Every Writer Needs a Literary Midwife

February 10, 2011

MIDWIVES are notorious do-it-yourselfers. The midwives in this book emerged from the cultural revolution of the Sixties and Seventies, the Civil Rights Movement, the back to the land impetus, and a variety of other intersecting movements of the time. We have been labeled rebels and revolutionaries, and for good reasons. We have had to negotiate a healthcare system that is, essentially, designed to put us out of business and a legal system that has put many of us in jail.  So we have become resilient and well-weathered when it comes to taking care of business and taking care of ourselves.

When I decided to create my first book—an anthology of memoirs of 25 seasoned midwives—I figured I had enough professional skills and survival tools to do it on my own. “Just do it,” right? After all, I had been writing in several professional capacities for decades. But I was wrong. It was a blessing to have been introduced to Max Regan, poet, publisher, teacher from Boulder, and developmental editor for people who are writing, assembling and publishing books.

From the very first conversation with Max in which I told him about my vision for this book he said, “I’m in.” He asked me one important question, “Are you sure you want to work with two dozen contributing authors?” That should have been my tip-off, but I said, “Yes, absolutely.” He said, “Okay, let’s get started.”

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