Wise Ink Author, Susan Hannifin-MacNab recently released her book A to Z Healing Toolbox. We reached out to Susan to learn more about her experience with both the writing and publishing processes as well as her advice to aspiring authors!
Wise Ink: Tell us a little about your book.
Susan Hannifin-MacNab: A to Z Healing Toolbox was written as a guidebook for anyone finding themselves navigating the physical-emotional-psychological-behavioral-spiritual complexities that accompany the grief and trauma experience. There are 26 main chapters in the book (A= Animals, B= Breathwork, C=Counseling), each highlighting one proven, practical technique that counters the negative effects of grief and trauma while assisting in increased healing of the mind, body and spirit. Each chapter also contains a plethora of life-changing suggestions, powerful daily action steps, independent writing prompts, and inspirational stories from others who have experienced grief or trauma through personal crisis, illness, or death.
WI: What is your background, and why were you inspired to write this story?
SHM: I am a social worker, educator and community organizer who spent 20 years teaching and leading health and wellness workshops, classes, and support groups for children, youth and families across the Mainland USA, Hawaii, Canada, and Australia. I hold a master’s degree in social work, a bachelor’s degree in education, and credentials as a teacher and school social worker. At the age of 41, my bagpiper-surfer-professor husband was killed and I suddenly became a widow and solo parent. After my life took an unexpected turn into the world of grief and trauma, I dove into the healing process in order to help our 5-year-old son. But in helping him, I was really helping myself. Three years after my husband’s death-all the while uncovering an alphabet’s worth of helpful tools and community resources-I founded A2Z Healing Toolbox, an organization which emphasizes healing with intention, education through action and post-traumatic growth and healing.
WI: What was one thing that surprised you about the publishing process?
SHM: Everything about this process was a surprise to me because prior to collaborating with Wise Ink, I had no knowledge whatsoever of the publishing world! I never intended to write a book-it happened quite organically. I am a very organized person (it must be the teacher thing!), so as I gathered my own personal healing tools and resources in the community, I compiled them in a 3-ring binder. The binder had various tabs: Animal Therapy, Meditation, Group Support, Peer Mentoring. Eventually the binder was re-organized alphabetically and made into the first A to Z booklet. When I presented the A to Z booklet at my first conference for widowed people, the workshop participants in the room looked at me with both fascination and relief. They said, “Did you make this booklet? We need these tools! You have got to turn this into a BOOK!” Finally, here it is.
WI: What are been your favorite and least favorite part of publishing a book?
SHM: My favorite thing about publishing a book was definitely being part of a creative and talented team of individuals. The editors, proofreaders, book designers, and marketing experts made the whole process run smoothly. My least favorite thing? Finding a few typos after the book was printed! Oh well- it happens!
WI: If you could share one piece of advice with an aspiring author, what would you say?
SHM: You can’t eat an entire elephant in one bite. Tackle your writing process in tiny chunks. As with life the rest of life, keep taking single small steps. And never give up.
WI: How can we purchase your book?