Today is the day. Finally. The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship is out, officially published.
I just wrote, “finally,” but I know that in the real world of publishing, the months that we have spent working on the book are nothing compared to the years that many writers endure to get their book through the endless traditional publishing process. I just met a children’s book writer yesterday who submitted her book in 2005, and it was just published last May!)
Maybe I’m wrong and this will seem just as unseemly and self-indulgent as if I had written the entire book myself, but I can’t say enough wonderful things about the stories and writers in this book.
Here are five reasons why I love this book:
1. The writing reflects a range of styles and voices. There are serious pieces, there are funny pieces, there are deeply sad pieces. I love the diversity of themes, writing styles, and experiences reflected on these pages. We worked hard to make sure that our writers were from many different writing communities and niches.
2. Friendship between women is rarely examined in its true complexity, and I love that our book does this. The writers don’t sugar coat how difficult and painful female friendships can be, but they also don’t simplify these relationships into stories about “mean girls” and “frenemies,” cliches that we see too often in the media and in entertainment.
3. This book can help women understand themselves and their situation better. We certainly didn’t intend to write a self-help book — and it’s definitely not that — but we’ve already heard from early readers that these stories have helped them to process and to understand their own experiences.
4. Motherhood is important to women’s lives, but it’s not everything. Yes, a large portion of the book relates to how becoming a mother changes friendships and creates new ones. Yet there are also stories about so many aspects of women’s lives — women as workers, as sisters, as daughters, as students, as girlfriends, as brides, and as writers.
5. Our book has created connections. It has built a friendship between Stephanie and me, but also between some of the contributors in this book. It’s been truly inspiring to watch the support and relationships develop (online, of course) between many of these 50 writers.
We’d love to hear your reactions to the book. Tell us here or write a review on Amazon. Is there a story to which you especially relate? Are there writers that you know what to read more from? Do these stories reflect your own experiences of female friendship?
The book is available as a paperback and as an e-book on Amazon. As a special promotion for our release, the e-book is available on Amazon for free from December 2nd to December 4th. So try it out, see if you like, and if you do, we think it would make a great holiday gift for friends and other loved ones.