Face of Hope: Carol Guscott
Here is the author of Face of Hope: The Carol Guscott story willing to share her experiences with us.
Who is Carol Guscott?
My name is Carol Guscott;–author, speaker, and Christian woman living in Orange County, California.
I like gardening; planting vegetables and herbs, writing, telling story, cooking, and listening to music and classic books.
I believe that life has a spiritual dimension and that I’m a carefully design element in a mysterious mosaic of life. My passion is to offer hope and encouragement from my experiences through my writing and speaking.
How long have you been writing?
Seriously for about ten (10) years. It took eight (8) years just to write and get my first book, a memoir, ~Face of Hope: The Carol Guscott Story published.
What inspired you to write Face of Hope: The Carol Guscott Story?
Afflicted with blindness and disfigurement, I was destining never to hold a job. I persevere in my search for meaning in all that I had experienced since my sudden blindness. As I go about making contact with people, they would say to me, you have a great story to share with the world—you are to write. After careful consideration I affirmed that my new life’s does gives me different insights; different sorts of understanding, and different sorts of wisdoms! So maybe these people who are telling me to write are right about my future as a writer. Sensing there’s no going back to the old life I had lead that was a life I could not return to with blindness, I saw my need for the new career path as a writer. With a passion I embarked on writing my life’s story in a book, ~Face of Hope: The Carol Guscott Story.
What steps did you take to publish Face of Hope: The Carol Guscott Story?
As I suddenly found myself on a journey for a new career, I knew I would not get there all by myself. Seeing that I needed expert help if my goal to get my story publishes is to be realized, I embarked on a searched to find an expert writer.
At every opportunity I got I shared with the important people I meet my desire to have my story a book. One encouraged me to get a handy recorder and record my story on cassette tapes….
I went to the school for the blind to receive rehabilitation. I who had never sat at a typewriter or computer keyboard before was now learning to type. At school I shared with one of my teachers that it’s my desire to tell my story in a book, and I want to find someone good at writing to partner with me to make me a success. She told me her best friend Gigi is a good script writer, she works for a Hollywood studio, and Gigi would be an excellent choice for me. My teacher assured me that she would get her friend Gigi to write my book.
That weekend Gigi and I talked by telephone, and the following weekend Gigi journeyed to my apartment and interviewed me.
Listening to the radio I heard comments that the actor Paul Riser, and others Hollywood celebrities received millions of dollars in advance from a New York publisher named Rob Weisbach of the publishing house of Simon & Schuster and the books didn’t sell for the publisher to make back the money given.
In a conversation with my Oscar winning actress friend, Helen Hunt, I mentioned I wish my story be a book, and asked if she knows of a publisher could contact. Helen told me Rob Weisbach had published her co-star Paul Riser’s book, and she promised me she would contact Rob on my behalf. Rob called a week later, and He asked I send him my first five manuscript pages. With a Vision of Success dancing in my head, I contacted Gigi. She journeyed to my home for the second time, to interview me….
Hours later on leaving my apartment, I urged Gigi to do her best with the writing. Gigi assured me that she would indeed give it her very best. With that said, she departed my home to write the five manuscript pages for publisher Rob Weisbach.
Two weeks later Gigi returned with her specially crafted five pages manuscript for Rob Weisbach, emphasizing that the writing of the five pages took her two whole weeks, fourteen days to write, and that they are her best work ever.
I sent the pages to Helen, and she forwarded them to publisher Rob in New York.
Days later Rob Weisbach called to inform me my five manuscript pages were received, but are not good enough for him to consider me a book contract. A better job could be done, and he will find someone in Los Angeles to assist me to get my story well written.
Days later I received a phone call from Mim, Rob’s recommended help. Mim told me she’s instructing a writing class at Della Reese’s church office in Los Angeles, and I should come visit her as she wants to see me.
On a Saturday afternoon I journeyed by cab to Los Angeles to meet with Mim. At the end of her teaching session, Mim and I sat apart from the group to talk about the matter of her writing my book.
I discovered Mim’s a highly sought after ghost writer—she was presently working on three books: writing the actress Victoria Principal book, changing the ending of the book, ~Finding Fish by Antwon Fisher, and writing a another.
