About Laura Ann Garren

21 Nov

I have been a writer for more than 25 years. I started out as a newspaper journalist and make forays into newsletter editing and teaching college-level writing and literature courses. I had begun another venture based on my love of dogs, working on becoming a certified trainer, when my husband Chuck suffered a massive stroke in 2007. Very soon, I realized that my new full-time job was to take care of him. I quit my teaching gig, suspended my dog-training certification process, and concentrated on getting Chuck the care and therapy he needed.

With the passing of time, Chuck needed less care, so I resumed my studies toward becoming a dog trainer. I also developed an overwhelming desire to share Chuck’s and my story, so I began to write. Every day, for up to eight hours, I sat in front of the computer and wrote. The words poured out, and in about three months I had 35,000 or so words, a manuscript I called Stroke Happens.

I then started the hard part: finding a publisher who would read, much less publish, Stroke Happens. Naively, I thought I would be successful because when I was in the throes of the stroke experience, I found a dearth of information from a caretaker’s point of view. I was sure that a market existed; however, I could not find a publisher that would look at my manuscript. The overwhelming response, when I got one, was that I needed “a writer’s platform.”

Then I had an opportunity, to write an article for South Carolina Wildlife Magazine, about a bird that was spotted nesting way outside of its range (see http://www.scwildlife.com/pubs/mayjune2012/atourist.html). The editor liked my work and invited me to write more stories, so I did. I  also got a call from an editor at The History Press out of Charleston, SC, wondering if I would like to write a book. Yes.Garren Biz Card copy

A year later, I was the author of The Chattooga River: A Natural and Cultural History (see http://www.amazon.com/Chattooga-River-Natural-Cultural-History/dp/1609499859/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378334467&sr=1-1).

Now I have a writer’s platform, although not in the area of stroke; therefore, this blog. I also hope to publish excerpts or chapters from Stroke Happens in an attempt to entice publishers. Meanwhile, I will post on this blog. Please comment and/or ask questions. My goal all along has been to share my experience with other caretakers and stroke survivors, particularly those who suffer from aphasia.

And wish me luck publishing Stroke Happens. Because it does.

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