A Story of Lawyers™ is Born! (part 3)

My friend gave me a lot of good advice that day.  But the thing that she said that really stuck with me was to make sure that the book was everything I wanted it to be before publishing.  Once it's out there, you can't take it back.  She also connected me to a few of her clients who were in one way or another involved in book publishing.  Armed with that information, I made an appointment with a local print company and met with them for about an hour.  It was time well-spent because I learned a lot about publishing requirements, book layout, paper options, and costs associated with printing.  I left with solid information, a few  paper samples, and some really good resources that I referenced throughout the process.   I spent a lot of time in the children's section of book stores scanning shelves and pulling books that caught my eye.  I checked the local paper and professional publications regularly looking for people involved in authoring or publishing children's books.  I sent out numerous emails each week hoping to connect with someone who could connect me to a publisher or an illustrator.  Over the years, I met a few published authors who invited me to lunch and one that followed up with me on a regular basis with tips and guidance.  I really appreciated her help.  I also connected to the head of the business college at FGCU - now known as "Dunk City".  He set up a few meetings for me with some of his faculty and invited me to share my concept and plan.  And so I did.  We had two or three meetings on campus and exchanged multiple emails.  Everyone I met loved my book and all were very enthusiastic about my ideas.  During one of the meetings, it was my pleasure to meet the late Dr. Lee Duffus.  He had self-published a kid-friendly manual for soccer coaches and was happy to share the trials and tribulations of self-publishing.  He was also the person who suggested that I include a "belongs to" page in the book because, he explained, it gives kids pride of ownership.  His obituary appeared in the Naples Daily News on November 23, 2011.  My first book was in publication at that time and was released three months later. ... with the "belongs to" page.

A Story of Lawyers™ Is Born! (part 2)

I had no idea what to do with my completed manuscript.  So I did what any good lawyer would do.  I called my attorney friend who is board certified in intellectual property law and made plans to meet her for lunch that afternoon.  Meeting for lunch was something we did on a regular basis when I was practicing law full-time.  But over the years, since leaving my firm, our lunchtime get-togethers had become less frequent, reserved almost exclusively for special occasions.  We met at a one of our favorite spots and chatted briefly as we reviewed the menu.  After placing our orders, I confessed the reason for my lunch invitation.  I told her that I had written a children's book.  In response, she said,  " ...  you .. did ...  whaaaat???"  Her shocked response was understandable.  We had been friends for many years and I never before expressed in interest in writing.  I explained that it was not something I had planned.  It just happened that morning and I had no idea what to do with my work product.  She asked to see it.  As I handed it to her, I asked, "What do I do?"  She took it from me and immediately started to read.  When she finished, she lifted her eyes from the page, looked me straight in the face, and said, "This is REALLY good ...  I think you publish it." 

To Start, You Should Know Lawyers All Go To School

I was 34 when I started law school in January of 1997. It marked the beginning of the end of my educational journey and I was excited about future prospects. The charming quiet Stetson law campus welcomed me from the moment I set foot on the grounds and I will never forget the thrill I experienced whenever I found myself in one of its impressive courtrooms. Law school for me was expensive, challenging, and not at all fun. But it was something I had to get through to achieve my goal of becoming a lawyer. So I worked hard and did the best I could everyday to establish myself and earn my seat at counsels’ table. In May of 1999, my dream was realized when I graduated law school and shortly thereafter passed the Florida bar exam.

Along the way I received a lot of valuable advice. One piece of advice that I would like to share came from a lawyer guest who I assisted while working as a Club Concierge at the Ritz Carlton, Naples. This guest told me that I would not likely enjoy law school because law school is not intended to be enjoyable. He said that if I disliked it I shouldn't worry as law school is nothing like the practice of law. I recalled our conversation many times over the years and was always grateful for the reassurance it provided me.</>

The next bit of advice that I cherish came from a professor who said that we, as lawyers, should not promote or endorse anything that reflects negatively on us, either as individuals or as a profession. This includes, but is not limited to, the telling or sharing of jokes that demean attorneys. Since some of the best people I know are attorneys, I really take this advice to heart.

  

A STORY OF LAWYERS™ IS BORN!

The road to this day has, for me, been a long journey full of countless unanticipated twists and turns. I never planned to become a children's book author. I went to law school for heaven's sake! I passed the bar exam! I AM an ATTORNEY! But then one night, while I was sleeping ... RHYMES! RHYMES! RHYMES! ... About LAWYERS! The words and phrases were relentless. They filled my head and commanded me to get out of bed and write! And so I did! It was 4:00 a.m. when I started. By 7:30 a.m. I was finished. The entire first draft of a manuscript for A Story of Lawyers™ poured out of me and I watched with excitement as it came together on my computer screen. It was surreal and seemingly effortless. Writing was easy. It happened in August 2007. Finding my publishing partner took some work. That happened in 2011.

The Story Behind the Story

I am pleased to be an attorney practicing in the State of Florida. It is a great privilege that I do not take lightly. I of course understand and acknowledge that there are a lot of lawyers who are not at all honorable and who have abused this privilege. Their stories may dominate media headlines, but in my experience, "bad" lawyers are a small minority and they do not accurately represent the profession as a whole. For this and other reasons, I was inspired to write A Story of Lawyers. It is the first in a series of children's books related to the practice of law that I plan to release. Through this blog, I would like to share some thoughts and experiences I have had in practicing law and authoring the book. I hope you find it interesting and worthy of discussion.

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Copyright © 2012 by Jacqueline Buyze. All rights reserved.