The first person in my immediate family to become a published author was my sister, Janice. The book, THE STATUE OF LIBERTY IS CRACKING UP, was a clever compendium of observations, advice and one-liners about failed marriages, and recovering from them. The book had a schizophrenic voice — two women of vastly different styles sharing the same binding in a book about broken bonds. Jan’s material was clever and quirky; her co-author’s material, while well written, tended toward the mean-sprited and resentful. In retrospect, I think Jan’s wit and wisdom, appropriately packaged and promoted could have produced one of those "forever in print" self-help standards of the industry — the kind of book that never goes away, elevating the author to Dr. Phil status as some sort of pop culture icon of advice. Too bad it didn’t happen that way. Yet, my sister has managed to share inspiration and encouragement to many people over the past several decades via her newspaper features, and more recently on her Curran Events blog on-line. Sometimes, a few good words at the right time can make a major difference in someone’s life. I know for a fact that my sister’s efforts to help others deal with Lupus, chemo, and other challenges have been of significant value. I get Christmas cards every year from a friend who credits Janice’s supportive encouragement, shared years ago, with helping save her life. There is an old expression: "If you save one person, it is as if you have saved all mankind." So, maybe her first and only book didn’t become a best seller, but the author’s dream of having a positive and lasting impact on the lives of others became a reality, and that’s worth more than any royalty check. Besides, Janice becoming a published author assuredly contributed to the "writer mindset" manifested in her offspring. There are no "pre-published" authors in the family. Download jans_book.jpg
Oh, please start learning Japanese. My forthcoming book, STEALTH will be released October, 2005 in Japan. I’m writing it in English; it will be translated into Japanese and released to coincide with the debut of the film of the same name. Sadly, the American audience will be denied the joy of reading Burl Barer’s STEALTH — unless they read Japanese. So, start learning!