In light of the release of her upcoming book, Goodbye Again, Cahill reflects on the beginnings of her book and the journeys she went through before landing with Legacy Book Press. Catch up with her here:
“In the spring of 2019, my husband and I were on vacation in the Caribbean, celebrating our 50th birthdays. We sat in our bathing suits, beach chairs angled toward the sun, ice cold Corona’s in hand, and gazed out at the cerulean blue water. We'd recently bought new life insurance policies – being 50 and all – which meant we were double covered, as our old insurance wouldn’t expire for another year.
‘What would you do with all that money if I died?’ I jokingly asked my husband, Tom.
‘I’d travel the world and eat lots of street vendor food, buy a sailboat, or maybe go back to school. What about you?’
Without hesitation, I replied, ‘I’d buy a remote little cabin overlooking a lake or along the coast and write a book.’
He immediately turned his head and asked, ‘Why wait?’
That summer, I bought a laptop and began drafting what would become Goodbye Again. By the spring of 2020, when the world shut down due to Covid-19, I had over 50k words: a solid start. For the next year, I workshopped the developing manuscript with a dedicated online writing group, submitting one chapter per week until I had a full first draft. And after another editing cycle and a beta-read with a group of memoirists, I felt ready to query agents in early 2021.
But then, with just two rounds of queries sent — and no offer of representation — a ‘real,’ outside-the-home, punch-a-timeclock, collect-a-paycheck job presented itself. And after almost two years of being unemployed, I couldn’t pass it up, even if it was only a seasonal position. I paused querying, expecting to pick it up again after my contract ended. (The break from querying had other benefits: it would allow my manuscript time to breathe, and I’d get outdoors for some much-needed sunshine and fresh air.)
Throughout the spring and summer, I continued to research the publishing process and came to a new conclusion: based on my status as a novice, no-name, unpublished writer, it seemed a long shot I would ever find an agent. I also discovered that authors do much of their own marketing, which I’d presumed was the agent’s job. So, I decided to forgo an agent and submit directly to small presses when the time came.
In the last month of my summer employment, I stumbled upon the mention of Legacy Book Press in a Facebook group. The name piqued my curiosity, and here I am today, less than two months until Goodbye Again meets the world.
As many memoirists will attest, the process of exposing our stories through publication is a complex experience, laced with nervousness, fear, and excitement. And for those of us whose stories expose grief or trauma, feeling excited and looking forward to our book’s launch atop that sorrow and pain can be hard to navigate. But, as I prepare for the release of my book, I will hold tight to the belief that two things can be true at one time, which is one of the main themes in Goodbye Again.”