By Sandra Bullock Smith
What inspired you to write Trading Places: Becoming My Mother’s Mother?
After spending several years caring for my aging mother, I realized how much I wanted to read about other caregivers’ experiences, hoping they would help me deal with the challenges I faced caring for my mother. There was very little to choose from. So I decided to share my experiences, hoping that someone could learn from them.
How long did it take you to write your book?
The book was written over the course of about five years. I knew I wouldn’t publish the book until my mother passed away, so I kept working on the manuscript as time permitted. When she died in January 2015, I knew it was time to finalize the manuscript and start working on getting it published.
How long have you been publishing your work?
The book was published in November 2015, so six months. There is so much research to do when you are a first-time author and you are self-publishing your book. It was a full time job for months.
What does your writing environment look like?
I write more effectively if I am somewhere where I can see the outside world. If it wasn’t so hard to see my screen when I am outside I would probably write outside. I wrote several sections of this book while sitting in a car, waiting for my husband at one of his endurance races. There is a lot of down time at an endurance race.
Do you have any routines to help you write?
The only routine I have when writing is that I need quiet. I listen to music all the time but I have found my mind wanders when there is any noise.
Sandra Bullock Smith is a retired human resources executive who currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband, Mike, and their mongrel pups. She grew up in Florida, and then spent 20+ years in the colorful gumbo of south Louisiana. A world traveler, angler, adventure junkie, and storyteller, she also works as a crew chief for several endurance running and cycling athletes.
One of her greatest challenges in life was the ten-year period during which she and her siblings cared for their aging mother. This experience led her to pen her first book, Trading Places: Becoming My Mother's Mother. She hopes it offers insight and encouragement to anyone involved in a similar labor of love.