Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Welcome, Linda O'Connell

Please welcome my friend and fellow writer, Linda O’Connell. I’ve been a fan of her blog for several years and know how much her heart is in her work. I’m so pleased to be able to interview her here about her work on the Not Your Mother’s Book  . . .On Family anthology. Thanks for coming by, Linda!

Linda O’Connell, is an accomplished writer and seasoned teacher from St. Louis, MO who has just launched a book. A positive thinker, she writes from the heart, bares her soul and finds humor in everyday situations. Although she has won awards for poetry, inspirational prose and fiction, she prefers writing personal essays. Her true stories have been published in 22 Chicken Soup for the Soul books and many other anthologies and publications. Linda enjoys a hearty laugh, dark chocolate and walking on the beach.
How did you become involved in developing Not Your Mother's Book...On Family?
I was recruited by Ken and Dahlynn McKowen of Publishing Syndicate to assist them in co creating this anthology. Dahlynn and I had a previous relationship. She had worked for Chicken Soup for the Soul for ten years.

What was the process for acquiring stories?
We solicited true, first person stories through the Publishing Syndicate website, the WOW Principles Newsletter and through social media and other writer's sites. We received hundreds of stories from all over the world, and we selected 60 stories. They were read by me and several editors, but the publishers made final decisions.

How is Not Your Mother's Book...On Family different from other anthologies?
The stories are not syrupy sweet or sad and sappy. They are a bit edgy, contemporary, humorous and real, confirming the fact that families are not always perfect. The family book contains stories by both men and women telling tales out of school. Some will make the reader nod in agreement, shake their head in disbelief or laugh out loud.

Did you collaborate or work alone?
Dianna Graveman, a St. Louis writer, and I worked closely with the publishers to develop two separate books. It was a labor of love that lasted almost two years. Dianna co created Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Mom. The stories in her book range from birth to empty nest and are about mothering in the modern age. These first person accounts are relatable, fun poignant and funny.
Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Mom is the seventh release, and Not Your Mother's Book...On Family is the eighth. has callouts for many new titles in development. 

Do you have a book launch event scheduled?
We are planning a joint book signing for both titles at STL Books, 100 West Jefferson, Kirkwood, MO on 7/15 from 6-9 p.m. There will be as many as two dozen contributors participating.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Family Resource Center, a not-for-profit agency which helps families in need.

The books are available at book retailers and on line.

I would like to thank you, Susan for the opportunity to share this information with your readers.


  1. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 9, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Great interview, ladies!

  2. It's great to see Linda here! I enjoyed learning more about these books. Thank you, Susan and Linda, for a wonderful interview!

  3. I echo Karen's words. And I have to add...I like the cover photo. :)

    1. The stories in these books are a riot. =0)

  4. I always learn something new here, Miss Susan, and I thank you for that. I've followed Linda's blog for a couple of years now. I wish Linda (and you) much continued success. I enjoyed this interview and the book cover above is a hoot!

    Be well.

    1. So glad you enjoyed, Janette! Have a super weekend. Hugs.