Another Blurb for my Memoir, WHEN LOVE STICKS AROUND

I received another early endorsement for my memoir, When Love Sticks Around. This time, the endorsement came from my friend, author, and editor, Chelsey Clammer. I found Chelsey online a couple of years ago while hunting for an editor who understood me. She’s edited numerous essays for me in the last four years, and even did the first round of edits on this memoir. She’s amazing to work with, and I was delighted when she agreed to read my finished book and write a blurb. Here is what she wrote:

“Each short essay in When Love Sticks Around is a marvellous example of the struggles we face throughout our lives, how love in all of its various forms presides through it, and ultimately how together we face both the tragedies and the moments of celebration. Whether the topic is growing up poor, struggling to gain a relationship with a parent, dating, having not-the-best jobs, transitioning into being an adult, or navigating racism, Dayney’s mesmerizing narratives and skill at storytelling aid in exploring the complexities of life all told in simple, relatable ways. Through these candid glimpses of experiences, this coming-of-age memoir reaches beyond the life moments of growing up and creates a visceral testament to all that we love and search for.”

Chelsey Clammer (author of Circadian and BodyHome)

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

When Love is Receiving a Blurb for Your Book

My first memoir, When Love Sticks Around, will be out later this year. The publication process has been educational and eye-opening, to say the least. I’ve enjoyed meeting everyone at Brandylane Publishers. In my experience, they truly care for their authors and the books they choose to publish. Part of the process, after one of the last rounds of editing, was reaching out to contacts for book endorsements. My project manager suggested I try to acquire at least three to four.

I have to admit that sending out my book to friends and acquaintances in the writing world was a nail-biting experience. I worried they’d ghost me, or wouldn’t like the work I’d written. But that didn’t happen. Instead, I ended up with six beautifully written endorsements that will appear on my book in some way. This is the first one I received, written by my dear friend from Norfolk, UK, Donna-Louise Bishop:

When Love Sticks Around is an instantly engaging memoir that deals with the highs and lows of coming-of-age and the realities and complexities of adulthood.

Dayney moves seamlessly through her life from birth, right up to the first moment of motherhood, before losing her own to cancer. Her vignettes of life’s journeys instantly transport readers into a world unique to her. It’s the complexities of the relationships within the pages of her debut novel that are both delightful and also heart-breaking. 

From the very first page, she has written a book worth sticking around for.”

Donna-Louise Bishop, Community Life Correspondent for the Eastern Daily Press, Norfolk, UK

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Writing and Editing My First Book

Since 2018 I have blogged very little, but I have been writing! Writing so much, in fact, that I finished my first essay collection. It’s a coming-of-age memoir-in-essays about growing up poor in Ohio, to young adulthood in Detroit and Brooklyn. Through my essays and my experiences, I examine what love looks like, whether it’s from my supportive mother, my absent biological father, my steadfast stepdad, or eventually my husband and first daughter. 

After many beta readers, in 2019 I submitted my collection to an editor friend of mine, Chelsey Clammer, who I admire. She gave me my first round of professional edits, along with homework to develop my stories and characters. I listened to all of her suggestions and advice, honing, toning, paring down, and building up. Then I submitted and submitted (and submitted). 

Many publishers said the book wasn’t a good fit for their current slate, some showed serious interest but went in another direction, and many outright ghosted me. That’s the life of submitting. I kept my chin up and submitted more.

Then in April 2020, during the beginning stages of our pandemic, I received an email from Brandylane Publishers. They wanted to publish my book! I read the email at least ten times. Then I cried. Then I jumped up and down and cried some more. Then I ran outside barefoot and still in my pajamas (even though it was almost dinnertime because pandemic–who wears real clothes anymore?) where my husband was mowing the lawn. I flailed around so much that he turned off the mower and ran over to me, alarmed, checking me for wounds. Then I showed him the email. And then he gave me the biggest hug. 

It was a great day.

Since April, my collection has gone through several more edits to build, cut, and perfect. The team at Brandylane is a wonderful group of people, and I’m not sure any other publisher could have done so much magic with my words. I love each and every person I have “met” there, but especially my project manager. She’s been with me every step of the wild ride, cheering me on. My book is in the final proofing stage now, and soon it will head to design where I will choose my cover and interior font and layout. It’s scheduled to release in late 2021. The collection is titled, When Love Sticks Around, and I hope you’ll consider sticking around to read it.

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash