16 Jan Writer publishes memoir in ‘very personal tribute’ to husband
Self published memoir
Stafford writer Penny Wheat turned to Panda Press to help her publish a ‘very personal tribute’ to her husband.
In 2010, Colin was diagnosed with cancer and became a patient at Stafford Hospital, Staffordshire, during what was an extremely difficult period in the organisation’s history.
Colin’s experiences led Penny to write a book – ‘Colin’s Story: The Hezekiah Years’ – proceeds from which have gone towards the Katharine House Hospice, where Colin also spent time before he sadly passed away.
“I just wanted some good to come out of this horrible situation,” explains Penny. “However, it isn’t a critical book. It’s a celebration of Colin and a very personal tribute to him.”
Penny, who is a trustee of the Rising Brook Writers’ group in Stafford, is no stranger to the publishing world, having previously produced a book about her work as a prison visitor to Death Row in the United States.
‘And You Visited Me: A True Story of Death Row Friendships’ was published by Monarch in 2005 – although Penny says the process of writing her second book was very different.
“My first book took ten years to write as I kept putting it away and putting it off,” she says. “Writing can be hard work and you really do need to be disciplined.
“However, writing Colin’s story and deciding to self-publish gave me much more control over the final work. It was much quicker to write and while I thought self-publishing this time around might be daunting, the process was really easy.”
Penny supplied the Panda Press team with a PDF document of her manuscript and we provided her with guidance about the book’s layout and pagination. She also told us that she wanted to include Colin’s signature on the front cover, which we helped to design.
“With ‘Colin’s Story’, I just wanted to capture his humour and indefatigability,” Penny continues. “I’m so pleased with the result – people who knew him say they really recognise Colin’s voice and his personality shines through.
“He really was an exceptional person.”