We had several formatting sessions at her house. Her vision of the book included a hardback cover, something I had never done. In fact, in the end, we had to go with a company I had never worked with, but about which I had heard only good things, Lulu. We were not disappointed, especially when the process was nearly the same as my earlier comfort zones.
Helen's daughter, Sigrid, designed the cover. Didn't she do a grand job?
The back cover contains a family picture, because, bottom line, the beginnings of her life story is centered around this very group.
Of course there were glitches in getting this book out. There were days of doubting this would ever come to pass. There were decisions to make, from major ones, which photographs to include, to minor ones, which font (which wasn't all that minor after all!).
Strange thing, I did not read the book at this point. I wasn't the editor. I helped with interior design. I read a paragraph here and there when we had issues with spacing or widows and orphans (technical term I throw in to say we were on top of this!). But I did not read the actual My Story: This is How It Was until the first shipment of books arrived at her home and I had a personally autographed copy in my hands.
Oh what a story! Her subtitle, This is How It Was, was so aptly chosen. She made growing up Phillips sound like the most wonderful, exciting experience ever, while at the same time holding very little, if any, of the negatives back. She gives a rarely revealed insight to life in a rural black community in the days of segregation, including the many accompanying challenges. This Dulatown community defined her even further beyond her family. Like her parents, it nurtured her and prepared her to face the realities of the outside world. You'll just have to read this story!
So now Helen Hall, like the published author she is, celebrates.
She held an audience spellbound at her first outing of the book this past week. The presentation was taped, so click on over to Youtube and experience it yourself.
She signed books and ran out, returning to her home to bring more copies.
Some stories just need to be shared. This is one. I feel humbled and proud that I had a small part in it.
Catch of the day,