style. I have written with the object of preserving memories of different times and customs of my forebears, for my children and grandchildren, and anyone living in today’s hectic society, who may be interested.
What inspired you to write your book and how long did it take you to finish it?
I was inspired to write this book by the requests of my children: “Mom, you are getting old, and all your memories will be lost to us unless you write them down.” Fortunately, for many years I have kept a journal, at times sporadic, but nevertheless fairly constant, and I was able to draw on this. Family members were co-operative in sharing their memories with me also. It was rewarding to have contact with them, and for the closer kinship which developed between us. It took me about a year to complete the book, and I am grateful that I wrote it. It has been an absorbing and fulfilling experience.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
I think the message I would like to convey to my readers is to enjoy a similar experience. Don’t be intimidated by the prospect. Just enjoy writing something each day. I did not begin with the object of writing a book for publication. I just wrote for the pleasure it gave me, and the pleasure I knew it would give my family, therefore it did not seem an impossible or overwhelming task.
Are you working on a sequel to your book?
I am still in the throes of completing the publishing of this book. As to a sequel – as I am now eighty-three years old, who knows what the answer to that question will be.
Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book?
So far nothing is planned
What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with Xlibris? The feeling of accomplishment when I saw the completed book interior and cover design. I am grateful to all the people from Xlibris who helped me to complete the publishing process. Without exception, they were helpful and patient and approachable.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors? I don’ feel qualified to give any advice to others. Starting out to ‘write a book’ can be an overwhelming and intimidating idea. I can only say that from my own experience, writing something each day hoping to give pleasure to my family and possibly others made it a satisfying experience.
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