Last week I revealed the cover of the next Ibis title, LETTERS TO JIM: MEMOIR OF A 40-YEAR LOVE STORY.
This week I'm gonna introduce you to the author, Estrella Engelhardt.
But first, a reminder that LETTERS TO JIM drops on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25. That's, like, two weeks from tomorrow!
And if you want to buy your copy in person and have it autographed by Estrella herself, here's the launch party info:
If you can't make the party, LETTERS TO JIM will also be available to purchase at the Ibis online store and Amazon.
Here's a bit more about the book:
LETTERS TO JIM is an epistolary memoir and real-time meditation on love and grief, romance and mourning.
Created from actual letters Estrella Engelhardt wrote to her departed soulmate, LETTERS TO JIM confronts the most difficult questions that arise when those we love are taken from us.
While answers to such questions are few, the story of Jim and Estrella will leave you uplifted, hopeful, and perhaps a few steps further along your own journey of healing.
Now let's get you acquainted with Estrella.
There she is! With her dashing Navy Commander hubby, Jim.
I've known Estrella for years. She took several of my acting and spoken memoir classes at Florida Studio Theatre, and so I also had the great pleasure of meeting Jim several times when he came to watch her perform in the class showcases. And it's been an honor taking this journey with her, editing and polishing and publishing their love story.
Estrella, what inspired you to write LETTERS TO JIM?
I wasn't ready to close the chapter on 40 years with my wonderful man. When I write letters to him, I am keeping in touch and sharing my life with him. I am grounded every time I write him. It has also been a helpful tool to go through the trauma of losing my best friend.
What other writing or storytelling experience do you have?
Other writings include taking many classes at Florida Studio Theatre for over 16 years and being able to perform them on stage. I also started writing my Memoirs a few years ago, but doing the work at FST has strengthened my self-worth and made me excited to continue more writing now and in the future.
This is your first book. What was it like to tackle such a big, powerful project, and what have you learned along the way?
Yes, this was a big, powerful project, but made easy with the support of my "editor and friend." (aw shucks) I have learned that when there is a will, there is a way, even if your work isn't the best grammatically. I also learned that I love writing (typing) and with such technology, as we have today, it's much easier than 10 or 20 years ago. On a side note, I come from a long line of writers in my family, such as my Uncle Isaac (RIP), who was the editor of an encyclopedia. My sister writes beautifully, and my daughter is a published writer. My niece also has written her own curriculum to help thousands of people who are at risk and in prison. We all love to write.
What advice or tips might you give to someone else going through a big life change or grief?
My advice to others going through their grief is: write your own letters!!! It's great therapy and keeps you connected to them.
What do you hope readers take away from your book?
It's vital to go through your grief hand-in-hand with your friends and loved ones. It's so easy to feel lost and alone in hard times, but if you close yourself off, you'll stop feeling like you count. You matter! Whatever it is you're going through, YOU MATTER.
I'm not crying. YOU'RE crying.
I hope you enjoyed meeting Estrella, and next week get ready to read a free preview sample of her LETTERS TO JIM!
One last thing before signing off this week...
Would you like to win a Kindle Paperwhite pre-loaded with five of the best thrillers of all time? Silly question! Of course you would!
I've teamed up with two other awesome thriller writers to put together an online raffle! The giveaway goes live this evening and runs for three weeks. Multiple opportunities to build up your entries, and BOOM--a shiny, thrillers-bursting-at-the-seams Kindle could be delivered right to your door. Woo!
And I'll keep sharing that link with ya over the next couple weeks.
Good luck, and have a great weekend!
Jason "seriously, YOU'RE crying" Cannon