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Monday, February 24, 2014

Me 2 Me, Why, and A Gift of Love

Edits for A Gift of Love

"You're not fast on your feet. You always miss the obvious."--Edward Sclier

There is no prescription when it comes to writing a book. Like a grief journey and the widow working through it, each storyteller must blaze her/his own trail.

Recently, two readers wrote and asked,

What was the catalyst that got you published? 

Why did you write A Gift of Love? 

The answer to both questions is simple: I made a promise.


My passion to write a book has been with me since I was a small girl. I just didn't see myself a writer. I hid my writing. I was a closet writer. I was ashamed of the thought that I could even think I could write. I lived a secret writing life. But there were times when my secret got out.

When I was a little girl, my sixth grade teacher assigned a composition for homework. I wrote about a turtle. I gave him a name, a job, and without realizing, I created a character. My teacher was delighted! She read my work out loud and announced to the class, "Linda, you're a writer!"

Those words stuck with me. That nun had planted a seed.

But later on the playground, a classmate pointed a finger at me. He laughed. He called me a writer, too, but it sounded like a dirty word.

That stuck with me, also.

For awhile, I put away my writing. I was afraid to put my words on paper for fear someone would laugh at me.


When I got into high school, I had a new teacher. He assigned my new class a new writing assignment. This assignment was for an essay. I had a troubled childhood, so I wrote about that. I still worried someone would laugh at me, but I handed in my thousand word essay anyway. My new teacher read it. He called me up to his desk. Privately, he said, "Linda, you're a writer!" He invited me to be on the school newspaper staff, made me a cub reporter, and a new seed was planted.

It is many years later and many lifetimes ago. The words of my sixth and tenth grade teachers and my dream to write a book followed me. When I think about a catalyst to write my book, A Gift of Love, I am reminded of one nun, one lay teacher, and a dying man. Unknowlingly, they nurtured my talent, and loved me back.

Perhaps that is the recipe to writing a book.

It took me six years to write A Gift of Love. For two more years I hid my manuscript. I debated should I or shouldn't I publish it? It has taken me years to beat back the league of laughing monkeys dancing inside my head, but I accept my reality. I say it loud, I say it clear, I am a writer! And I'm proud of it.

Linda Della Donna is author of A Gift of Love. 
It is an imprint of Archway Publishing, Division of Simon and Schuster,
and is available at, Barnes and Noble,
and bookseller stores everywhere.

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