Name: Patricia Tyson Redmond
Connection to Fredericksburg region: I have been coming to this area every summer since 1982, when my husband and I became members of Wilderness Resort, located near Fredericksburg. Since his death in 2007, I have resided here for several months each year.
I was inspired to write a book: When my husband of 33 years died, I couldn’t find much information about how to survive on my own, and how to become that independent woman I once was. I have spent the past 10 years dealing with questions, problems and solutions, and wanted to share my experiences with other widows.
Favorite time/place to write: I wrote my book, “We the Widows,” while camping at Wilderness. I enjoyed the beautiful sights of nature as I sat by the lake and typed. Most of the time, I sat at the picnic table and watched the swans swim by, and enjoyed the memories I had made while there.
Future plans as an author: I plan to write my next book about the veteran heroes I have interviewed for the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project. I have interviewed over 100 veterans, and each has a story about their experiences during a war America was involved in. I was honored to interview four WWI veterans, including the last one living. His name was Frank Buckles, and he died at age 110. I have interviewed many other veterans who were heroes from WWII and the Korean and Vietnam wars. I am still interviewing veterans from our present-day conflicts. My most renowned veteran is George Mendonsa, the “Kissing Sailor.” I also interviewed the lady he kissed on VJ Day in 1945 while in Times Square.
What I learned from the writing/publishing process: It is much easier to write a book than it is to get it published. It took me three months to write this book and nine months to get it in print. Since it came out in May, I have discovered that it’s not enough just to have a book listed on Amazon.com, and sold at Barnes and Noble and Christian bookstores. One must also promote a book to get people interested in reading it.
My advice for those trying to write a book: Actually, since this is my first book, I don’t know a lot of “insider tips” for writing a book. I talked about writing this book for 10 years and became aware that it was time to write when my daughter reminded me that I had been saying I was going to write about being a widow for the past 10 years. However, the best advice I ever received was from a 95-year-old author who started writing at 86 and was on her fourth novel. She said, “Just sit down and write!” So, I did.
Title of my book: “We the Widows…A Guide to Your New Life”
Short plot summary: “I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with you. And then I realized that you spent the rest of your life with me. I smile because I know you loved me till the day you went away. And will keep loving me until the day we’re together again.” This book is for those who have spent many years sharing the decisions, burdens and joys of life with the one you loved. When your husband dies, you are once again a single woman with many questions. How do you take care of the chores of the day, the home maintenance, make all the decisions and still cope with the grief and stress after the death of your husband? I have lived these pages and want to share my experiences. “We the Widows” will give you suggestions on how to deal with many things you may face as a grieving widow. You will learn that you are stronger than you ever thought you were, and that you can do things you never dreamed you could. Perhaps it will also make you smile at the memories and help guide you into your new life.
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Publication date: May 30, 2018
Who should read my book? It was especially written for an older widow who is questioning the future without her spouse, but I have found it is of interest to others, as well. It is also relevant to the children of a widow/widower and anyone who has lost a loved one and is grieving and/or depressed about their loss.