Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"One heart, many voices" by Emily Cushing

Author Blogview with Emily Cushing

Book Title: One Heart, Many Voices: Daily Inspirational Thoughts from Relief Society Sisters Around the World
Published by: Cedar Fort Inc.
Release Date: October 2007

Emily, what inspired you to write the book?
The idea for my book came on a very ordinary day in a very simple way. Two of my neighbors told me they loved my daughter's pants, which had material sewn around the bottom of each pant leg, and they asked me where I had purchased them. The pants were actually hand-me-downs from my sister's daughter. My sister had sewn on the material because she has a very petite daughter whose pants tend to become floods on her before she has grown out of them at the waist. By sewing on material, my sister's daughter is able to wear her pants for a longer period of time. As I explained this to my neighbors, they became very excited because they both have petite daughters and they thought this idea would work well for them.
That night at dinner I related this conversation to my husband. I told him that I thought women needed to share more of their good ideas with one another. This comment was the catalyst for many more ideas that occurred to me that night. Each idea built upon the last until I eventually decided that I would get women from all over the world to submit their favorite scripture or thought and its importance to them in their lives. One Heart, Many Voices is a compilation of all of those submissions.

What is your favorite chapter in the book and why?

One Heart, Many Voices is a small day-by-day book which sits on a desk or bedside table; therefore, it does not have chapters. Rather, each day brings a new page with an inspirational thought from a different woman from around the world. I have so many favorite pages in the book. There are submissions from women who are students, single, married, divorced, mothers, grandmothers, widows, etc. I have learned so much from these diverse and amazing women.

Do you have other books you have written? If yes, what are they?
No, but after this book was published, ideas kept coming. So I am currently working on other manuscripts.

Is there a particular event that stands out to you that helped you become an author? Not really. I do remember my teacher asking me in fourth grade what I wanted to be when I grew up and I replied, "An author". With this particular book, I think just following through to the very end is what made it happen.

Was there a person in your life who believed in you more than you believed in yourself? If so, who was that person? Yes. My husband, Travis, never once doubted that I would be able to get enough submissions to publish the book. He encouraged me from that very first conversation over dinner. In the very beginning stages I also shared my idea with my friend Kristy who was working on something she wanted to get published. She sent me her query letter, which was a big help because it made me realize that I just needed to be brave, write the letter, send it out, and hope for the best. Sometimes all it takes is one person to believe in what you're doing and give you the encouragement you need to keep on going.

What advice would you give to writers wishing to have their works published?
Just do it! Meaning, take time each day to write your book. And then send out your query letters and don't get discouraged at rejection. I sent out four query letters. I received three no's and one yes. But I read that the author of Flags of our Fathers received over thirty no's before he received a yes. And his book went onto become a major motion picture.

Who is your favorite author? Two of my favorite authors are Herman Wouk and James Michener. Historical fiction is my favorite genre.

What is your favorite quote?
There are so many great quotes in the book. But one that comes to mind is a quote that was featured just two days ago. It reads "There is no way to be a perfect mother, but there are a thousand ways to be a good one." As the mom of four, this is a great reminder that the little things we do in our children's lives each day are the things that make the biggest difference.

Side notes: My sister, Amy, sent me this inspirational calendar for Christmas and I love it! Thank you Emily for all your hard work in putting this calendar together. It is really a beautiful collection of wisdom and love. (If you have the calendar ... check out the write up for July 20th, 2008) :)