The first book started "growing" just over a year ago, when I decided I wanted to do a compilation of personal essays by moms of kids with DS. Women's personal writings are my passion--I'm editor of a Mormon women's lit mag and I do personal writing myself. I think sharing our stories is one of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves, and each other. After Thomas was born I was hungry for stories, and I figured many other people felt the same when their kids were diagnosed (and beyond). I wanted to create the book I wished I could've read back then.
So, I wrote a call for submissions and started posting it on the DS forums. I soon met Robin Roach at babycenter.com, who had also begun collecting moms' stories. We agreed to combine our efforts.
The stories came in quickly. There was only a 6-week window for submissions, and we received 63 essays! Each of them was used in the book. I led the authors through the revision process, which is no picnic--but everyone did a great job. Jennifer Graf Groneberg did the copyediting, Carla Reeves and her husband did the typesetting, and Rebecca Phong did the photo formatting. We published the first edition with Booksurge, Amazon.com's print-on-demand company, in October 2006.
Right as we prepared to release the book, I contacted Woodbine House and asked if they would be interested in seeing the manuscript. At first they said no, but then reconsidered. Within a few weeks they notified me that they wanted to acquire the book. That was exciting news! We pulled the first edition from the market, and began negotiations regarding the Woodbine edition. They agreed to keep all the stories and photos. I had been in contact with Martha Sears about doing a foreword, and she and Woodbine thought that would be a fine idea. So, other than the foreword, and a few formatting and minor editing changes, the Woodbine edition is the same as the Booksurge edition.
The Woodbine edition was released in May 2007, and went flying off the shelves. It's been an incredible experience!
Kathryn Lynard Soper
Mother of Thomas (DS) 10/2005
Sam - 2003
Matt - 2001
Christine - 1999
Andrew - 1997
Ben - 1994
Elizabeth - 1993
Author of The Year My Son and I Were Born: A Story of Down Syndrome, Motherhood, and Self-Discovery
Editor of GIFTS and GIFTS 2