Congratulations to Travelgirl Contributing Editor Janice McDonald, who has written two books in the past year, both about subjects close to her heart: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Bruges.
“It was the heart and soul of the beach and I was actually named after the daughter of the architect,” she said. “Seeing the empty hole where it stood just makes me ill.”
Then she got busy. She pitched the idea for a book on the pavilion to a publisher, enlisted a childhood friend who still lived there to help her, and together they wrote Myrtle Beach Pavilion, available for pre-order on Amazon.
“Since they needed a local author and I no longer live there, I asked my childhood friend Lesta Sue Hardee if she would work with me. She works at the local library and is an historian and was the perfect person. She knew resources I didn’t and we just instantly blended into the perfect team. We went on picture hunts together and contacted everyone we grew up with to try and get them in their attics and sending us photos,” Janice said.
But they didn’t have time to leisurely view old photos and reminisce about the old days. The publisher wanted the book by summer when the new boardwalk opens, and then later pushed up their deadline by three weeks.
“It was insane! Most people take at least a year on these books and we did it in eight weeks!” she said of the process, during which she slept about three hours a night.
“The best part about writing this book was reconnecting with old friends and learning things about my home town that I didn’t know. The pictures people sent us were like getting Christmas presents.”
Last year Janice wanted to share her love of her favorite city in the world and wrote a Historic Walking Guides, Bruges, also available on Amazon. She claims Bruges is her place to escape and she’s been more than a dozen times. After she got the contract for the book, she went back to work on maps and take more photos.
“I actually rented a bike and mapped out the walks and the Tourism Department was very helpful in helping me get information about people and buildings. It took about three weeks to write it all down and create the maps to go with it all. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. Seeing the final product was worth the late nights and early mornings. The best part of it was being able to share my favorite city in the world with other people.”
– Jan Schroder