Hearing my name announced as the winner of the “Lets Do This” package at the SPARK Publications FiveFecta® event was just the beginning of a fabulous story. I can honestly say it really was never my dream to publish a book. But here I was, left with the beautiful words my sister Rhonda created from her experience living with cancer for fourteen years. I’m happy to say that Rhonda was able to see our work in a rough draft form before she left us on April 20, 2019. The mission to publish our work was left for me to accomplish.Roxann Christle Smith
The Divine Pull
As an independent publisher, SPARK Publications authors primarily find us through client referrals. Others reach out to us after seeing our clients’ amazing books and magazines around the country. Then there are those who are somehow destined to be a part of the SPARK Publications family of clients, as if some divine pull brings us together.
Roxann (whom we all lovingly call Rocky) and I met as we sat next to each other at a very small private workshop. I drove over an hour to attend, and she traveled across three coastal states. She mentioned that she was working on a picture book. After the workshop, we connected, and I sent her an introduction to our independent book publishing services.
We lost touch for two years as our lives both went on epic swirls, including her sister’s deep struggle with cancer and the many complexities that surround such a diagnosis. In early 2019, we reconnected on a phone call to catch up, and we both broke down in tears. Her powerfully wise and sweet sister, Rhonda, died on the same weekend in April that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This story brought our hearts together forever.
On the call, Rocky told me about a book that she and Rhonda worked on together to uplift and help emotionally heal those going through cancer treatments. I invited her to attend our live FiveFecta® event and book workshop in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although it would be quite an undertaking for her to make it, she said it sounded exciting and she would love to attend. Rocky was committed to getting this book published. She drove 275 miles and reserved a two-night hotel stay to attend the event and book workshop. The workshop, as well as the authors who shared their publishing journey at the event, inspired Rocky to make the “Let’s Do This” deposit for her future book.
A Heavenly Hand
It was kismet that she made the decision to work with us when she did. While at the sign-up table, her name was drawn and announced as the prize winner of $2,000 toward her custom and independently published book! After all of the excitement from an amazingly energetic and inspired event, Rocky and I finally got to hug it all out with ear-to-ear smiles and tears streaming down our faces. We both knew that her sister had a heavenly hand in all of this.
The SPARK Publications team knew the importance of this book, and we poured quite a bit of love into the work that Rocky and Rhonda created. We transformed it from its initial photo scrapbook titled Dress for Success in the IV Room, and I am please to announce the launch of Wacky Socks, Flowing Scarves, and Love: Healing Advice for Living with Cancer. Please read our Q&A with Rocky about her powerful book. This book is filled with Rhonda’s healing words, Rocky’s wonderful photography, and plenty of Rhonda’s flowing scarves and wacky socks highlighting the journal prompts. What a meaningful and valuable gift to give to someone diagnosed with cancer. Thank you, Rhonda and Rocky, for your trust in the SPARKlers to make this dream book happen.