Villages Aren’t Just for Kids: My Journey to Becoming a Published Author

“Your book can be so much more.”

In December 2017, I embarked on a new adventure to write my first book. I had a leg up because my book was based on a topic I know well – conducting effective workplace investigations. So off I went.

I wrote what I thought was my book. It was less than 6,000 words. I was so excited. I emailed it to a colleague to discuss editing. She told me it was a good start, but she saw potential for it to be more. I was a little bummed but also intrigued at what the more could be.

I then reached out to another colleague to find another editor for a second opinion. She too thought the book could be more. After speaking with the editor for twenty minutes, the more, became clearer.

I then discussed the more with my mentor and she expanded my vision even more. She recommended that I not just write a book, but that I create a workbook, and develop a Masterclass to expand the knowledge gained from the book. OMG I thought, will this more ever end?

But Ioathe to shy away from a challenge, off I went to create more. I wrote my book and created a workbook and off to the editor it went. Again, I was very excited.

But yes, there was more. My editor recommended I combine the book and workbook andexpand my discussion of some of the issues in the book. I also realized from some of her edits that the working title of my book didn’t reflect my intention for writing the book. The focus was incorrect. So off I went not only to do more, but to think of a new title.

Enter my coach and my sister. Back and forth we went. I was so frustrated at times, but I knew they had my best interest at heart. Then one day in May as we sat together in LA, it came to me, “ACE Your Workplace,” (which later evolved to the current title “ACE Your Workplace Investigations”). We all got so excited. Check GoDaddy. Is the name available? Buy it now! So, I did.

That name reflected my intention for writing the book. But now for the subtitle. That took time because I wanted it to be catchy but not tacky. So, the three of us went back and forth again. Once we got a few titles, I conducted an online poll. The amazing feedback (not all positive) helped me finalize the name and subtitle: ACE Your Workplace Investigations: A Step-by-Step Guide for Avoiding Friction, Covering Your Assets, and Earning Employee Trust.

Back my manuscript went to my editor with the “more” she had asked for. She was pleased. We were getting there.

I sent my manuscript to Beta Readers and found out it needed even more. I added more. But then I realized, there will always be more. At some point, you have to accept that for that particular project, there is no more.

Once I made that decision, I had to get the manuscript formatted. This was more stressful than writing the book. When you get to this point, you might feel like rushing the process because the end – publishing – is near. But I caution you not to do that.

Then it was off to the proofreader. My editor recommended that someone other than her proofread the book as she had edited it twice. I needed a fresh set of eyes. I hired a professional proofreader. There were very few edits, mostly pesky commas, but the investment was worth the peace of mind.

Back to formatting – my formatter was great. But we would fix one thing and then create another issue. Then we thought things were correct but upon closer inspection we found another issue. It took 10 days to get it just right. I recommend you take your time. Review each page with an eagle eye. If you’re not detail oriented, have someone else do it. I pride myself on having a pretty good eagle eye. But after I submitted my manuscript to CreateSpace for review, I found a formatting error that had not been in previous versions. Lesson: keep checking up to the very last minute.

My book cover was an easier task. I started this process after the book was edited the second time. I loved having different designers submit their ideas. In this case, I embraced the more. I went through several revisions and found a cover I love. But that was only the beginning. Because my book was so much more than when we started the cover design, the template then had to be changed. I was very lucky that my designer has been amenable to making all my changes. Yes, the final revisions to the template were an additional cost. But so worth it.

I have truly enjoyed this journey. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the joy and pain of “more.” I’m extremely proud of my book and I hope it leaves you wanting to know more about me and the many issues I’m passionate about both in the workplace and the world.

If you are thinking about writing a book, write on! It’s both stressful and rewarding.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Choose a topic you can get excited about.
  2. Begin writing. It doesn’t have to be in any particular order. Write or voice record what comes to you at the moment.
  3. Know that there’s always more but you have to know when to say no more.
  4. You cannot do this alone. Create a village that includes people who love you enough to tell you the truth. Be open and strong enough to accept that truth.
  5. Be ready to pivot. Change is inevitable as you go through the writing process.
  6. Research and ask for referrals for resources.
  7. Be prepared to invest money.
  8. When things get frustrating or overwhelming, take a break.
  9. Edit, proofread, edit, proofread … you get it.
  10. Publishing a book takes patience and perseverance.

Most of all, enjoy the journey. I have. In the next couple of weeks, I will be a published author. How cool is that?

Now, because I could not have done this alone, I want to share my book village with you:

Inspiration for the book:

  • Business owners
  • HR Professionals
  • #METOO

Voices of “more”:

  • Liz Courson – Beta Reader
  • Carolyn Quintin – Beta Reader
  • Elin Barker Mayer – Beta Reader
  • Beverley “Teddy” Charles – Dad and beta reader
  • Nancy L. Butler-Ross – Editor
  • Jennifer Samuel-Chance – Mentor


  • Lisa Rene Charles – Coach, sister, and life-long supporter
  • Libby Gill – Coach
  • Joe Yazbeck – Coach

Cheerleaders and Referral Sources

  • My Irie family
  • Claudia Jean Smith-Virga
  • NSA-CF Academy members


  • WeFormat – Fiverr

Cover Design

  • Lizaa – 99designs


  • Jennifer Burgess – Upwork

Online Poll

  • PickFu


  • HeartBridge Press – Kate Holgate


  • CreateSpace

If you want to find out what I’m up to next and learn more about my book or me as a Speaker, Author, Attorney, Consultant, or Coach, contact me or follow me on social media: