Fifth Avenue Press
The AADL helps writers publish.
by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds
From the November, 2017 issue
A single line in a 2015 Observer article turned Ginger Ford into a published author.
"She is writing her memoir."
Within two weeks after reading about Ford's struggles with polio, Fifth Avenue Press contacted her. Ginger Stands Her Ground became the first book accepted for publication by the Ann Arbor District Library's new venture and one of nine released this month (see Events, Nov. 5).
"The seeds for writing my life story were planted when I was in my early teens," Ford says. "I scoured the shelves of the little Dexter library looking for books about polio, but I couldn't find any stories about other children who had polio."
Retirement gave her the opportunity to write about the pain she went though in order to regain mobility: six surgeries; brutal therapies; back braces, leg braces, and steel shoes; crutches, canes, and wheelchairs. "For years, I was told 'Be a good little soldier' and to keep quiet about my struggles, that no one cared," Ford recalls. But a writers' group at the Cedars of Dexter helped her trim and shape her original 700-page manuscript into memoir form, and then Fifth Avenue Press took over.
"Getting the support and encouragement from professional editors who believe my story is valuable has been a really, really big thing for me," Ford says gratefully. "I got really emotional when I saw the cover with my name." But she's under no illusion that the publication will make her rich: though the library agrees to buy ten copies of each book, the authors pay all printing expenses.
[Originally published in November, 2017.]
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