Charlene Moses is the author of Given to Submission: A journey of shame, truth, and forgiveness, which is available in my Shop. I believe Charlene’s memoir of her early life will resonate with adult and young adult readers. When she sat down less than a year ago to write her book, Charlene did not consider herself a writer, and English is not her first language. Yet, she has done a beautiful job penning a story of trauma and hope. Recently, Charlene answered these questions about what it was like to work with me on her first book.
What prompted you to write a book? And why?
I have always wanted to write a book for many years. I believed that I had enough experiences in my life that I could share with others who might be experiencing different traumas. I hoped that if my story ever reached the right people that perhaps my small contribution would help someone.
How did Janice help you get started?
Janice was kind enough to even consider taking a chance on someone with no experience in writing. She gave me words of encouragement that made me believe that I could indeed write my memoir.
How did she help you complete your project?
She was my right-hand companion, guiding me every step of the way, and showing me how to better my work with each new chapter.
What did you consider the most valuable part of working with Janice on your book?
Janice turned me completely around from being insecure in my writing to finding the courage to dig deep into my emotions and bring them out in a descriptive way. It was not easy reliving some of my low moments, but Janice gave me the courage to follow through so that I would be able to reach out to others in hopes of helping someone.
What kinds of suggestions did Janice make? Did you act on all of them? If you had differences, how did you resolve them?
One suggestion Janice made was not to be repetitive. In my case, with the English language, I found myself writing as if I were writing in French. In other words, I had the tendency to put the cart in front of the horse; Janice said my sentence structure needed work. Anyone who knows the French language understands what I mean. I did rely heavily on Janice’s knowledge in writing, and when I saw her suggestions, I saw she made me sound like I was already an author. She did so with such grace and poise, it was easy to act on her recommendations. The only very little differences we had were resolved easily. She let me own my story; it is mine, and she so freely let me be who I am. She let me tell my story my way. For that, I am truly indebted for her wisdom.
In what way did your book turn out differently from what it would have been if you had not worked with Janice on it?
I have no doubt whatsoever that this book would not have happened at all if it wasn’t for Janice. There is no one who had more patience than Janice did, and for that I am truly grateful that I do have a book that actually exists.
How are you feeling, now that the book is nearly out?
I have mixed emotions. Mostly, I am so excited to have reached this point. I just can’t wait to see it all come together. I also have a little fear that because of the experiences I went through, that some people might not accept me for who I am in the present and think of only my past. But I can truly say that I am not that person anymore, except for the fact that I have always cared for people, even though I didn’t always know how to show it.
Anything else you want readers of Janice’s blog to know?
If there is anyone out there who has ever considered writing a book, and you don’t think you have the capability, and it’s stopping you from making your dream come true, don’t look any further. With Janice in your corner, you will succeed. I have no doubt whatsoever that you can do it. Janice is a very compassionate, lovable, caring, and brilliant person. She could not have picked a better profession for herself. Janice is one of a kind, and I have been blessed to have found her, and you will be too.