Mim told me her husband Victor is an actor, and he don’t work all the time, therefore, she has to work for those who can afford to pay her well for her services. I am to go home and write my own book.
With the writing skill I acquired at blind school, like a mad woman I went home and write, deleted, rewrite, and rewrite, and more rewrites. My efforts were so that my manuscripts became my heart on the pages. Knowing I needed help to polish my book for publication, I bought a book about publishing a book. AS I’m blind, is can the pages and slowly went through the list of editors offering their services for hire.
Days later I hired an editor, but to find she has eight people’s work she’s editing. Months turned into years working with her….
Having a four hundred pages manuscript in hand, I journeyed to the Mount Hermon Writer’s Conference to get me published. My manuscript was critiqued badly; the critiques all say to me,” Your manuscript is too big; you need to reduce its size. People are not interested to know every detail of your life from the day of your birth to the presence. You have a good story, but it could be great if the size reduced, and the writing improved. You should consider your book chapter’s magazine articles!”
I find the critique so very harsh that every time I try to get my mind around the critiques I wiped out big time.
At home I was so devastated over the bad news I got at the Mount Hermon’s writer’s conference that even when lying in bed sweet sleep couldn’t poured into me as I was filled to the brim with bitter yearnings.
I dismissed all I was told of my manuscript, and spent my nights and days sending out query letters and book proposal to agents and publishing houses throughout America, and countries of England and Canada. The task exhausted me, and in the end I failed big time; I found no success anywhere.
In time I affirmed the critiques at the conference were right, and it’s time for me to take the next step forward. I hired a second editor, one of the Mount Hermon’s Writers conference critiques. When I sat with this lady she had told me she could be of great help with the manuscript, and make it a success.
A year and a half passed with us tirelessly working together to improve my manuscript.
When all the work was done on the manuscript the honeymoon I experienced with Hollywood celebrities was cooled. I sought to find Rob Weisbach whereabouts. I sadly learned from Helen and research I did on the internet that Rob Weisbach is no longer with the publishing house of Simon & Schuster; the multi-million book deals he contracted with celebrities did not make a profit for his company, and he’s departed and was trying to re-invent himself.
A literary agent who acquires memoirs for the chief editor at HarperCollins contacted me. After he read the manuscript, he offered his services to be my agent—he assured me he would get me published by the New York publishing house of HarperCollins. He sent me a contract, and I eagerly signed.
He forwarded my manuscript to the editor at HarperCollins New York office.
Weeks later, agent Michael enquired of my built-in-audience, the amount of people I have on my mailing list waiting to buy the book upon its release. The HarperCollins editor sent me a questionnaire seeking to know if I’m capable to sell at lease fifty thousand books for HarperCollins, the minimum amount of books for a new author to sell for HarperCollins. Realizing I don’t have a big audience, and most likely incapable to sell 50,000 books, I was dropped from HarperCollins new author lists.
I knew I had a great story worthy of publishing. I vowed I would get publish by some means.
A book contract from a small Christian publisher in Kentucky arrived in the mail. I signed the contract, and two years later my book was released.
What’s your favorite part in Face of Hope?
I would say it’s the story of me hanging out with Hollywood top celebrities. The relationship I had with them was like a romance–their presence enlightened the book…. Without them being in it, the book would otherwise be of a sad story.
Outside of writing this book, I understand you’re involved in other projects. Would you mind sharing what those are with us?
I’m only a speaker—I tell stories on my feet at different groups whenever the opportunity comes, just to promote the book.
Do you plan on attending any events soon?
No—don’t have anything on the calendar…
How can the readers contact you if they would like to receive a personal copy? Do you have a website?
One may contact me via the internet: YouTube, Facebook, and on my website, CarolGuscott.com
What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an author?
To any new authors, the book publishing business is a difficult business to be in. It works well if you are sophisticated enough, and have a huge audience waiting in the shadows to buy your book.
Is there anything else you would like to say in closing?
Writing a book is a team effort—it is more complex than what one sees at first glance. The writing of a book is sending a statement saying we can all write new chapters for our lives.