Rebecca Skloot is the author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It took ten years of devotion to get the book written and published. Ten years! I heard her speak Wednesday at The NY Society for Ethical Culture.
She remarked that during those ten years she would be questioned as to why she was spending so much time with one project. She would read the papers and see the timeliness of her material often. She would wonder if it would still be timely when it was published. Once the book was in contract, it went through three publishing houses and four editors.
There were a lot of roadblocks but Rebecca Skloot did not let any of them stop her. She was passionate about the story she was uncovering, she practiced patience and kept working. She didn't try to rush the birth of her book before its time. She believed in herself and the importance of her work.
Her book was published on February 2, 2010. It debuted at #5 on the New York Times Bestseller list on February 21. O Magazine bought the first serial rights and Barnes and Noble has made it a Spring 2010 pick for Discover Great New Writers. It's subject is more timely than ever.
Good thing she gave herself the time. For the book and for us.